This is one of the easier articles I will have to write. Why? Because it is based directly upon the work of the late great Jay Conrad Levinson, from his seminal marketing work “Guerilla Marketing”.

I remember picking this book up in an airport bookshop in the 90s, and being immediately absorbed into it. It was only later that I realised that this was already considered a classic in the making, and the 20 years since have cemented its status as a marketing great.

Levinson started this book  with all 12 commandments listed right at the start – to quote him directly-  “so as not to keep you in suspense anymore, I’ll give you all 12 of these commandments upfront”.

So I will do the same. Verbatim, here they are. Full credit to the brilliant Jay Conrad Levinson for this.

  1. COMMITMENT: You should know that a mediocre marketing program with commitment will always prove more profitable than a brilliant marketing program without commitment. Commitment makes it happen.
  2. INVESTMENT: Marketing is not an expense, but an investment — the best investment available to your business today — if you do it right. With guerrilla marketing to guide you, you’ll be doing it right.
  3. CONSISTENT: It takes a while for prospects to trust you and if you change your marketing, media, and identity, you’re hard to trust. Restraint is a great ally of the guerrilla. Repetition is another.
  4. CONFIDENT: In a nationwide test to determine why people buy, price came in fifth, selection fourth, service third, quality second, and, in first place — people said they patronize businesses in which they are confident.
  5. PATIENT: Unless the person running your marketing is patient, it will be difficult to practice commitment, view marketing as an investment, be consistent, and make prospects confident. Patience is a guerrilla virtue.
  6. ASSORTMENT: Guerrillas know that individual marketing weapons rarely work on their own. But marketing combinations do work. A wide assortment of marketing tools are required to woo and win customers.
  7. CONVENIENT: People now know that time is not money, but is far more valuable. Respect this by being easy to do business with and running your company for the convenience of your customers, not yourself.
  8. SUBSEQUENT: The real profits come after you’ve made the sale, in the form of repeat and referral business. Non-guerrillas think marketing ends when they’ve made the sale. Guerrillas know that’s when marketing begins.
  9. AMAZEMENT: There are elements of your business that you take for granted, but prospects would be amazed if they knew the details. Be sure all of your marketing always reflects that amazement. It’s always there.
  10. MEASUREMENT: You can actually double your profits by measuring the results of your marketing. Some weapons hit bulls-eyes. Others miss the target. Unless you measure, you won’t know which is which.
  11. INVOLVEMENT: This describes the relationship between you and your customers — and it is a relationship. You prove your involvement by following up; they prove theirs by patronizing and recommending you.
  12. DEPENDENT: The guerrilla’s job is not to compete but to cooperate with other businesses. Market them in return for them marketing you. Set up tie-ins with others. Become dependent to market more, spend less.

What are the main takeaway points from this?

It’s simple:

  • Consider quality marketing to be an investment, rather than an expense.
  • Decide on your positioning, decide on your  marketing image, your marketing message and your marketing media.
  • Use an assortment of tactics, measure your results and partner with others.
  • Then stay consistent, credible , determined and with the endgame in mind.

This was book was written before the Internet was commonplace, let alone email, social media video marketing and all the new whizbang tools we have now. But, like any basic message, the song remains the same. If you get a chance to read this book, do so. It truly is one of the marketing classics, aimed squarely at the small business owner.

In other words, it was written for entrepreneurs just like you.

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