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Objectives of the Study


Discuss about the Controversial Marketing Communications.

Marketing communication is the section of the marketing department of a business organization management that deals with the communication of the organization with the end customers. There are several medium of communication in the marketing field: advertising, public relation, digital marketing and many more. The objective of communication depends upon the product or service that the company is promoting, sometimes the objective is a launch of a new product where as sometimes it is based on increasing the sales of a particular product there can be several reasons. In order to stand out in the communication process there is a continuous pressure on the organization to come up with something unique in terms of content visualization, audio etc.  A company has to be constantly under the limelight in order to retain the recall value with the existing customers and to build potential customer base. Therefore in pursuit to stay in the minds of the people organizations take a step ahead and create controversies in the content or the visual representation of advertising or take a risky public relation stunt which makes the headline. It is said that any publicity is good publicity, but bad publicity has proven to be bad for the organization in many cases. Again creations of controversies have also created success in the communication process (Levinson 2007).

Market rivalry or competition in the industry is common for all business organizations management. The idea is to grab the majority of the market share in terms of sales.  Business organizations are in a constant pursuit to standing out and make a unique statement in the crowded market competition with the help of marketing approaches which are different and catchy. Companies focus on the marketing communication is to garner the attention of the existing or potential customers as well as other stakeholders, it is believed that the memory of the public is short term and the exclusivity of the product or services has to be reminded to the population over and over again.

Guerrilla marketing is a term that is gaining popularity in the recent past because of the aforementioned reasons. This is a marketing approach that is taken up by the business organizations all over the world which involves strategies in the marketing process which are controversial in nature. The effectiveness of this approach of marketing has garnered a lot of success and popularity, but at the same time it also has significant challenges and issues which have to be addressed before stepping in to this marketing process (Hutter and Hoffmann 2011).

Controversial Marketing Communication

This study is being conducted focusing on the guerilla marketing approaches. In this study the point of focus is going to be the case of Woolworths. Woolworths is a popular chain of retail supermarket in Australia. The company is going to be studied for gathering in-depth understanding and analysis of the success and failure of the aspects that are associated with the controversial marketing approach taken by the company. The core ides of this study and research project is to find out the dynamics of controversial or guerrilla marketing approaches in order to recognize the aspects that establish success or failure of the approach (Kraus et al. 2009).

Based on the type of products and services the company has to offer the marketing tactics change from one organization to another. Communicating with the stakeholders of the company is very essential for the organization to understand their expectation and grievances and improve the quality of the offering. This study will be conducted to understand the effectiveness and the impact of the guerrilla marketing approaches of Woolworths.

The aim of this research study is to analyze and understand the dynamics of controversial marketing communication in order to examine the factors associated with the success or failure of this approach.

The following are the objectives of the study to fulfill the aim of the research paper:

  1. To analyze the notion of controversial marketing communication
  2. To identify the success and failure factors of this marketing approach
  3. To evaluate the case of Woolworths for gaining insights

Contemporary, unconventional and unique are the ways of the new marketing approaches that are taken up by various business organizations all over the world. It is one of the most trending and popular marketing tactics in today’s time. In order to create and develop an alluring brand personality companies have considered executing the controversial marketing approaches. It is also believed to strengthen the position of the company in the highly competitive market. Guerrilla marketing calls for attention in a desperate way it is sure to gather attention (Levinson 2007). Nevertheless, one of the major problems of this type of marketing strategies is that it makes way for several debates and can cause failure of the campaign. Nevertheless, there are also cases where the controversial or guerrilla marketing tactics work quite successfully for the company and paves the way for it to reach the exclusive market.

Therefore this topic of research is very relevant at this point of time as it is actively implemented by many organizations. The case of Woolworths will provide understanding and insight about the subject and its effectiveness (Kraus et al. 2009).

Research Methodology

The result of this study is that will deliver a theoretical framework for examining the factors that determine the success and failure of controversial or guerrilla marketing by studying the approaches applied by Woolworths. The idea of marketing is to make potential and existing end customers aware of the product and services that the company has to offer or to promote an existing idea. Creating a controversy automatically garners attention. Though the response of customers and marketing managers that are being surveyed a relation can be drawn to analyze the effectiveness of this approach and how it can positively affect the future of the company (Levinson 2007).

With the help of this study business organizations will gain knowledge about this contemporary concept of marketing management . Marketing teams of company’s can use this analysis to understand weather the dynamics of their organization is compatible with this approach of marketing. Teams can also identify and understand the risk quotient that is associated with the controversial marketing.

The element of surprise and evidences of creativity is the fundamentals on which the guerrilla marketing approach is based. The term that is used it describe the controversial from of marketing is derived from the guerrilla warfare technique which includes ambushes, interruption, raids and most importantly the elements of surprise. Similarly, the marketing style also includes high energy and imagination as mentioned before. When a company communicates with the stakeholders it is a mass communication process. One of the main reasons for this approach to gain popularity is that it is deemed by experts to be budget friendly. The actual investment that is required in this marketing is a creative mind and an intellectual thought process. The execution of the process depends on the idea which does not have to be expensive (Hutter and Hoffmann 2011).

The message that is denoted in the diagram is the marketing approach in this case the controversial marketing technique. In return the company garners attention, increases the knowledge about the products and service among the stakeholders. Manage to gather media coverage as well which in turn acts like a bonus.

