Consistency breeds familiarity, familiarity breeds confidence, and confidence breeds sales.”  – Jay Conrad Levinson, Author 


Book Data

Publication Date: 1984

Print Length: 384 pages 

Best Sellers Rank:

#39 in Business Teams (Amazon Books) 

 #44 in Startups (Amazon)  

 #114 in Company Business Profiles (Amazon Books)  

Sales: Over 21 million  worldwide 

The Topic

“Guerrilla Marketing” by Jay Conrad Levinson revolutionized small business advertising by introducing low-cost, creative techniques to generate exposure and revenue. The book outlines unconventional marketing tactics that are cost-effective yet impactful. Aimed at entrepreneurs and small business owners, it provides a toolkit for maximizing marketing impact with minimal investment, emphasizing creativity, adaptability, and efficient use of resources.

The Ideal Reader

Levinson, wrote “Guerrilla Marketing” primarily for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-up founders who have limited marketing budgets but need effective strategies to promote their businesses and products. The book is also useful for marketing professionals looking for creative and unconventional tactics that can yield significant results without requiring a large financial investment. Ultimately, it’s aimed at anyone interested in learning how to maximize marketing impact with minimal resources.

Small Business Owners: These individuals often operate with limited budgets and resources, making the cost-effective and creative tactics in “Guerrilla Marketing” particularly valuable. The book can help them gain visibility and compete with larger rivals.

Entrepreneurs and Start-Up Founders: In the early stages of a business, getting the word out without breaking the bank is crucial. This book provides innovative yet budget-friendly marketing techniques that are ideal for start-ups.

Freelancers: Freelancers who want to market their skills and services can benefit from the book’s advice on creating a big impact with a small investment, helping them stand out in a competitive market.

Non-Profit Organizers: While not necessarily a business, non-profits still need marketing to gain donations and volunteers. The cost-effective strategies in the book can be adapted to suit the needs of non-profit organizations.

Marketing Professionals: Even those in bigger firms might find the book’s creative approaches to marketing refreshing and useful, especially for projects with restricted budgets.

Students of Marketing: Academic or practical students in the field of marketing can benefit from the alternative marketing philosophies and real-world applicability of the tactics discussed.

The Promise

The book promises to equip readers with innovative, low-cost marketing strategies that can yield significant results. The underlying promise is that even with limited financial resources, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers can successfully market their products or services and compete with larger, more established entities. Levinson offers a toolkit of unconventional yet effective marketing tactics that aim to maximize impact while minimizing expenditure. By reading “Guerrilla Marketing,” the reader is promised a new understanding of how to make the most out of their marketing efforts without breaking the bank.

The Title

The title “Guerrilla Marketing” immediately captures attention with its military metaphor, suggesting a kind of “warfare” in the business landscape. “Guerrilla” evokes notions of resourcefulness, surprise tactics, and a lean operation, all of which are essential elements in the marketing strategies the book advocates. It sets the tone for a book that is about beating the odds and outsmarting, rather than outspending, the competition.

The subtitle,”Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business,” works well because it offers a clear value proposition to the prospective reader. It promises not just strategies but “easy and inexpensive” ones that lead to “big profits,” speaking directly to the concerns and aspirations of small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Together, the title and subtitle create a compelling package. The title lures readers in with the promise of unconventional wisdom, while the subtitle assures them of its practicality and potential profitability. Both aspects work synergistically to appeal to the book’s ideal reader, making it clear what the book is about and what readers stand to gain from it.

The Methodology

In “Guerrilla Marketing,” Jay Conrad Levinson doesn’t lay out a formal research methodology in the same way that some academic or heavily research-based books might. Instead, the book is more of a how-to guide, drawing on Levinson’s extensive experience in advertising and marketing. It is filled with practical tips, examples, and case studies that demonstrate the efficacy of guerrilla marketing tactics.

The methodology, so to speak, is more about actionable steps and strategies that business owners can employ directly. Levinson discusses various guerrilla marketing tactics such as grassroots marketing, viral marketing, social media, direct mail, street marketing, and many more. He explains how to implement these tactics in a way that is effective yet cost-efficient.

Rather than focusing on traditional metrics or large-scale market analyses, the book emphasizes quick, low-cost actions that yield a high return on investment. It aims to be a playbook that businesses can immediately start using, which is part of its broad appeal and success.

The Structure


Explanation of what Guerrilla Marketing is and who it’s for.

