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. 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, the book is 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. “Guerrilla Marketing” provides innovative yet budget-friendly marketing techniques that are ideal for startups.

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, nonprofits 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. Not only is the promise clear and compelling, Levinson states it directly in the book’s subtitle. 

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 and specific 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.

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.

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.

Write the Right Book Series

The “Write the Right Book” breakdown series shows you how the best selling business books you love follow the five foundationas of writing a must read book. Think of your book as a house. The strength of your home is in its foundation. Nail down a crystal-clear topic, know your ideal reader like they’re your best friend, give them a promise they can’t resist, and choose a title and subtitle that will grab their attention from across a crowded room. And don’t forget the blueprint—your structure. When you invest your time in getting clarity on these five  elements first, not only will writing your book be a lot easier and enjoyable, but you’ll also end up with a read that’s a genuine page-turner. 

Ready to learn how you can  Write the Right Book?