Believe it or not, there is a lot that your grade school science classes and current content marketing job have in common. The things we learned in our younger years can easily be applied to any marketing profession. Let’s explore this further.

Take Two Things that Bond to Make Something Vital

Or better yet viral. Just like in Chemistry class. The bonding of atoms, matter and elements can make something truly unique, amazing and sometimes destructive.

Viral marketing is a broad concept, but it essentially utilizes online social networks to share content. Guerrilla marketing uses unconventional advertising (which often doesn’t appear to be marketing) to spread ideas. Put these two together and you have online marketing done in a highly innovative way, which is not obviously an advertisement. That’s exactly what Rockstar Games did when they were marketing Grand Theft Auto 5.

They went as far to parody and re-create their own social networking and apps. They parodied Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Scientology. They sprinkled their game with parody apps and hidden Easter Eggs to keep engaging audiences. The result was increased buzz on social media when gamers discovered them and news coverage from sites outside of the typical tech and gaming niche. Even Business Insider covered the Grand Theft Auto parodies.

Rockstar’s approach made sense because of the target market. Grand Theft Auto 5 players are generally tech-savvy and active on the Internet, vastly improving the success of a viral campaign. While the Easter Eggs definitely helped with marketing, they were also engaging content built into the game. Remember: the chances of a campaign ‘going viral’ are miniscule and the returns are unpredictable, so this move to focus on unique content in the game and enjoying the marketing as a side effect was a considerably low-risk move by Rockstar.

Test Your Hypothesis Often

Despite this, Rockstar still used traditional advertising techniques – such as trailers, billboards and sponsorships – for the core of their campaign. This highlights the importance of making guerrilla marketing a tactic, not your entire strategy.

Through testing and experimenting a company like this pin-pointed exactly what it needed to do to reach its target audience and beyond. Rockstar has game releases nailed down pat, and anything they do on top of their traditional efforts are mere experiments.

Remember Science 101

The sun does not revolve around you, you revolve around the sun. In this metaphor the sun is your client, your industry, your niche. If you’re adamant about staying in your old ways or trying to make your clients and industry conform to you then you’ll inevitably be left behind.

Marketing is a soft science, what works for one brand can (and will) flop with another. What works for one campaign in a company might fail for the next. Instead of focusing on a campaign, study your audience. Why did they like the campaign? What don’t they like? How can we appeal to them more? The more you know about your audience the more likely you’ll be able to create a campaign that appeals to them.