What is Grass Roots Marketing?
Essentially, Grass Roots Marketing is the complete opposite of mass marketing, which is when a product message is broadcasted to the general population with the hopes that it will move a small group of people to take action. The idea behind grass roots marketing is to be able to directly connect with a service or product’s most likely potential customers where they work, relax and shop.
One of the most appealing aspects of grass roots marketing strategies is that it is much more affordable, it is much more targeted and it can yield much more significant results for your efforts.
Grass Roots Marketing Examples
To fully understand what exactly grass roots marketing is here are some of the most traditional forms in action.
Example 1: Signs
Due to the huge cost that is associated with mass marketing efforts, and the simple fact that many small businesses are completely community driven, the grass roots method has become extremely popular. One of the most basic, and traditional, forms of this type of marketing is to simply attach a sigh advertising your business to a telephone pole. One huge success store that started out in this manner is 1-800-GOTJUNK. What started as a small, local business is now a nationwide recognized name. His word of advice to other marketers using this method: place your sign at least nine foot up the pole to prevent them from being torn down by people walking by.
Example 2: Demonstration a Product
Chances are you have seen an in-store product demonstration before. Even larger box stores, such as Costco, use this method of allowing customers to test and sample some merchandise to encourage a purchase. A successful example of this method is when the Holy Cow brand of cleaning products provided demonstrations at Ace Hardware locations by showing how their product beat competing brands. Another classic example that may not be seen as often today is the old Coke versus Pepsi product demonstrations.
The Evolution of Modern Grass Roots Marketing Strategies
The fact is that grass roots marketing efforts are used by a large number of businesses, both big and small, but got its humble beginning back in the day of the door-to-door salespeople that walked neighborhoods providing examples for vacuums, the Encyclopedia Britannica and even Avon makeup products. The methods of these marketing efforts are clearly seen in modern grass roots marketing efforts and show that this is a timeless effort that if you have yet to use it, should give it a try.
Advantages of Grass Roots Marketing
When you implement the use of this type of marketing you can have a method that will help to cut through all of the clutter of today’s media. There are millions of websites, thousands of television stations and other sources of media vying for consumer’s attention. People that are in local communities have the feeling that brands are not trying to reach out and actually engage with them, and this is what grass roots marketing efforts are all about. It provides a big brand company the ability to create a local feel and then engage their targeted customer.
The Importance of Local Engagement
Modern marketing is oftentimes cold and impersonal. You receive email blasts and read sales pitches through Twitter and Facebook, but the reaching out and shaking someone’s hand, asking them what they need, has been lost and in some cases completely forgotten. However, when you make the effort to put this back into your marketing efforts you can change the dynamic and bridge the gap that may be present.
How to Create a Successful Grass Roots Marketing Campaign
The key to creating a successful campaign is to know how you need to activate it. There are a number of businesses that will just go out and try a large media blast or email campaign; however, the majority of the people that are involved in a grass roots type of marketing campaign are volunteers, therefore you need to ensure that you are reaching out to them directly. They want to feel as though you care about them at the actual local level. Just creating a TV commercial or sending out an email blast is not enough – you have to be willing to establish something that is in the actual community that you are targeting.
Taking the Next Step
Grass Roots marketing efforts are most commonly seen when politicians are trying to get elected to office. They want to communicate and reach out to the local audience in order to obtain more votes than the other guy. This is the same for businesses – you want to gather more attention on the local level than your closest competition. Using the information and insight here you can clearly see the benefits of creating your very own grass roots marketing effort to reach out and engage with local, targeted consumers.
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