Greg Hoffman



Guerrilla Marketing - What is it?

It's always fun to look at your web analytics and find out where your visitors are coming from. Chances are, you went to Google and typed in "Gorilla Marketing", instead of "Guerrilla Marketing". Here's what you need to know.

My definition of guerrilla marketing obviously morphed into my online identification as the Marketing Gorilla - A Guy who works 18 hours a day planning and executing strategy. Finding ways to attract customers my competition hasn't thought of yet. Engaging my audience to want more. Believing in the product. But most importantly, protecting the brands.

After learning the ropes of Public Relations and Marketing Communications from a small agency in Atlanta, I started my own company, The Tarpon Agency. My clients didn't have six figure budgets, so I had to learn guerrilla tactics to get them the publicity and sales leads they deserved. To this day, I still incorporate that philosophy, even if my corporate budget is enviable.

The most trusted source for guerrilla marketing information is Jay Conrad Levinson. If his books aren't on your shelf, then that's where you need to start.

Wikipedia sums up guerrilla marketing as the following:
It is argued that if one uses guerrilla tactics, one will find one's small size an advantage. One will be able to obtain publicity more easily than a large company. One will be closer to one's customers and more agile.

Using guerrilla marketing in competive warfare also has its advantages. No matter how large the company's are, the one who stays two steps ahead will take the market share. It is fun to be in that situation, though. Some day I'll blog about it.

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The Great SpamBlog / Trademark Fight

In what has become a never ending fight to protect the brands of the Thompson Group, I have discovered the Black Hat SEO tool that keeps spam blogs on my radar. It's called RSStoBlog, or some cheaper version.

The $300 software looks for datafeeds and automatically publishes the digests to a blog with related content so the owner can sell Google Adwords based on that content. You see, we lose money when people go to search for our company name and they are redirected to other sites with similar products. This does not make me happy. That's why I'm on this crusade.

I'll give you an example. I'm publishing this info because I've already spoken with the owner of this blog and he is supposed to be keeping a close eye on our trademarks. This is the most recent offending post and I'm not happy that it's there again, but at least the content is hot-linked to our site and doesn't use our trademark names in the title: Cigar Smoking News:

br’> - 9k - Cached - Similar pages Cigar Smoker’s FAQ
alt.smokers.cigars related FAQ. The definitive document on the pleasures of
smoking by cybersmokers all over the world. br’> - 22k - Feb 4,
2006 - Cached - Similar pages Thompson Cigar Thompson Cigar offers discounts on cigars, humidors and accessories.

Use Feedster or Technorati to search for your trademark terms and I'm sure you'll find a spam blog out there using your terms. Once you find them, you can report them to the Google Adsense Abuse and have Feedster and Technorati remove their feeds forever. So far, this has worked for me. Google has shut down several Adsense programs based on my complaints, or maybe our Cease and Desist letter scared the owners enough that they did it themselves.
Here is a spam blog that lost its Adsense program after I complained.

The pitch to sell the software is that owners can build a blogging empire. Reality is that 99% of this software's use is to steal content from other sites and rank higher in the search engines on thousands of keywords, just to drive traffic to sponsored links. It's a real pain to keep up with but if I can keep these sites out of Google and Yahoo, our organic SEO efforts will pay off.

Read more resources on this topic:
Jack of All Blogs
Jeremy Zawodny
The Blog Herald

Please add more resources to this list or comment on your battles with SpamBlogs.

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