In order to conduct the study and to understand the dynamics of the researcher a procedure and plan of action has to be implemented so that the researcher does not waste time and money that has been invested in this research. Any research includes two basic types of process secondary research and the primary research which is followed by the differentiation of the process in between qualitative and quantitative approach.

Literature Review

This is a part of the research that is conducted by refereeing and analyzing the works of academics and scholars in the subject of the paper. This helps the researcher lay down the fundaments of the primary research. Literature review is a summary of the previous work that is been carried out in the similar topic the research has put down the important points and insights gathered from the previous work under the heading of literature. The literature consists of information and findings that are relevant to the study this might include previous concepts, graphs, ideas and practices can be referred concerning this marketing communications and its types as well as understanding the dynamics. To understand the significant aspects and factors that are associated with controversial marketing tactics the research will get help from the existing literature. A detailed theoretical background is very necessary in order to understand a concept and then build hypothesis on the basis of the understanding this can be derived from the previous work. The secondary research tools that will be used are taken from academic material, like books, journals, credible newspaper articles and web sources (Johnson and Christensen 2000).

This is the step that will be taken after the literature is complete and enough knowledge is gathered regarding the topic and regarding the current updates about the study. Now, to proceed with the research, practical information and data in real time is required in order to understand the current situation on the practices of controversial marketing communication. To study the concept of guerilla or controversial marketing the case of Woolworths is chosen to get a closer insight about the approach by focusing on one organization instead of many. This will also help us determine the success rate of the approach for the company. The tools that re going to be used of the purpose of collecting primary data are:

Interview: This is a qualitative approach of research in which the research is focused on understanding the perspective of a person who is associated with the topic of research. Interview is an interpersonal communication process which helps the researcher gathers a lot of information. Some of the prerequisites of an Interview are: background knowledge, preparation of questions, developing interpersonal skills etc. marketing managers of the organization will be interviewed to understand and analyze the marketing approach of Woolworths. A structured to the point questionnaire will be prepared for interviewing the managers and their feedbacks will be recorded on the guerilla marketing approaches of Woolworth. These will give the researcher an in depth idea about the practical use of the concept and its effectiveness. The managers can also give an idea about the chances of success and failure of the approach and what are the factors that impact these outcomes.

Primary Research

Survey:  A survey in a research study is a tool that allows a researcher gather quantitative results from the outcomes of the survey. A survey will give out numerical analysis and review on the topic of research this will help the researcher to base the hypothesis of the study on the numeric and logical reasoning. Questionnaire is the tool that is going to be used in order to initiate the survey process, it will consists of few to the point and close-ended questions. The survey  will include 30 marketing executives of the company. With this survey analysis the researcher can come up with charts, numbers and figures to back up the discussion or the qualitative research that has been done earlier (Johnson and Christensen 2000).

The research paper will include sections as described below:

Section one: The first section of the paper is going to consist of the research proposal which will give an idea about the procedures of the research.

Section two: This section is going to consist of a comprehensive definition of the concept of guerrilla marketing techniques; it is also going to discuss the advantages of the process as well as the challenges that are faced by the controversial marketing techniques. The second section is also going to include the literature review that the researcher is going to conduct as secondary research.

Section three: This section is going to display all the information and the data that has been collected from the interviews and surveys that has been conducted by the researcher as primary research.

Section four: in the fourth section the process of analyzing the data and reviewing of the information will be put down in order to keep track of all the findings. This section will be divided in qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis.  

Section five: this is the conclusion and the recommendation part of the research, here the researcher is going discuss about the findings and the outcomes of the research after analysis. After coming to a conclusion the researcher is going to recommend solutions for the challenges that are faced by the approach and how the researcher feels that it can be improved in terms of impact and investment.

Section six: This is the section that is going to include the reference list for the entire research process.

The following schedule explains the course of action in terms of that will be incorporated by the researcher in the study. The study will be conducted in 12 weeks and the breakup of the time is given as follows:



Week 3-4

Week 5-6

Week 7-8

Week 9-10

Week 11-12

Selection of topic

Creation of the research proposal


Literature review/ secondary data


Theme based analysis

Gathering  of primary data


Analysis of data


Conclusions and recommendations

For the researcher to complete the project in the allocated time in the Gantt chart, the researcher will require a budget of $1500. The breakup of the budget is explained below:

  • Literature review on the topic of research will take $500 in order to access libraries online and offline to gather relevant information.
  • Travel expense while conducting the interview will include $500.
  • The survey is going to be taken place in the traditional way as the e-mailing of questionnaire usually gets ignored by the population. The traditional way is more substantial and will required $ 250 to record, print and analyze.
  • The analysis of the data collected may incur some cost of about $250.

Reference list:

Hutter, K. and Hoffmann, S., 2011. Guerrilla marketing: The nature of the concept and propositions for further research. Asian Journal of Marketing, 5(2), pp.39-54.

Johnson, B. and Christensen, L., 2000. Educational research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. Allyn & Bacon.

Kraus, S., Harms, R. and Fink, M., 2009. Entrepreneurial marketing: moving beyond marketing in new ventures. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 11(1), pp.19-34.

Levinson, J.C., 2007. Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your SmallBusiness. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Cite This Work

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