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Prospect of 2-G: Green and Guerrilla marketing on Millennials & Gen Z- The new Sustainable Marketing Mantra


Dr. Shampa Nandi

Millennials and Gen Z’s market

A new generation of consumers taking over the global market place, make the market very competitive and marketing extremely complex. Millennials and gen z demand completely different set of marketing strategies. Traditional 4ps, or conventional marketing communication strategies falling behind to influence them. This new generation get averted if a brand is doing too much self-promotion. Many of them haven’t seen life without smart phones and think if any company is not present in social media, it doesn’t exist. Moreover they want advertisements placed in the social media should have meaningful content, more engaging, can be saved for executing at any time. The products and advertisements should be innovative. Advertisements and other promotional communications are able to influence them more, if they are more relatable, preferably shared by real life experiences not by the celebrities. A study by E&Y also reveals that gen z are not as brand loyal as Millennials. They have more preference for luxury brands and get less impacted than millennials in terms of discounts and coupon marketing.  
2G: Green & Guerrilla marketing: the back drop

In such complex marketing situation, companies are trying very hard to get a foothold in the extremely competitive dynamic market. Guerrilla marketing could be one solution where marketers are using innovative, unconventional strategies costing low but achieving significant impact compared to traditional marketing. While giant companies have the liberty to spend billions of dollars for marketing campaigns, small start-ups can use non-traditional advertising spaces and create unique and impactful promotional strategies. Another very interesting finding of research is, companies are performing better for a long run if they are socially responsible and aligned with the interests of all stake holders- customers, investors, employees and society at a macro level. In today’s environment green marketing or sustainable marketing is not only brand image builder but that is absolute necessity for commitment toward environment and society at large.
Combining impact of Guerrilla marketing and Green Marketing could act as a saviour to create impact on consumers in a more meaningful way. Guerrilla marketing uses creativity, energy, effort and connect with the potential customers by constantly communicating with them. Advertisement campaigns are created in such a way, it leads people think, and often bring smile on their faces. (Levinson, J. C., & Harowitz, S.,2010). Term Guerrilla is coined from Vietnam War in 1960; “Guerrilla” means small war where opponents are weakened by small intermittent attacks. Over the last two decades green marketing has become a significant point of research and discussion. Increasing environmental awareness has urged consumers to adapt products, brands or services which are more environment conscious. Green marketing starts with 3Ps: people, profit and planet, the new marketing mix which is a more holistic approach to improve the profit and planet (Gupta, Singh 2017). Green Guerrilla marketing a new approach coined by Simson (2011) and it is a more sustainable approach to marketing and has lot of potential to improve enterprise’s survival and growth.
Green Marketing: Contradictory or compatible

Sustainability is today’s mantra in business. Post indu
strial revolution, business houses became money making factories, only thinking about short term gain and ignored the evil effect of rapid industrialisation on environment. Companies were only focussing on product innovation and market development at the cost of our planet. People and planet both were used for profit. (Gupta & Singh, 2017). Realising the rapid damage of our planet earth and climate, at the end of 20thcentury, environmentalists came up with new concept of sustainability in economics and business. Increasing awareness about environment protection made the market more ready for green products and green marketing. Green marketing and sustainability have made ubiquitous places in research, academics and in business. Consumers’ preference for green product service has gone up noticeably and firms become more responsible for the wellbeing of the society and environment. Companies adopted the greening strategies, are proven to be more successful and sustainable. There are three components of Corporate Social Responsibility- ethical component of business, environmental component and how the business operations have adherence with established social and human rights
(Vaaland and Heide, 2005).Green Marketing is not only relevant for the second component of CSR but is adds positive brand image in the minds of potential customers.

Scopes and usage of Green guerrilla marketing

Levinson & Harowitz (2010) in their book “Guerrilla Marketing: Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet” discussed various strategies and tactics on how to make profit while taking care for our planet. Guerrilla marketing is characterised as a low budget advertisement campaign capable of creating surprise effect, absurdity, drawing large number of consumers’ attention and evoking diffusion effect. Number of advertising instruments come under the umbrella of Guerrilla marketing-
Ø  Ambient marketing- Placing ad in an unexpected location in an unusual way. It could be starting from fly posting stickers to a graffiti in public toilet.
Ø  Sensational marketing- Pedestrian can be surprised by an unconventional gathering  done  by a flash mob.
Ø  Viral marketing- Ads can me more persuasive with distribution of word of mouth video clips posting through viral marketing. Viral marketing has more diffusive effect on consumers.
Ø  Buzz marketing- Another way of using Word of mouth as main instrument, buzz marketing uses consumers as market researchers, advertisers or influencers to influence target market.
Ø  Ambush marketing- One very prominent and efficient marketing strategy is Ambush marketing which is a strategy for weakening an official sponsor and promoting ambusher’s brand.

If the strategies adopted in the guerrilla marketing can be analysed closely, it is evident that incorporating green marketing in guerrilla marketing strategies is neither very difficult nor expensive.
Out of the box marketing Green Guerrilla marketing strategies already started picking up in Indian market. Few of them are-

·    Idea’s “Save paper Campaign”- The company started the campaign of “Save paper, Go Green” with two partners Barista and Café Coffee Day where customers were asked to avoid the paper billing and use cell phones.
·   CASHurDRIVE- This company has tied up with all major taxi services like Meru, Mega, Easy, Fast Track and they drive a campaign “Clean India” for Government of India, where the ads are placed on the vehicle.
·      Admybin- A small start-up company has come up with the innovative idea of placing garbage bin with the company’s logo and message helping to promote any brand along with keeping city clean. The company is even planning to introduce smart bin which will give real time data on the waste level in the bin.

There might be challenges for the marketers to come up with innovative Green Guerrilla marketing strategies as copying or imitating previous strategies won’t be able to generate interest. But keeping in mind the behaviour, practices and technical habits of millennials and Gen z, there are huge possibilities of creating engaging, environment friendly advertisements with small budget.
Ø  Gupta, H, Singh, S., (2017), “Sustainable Practices through Green Guerrilla Marketing – An Innovative Approach”, RISUS – Journal on Innovation and Sustainability, São Paulo, v. 8, n.2, p. 61-78, Jun/Ago. 2017 – ISSN 2179-3565
Ø  Levinson, J. C., & Harowitz, S. (2010). Guerrilla Marketing: Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey

Ø  Simpson, B. J. K. (2011). Book Review: Guerilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet. Journal of Macro marketing, 31(3), 324– 325.
Ø  Vaaland, T.I. and Heide, M. (2005), “Corporate social responsiveness: exploring the dynamics of ‘bad episodes’”, European Management Journal, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 495-506
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