Guerilla marketing, marketing combinations, marketing ingredients, and synergistic marketing.

Jay Conrad Levinson authored Guerrilla Marketing in 1984. Guerrilla Marketing was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 25 best business books of all time. Over 21 million copies have been sold. It is still required reading for Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs worldwide.

It has been translated in over 62 languages.

Think about that—62 languages.

How can marketing be so global that over 60 unique cultures with their own unique languages benefit from one teaching, Jay’s book? How many times have you heard “you don’t know our industry” or “our market” or “our product”? Think about all of the excuses you have heard—and used yourself. What is it about one book, now almost 40 years old, that it is still considered one of the best business and marketing books of all time, still used as core curriculum in business and marketing education?

I humbly suggest that it is as popular as it is because Jay’s Guerilla Marketing teachings—when applied—work. More, they’re influential and inspiring.

Guerrilla marketing is not a formula you can follow for success. Guerilla Marketing does provide—however—principles, concepts, examples, and teachings about successful marketing.

One of those teachings is marketing combinations. In 2007, Jay updated Guerrilla Marketing and wrote, “Traditional marketing would have you believe that advertising works, that having a website works, that direct mail and e-mail work. To those antiquated notions, guerilla marketing says nonsense, nonsense, and nonsense. Advertising doesn’t work. Not anymore it doesn’t. Websites? Get serious. People learn daily that they are paths to financial oblivion and shattered dreams. Direct mail and e-mail used to work. But not anymore. So what does work? Guerillas know that marketing combinations work. If you run a series of ads, have a website, and then do a direct mailing or an e-mailing, they’ll all work, and they’ll each help each other work. The days of single weapon marketing have been relegated to the past. We’re living in an era when marketing combinations open the doors to marketing success.”

You have likely heard me teach Synergistic Marketing. Synergistic Marketing teaches just that! As the many parts of our marketing combine—as we strategically combine them—the greater our marketing success becomes.

Not to belabor the point, but to ensure you see the global and historical validation for Synergistic Marketing, let’s go back further than 1984.

Twenty years earlier, in 1964, Neil Borden, a professor emeritus of marketing and advertising at the Harvard Business School, published an article titled, “The Concept of the Marketing Mix,” detailing the origin, meaning, evolution and wide-spread use of the “Marketing Mix” concept, dating back to the 1940’s. The phrase was suggested to Borden in a research bulletin on the management of marketing costs, written by Borden’s associate, Professor James Culliton, in 1948.

Culliton described the Marketing Executive, as a, “‘decider,’ an ‘artist,’ a ‘mixer of ingredients,’ who sometimes follows a recipe prepared by others, sometimes prepares his own recipe as he goes along, sometimes adapts a recipe to the ingredients immediately available, and sometimes experiments with or invents ingredients no one else has tried.”

Borden liked this idea of calling a Marketing Executive a “mixer of ingredients,” and his article goes into the details of marketing on that premise.

The overwhelming number of facets of marketing is why it is important to share Borden’s and Culliton’s—still relevant—analogy of a chef and ingredients. The marketing mix and the marketing technology landscape are a bucket (a very large and growing bucket) of ingredients. It is not appropriate to use all of the ingredients in your marketing, just as much as you would not use every ingredient in your pantry for one entrée. The point is knowing the ingredients, what is salty and what is sweet, what compliments what, how they respond together or work independently, and where two otherwise mild ingredients form a synergistic effect!