Part I: The Fundamentals of Guerrilla Marketing

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

Definition and history.

Why Guerrilla Marketing is Needed

The problems with traditional marketing for small businesses.

The Guerrilla Marketing Mindset

How to think like a guerrilla marketer.

Part II: The Building Blocks

The Importance of Research

Why and how to do market research on a budget.

Understanding Your Target Audience

How to identify and understand your customers.

Your Marketing Arsenal

An introduction to the various tools and mediums available to guerrilla marketers.

Part III: Guerrilla Marketing Tactics and Strategies

Online Guerrilla Marketing

Strategies specifically for the online space.

Offline Guerrilla Marketing

Strategies for traditional forms of media and real-world interactions.

Social Media and Guerrilla Marketing

How to leverage social media platforms.

Public Relations and Guerrilla Tactics

Using PR effectively as a small business.

Part IV: Planning and Implementation

Creating Your Guerrilla Marketing Plan

Step-by-step guide to crafting a marketing plan.

Execution and Follow-up

How to implement your plan and measure its success.

Part V: Case Studies and Examples

Real-world examples of successful guerrilla marketing campaigns.


Summary and final thoughts on how to continue your guerrilla marketing efforts.

Chapter Structure

The structure of Chapter One in “Guerrilla Marketing” generally serves as an introductory foundation for the entire book, providing readers with an understanding of what guerrilla marketing is and why it’s essential, especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs. 

Chapter One: What is Guerrilla Marketing?


Briefly outlining what the chapter will cover and its importance in the context of the book.

The Concept of Guerrilla Marketing

An explanation of what guerrilla marketing is, where the term comes from, and its core principles.

Differences Between Traditional and Guerrilla Marketing

Highlighting how guerrilla marketing differs from traditional marketing methods, emphasizing low-cost and high-impact strategies.

The Need for Guerrilla Marketing

Discussing why this approach is particularly relevant for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs who are working with limited resources.

Core Tenets of Guerrilla Marketing

Introduction to key concepts and principles like focus, flexibility, and creativity that will be discussed in more depth in later chapters.

Who Can Benefit from Guerrilla Marketing

A segment identifying the target reader and explaining why these tactics can be beneficial for them.

Summary and Preview

A wrap-up of the key points made in the chapter and a brief overview of what to expect in the upcoming chapters.

This structure sets the stage for the rest of the book by giving readers a foundational understanding of guerrilla marketing, including its necessity, its unique approaches, and its potential benefits. It aims to engage the reader and encourage them to delve deeper into the subsequent chapters, where the tactics and strategies are explained in more detail.

What Made "Guerrilla Marketing" a Best Seller?

The success of “Guerrilla Marketing” as a bestseller can be attributed to several factors:

Innovative Concept: The book introduced a new way of thinking about marketing, particularly for small businesses and entrepreneurs who couldn’t compete with the budgets of larger corporations. This was a fresh, appealing idea that met a genuine need in the marketplace.

Practicality: Jay Conrad Levinson provided actionable tips and strategies that could be immediately implemented. Readers found real value in the book’s practical advice, making it more than just a theoretical read.

Broad Appeal: Although targeted at small business owners and entrepreneurs, the principles were also applicable to larger businesses, marketers, non-profits, and even individuals looking to market themselves.

Timeliness: At the time of its release and subsequent editions, the business world was becoming increasingly competitive, yet more accessible to small players due to technological advancements. The book’s strategies fit perfectly within this changing landscape.

Accessible Writing: The book is written in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner that made complex marketing strategies accessible to people without a background in the field.

Case Studies and Examples: Real-world examples and success stories added credibility and allowed readers to see the strategies in action, making the advice more relatable and actionable.

Affordability: Compared to costly marketing courses or consulting fees, the book offered an affordable way to gain valuable marketing knowledge, making it accessible to a wide range of people.

Word-of-Mouth: Success stories from those who had implemented guerrilla marketing tactics effectively helped to spread the word about the book’s value, contributing to its popularity.

Updates and Spin-offs: The book has been updated and has spawned a series of other “Guerrilla” books, workshops, and materials, keeping it relevant and extending its lifespan.

Endorsements and Reviews: Positive reviews from credible sources and endorsements from industry leaders lent the book additional credibility and visibility.

Combining these factors, “Guerrilla Marketing” was able to capture and sustain the attention of its target audience, making it a long-lasting bestseller in the world of business literature.

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