Tips on Effective Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots marketing at MCSby:  Nancy Garberson, MOL

1. Chat with people – Networking and recommendations are vital as free marketing tools. The average person encounters hundreds of people each day, with the internet and social media this is constantly growing.
Get up right now and go somewhere you can meet people where they want to know what you are selling: join a Rotary Club, get in Kiwanis, go to a Chamber event, be a volunteer, get on a philanthropic board, call any philanthropic group and tell them you want to help, and they will find you a place to meet others to network with.
2. Social media marketing – is still hot and needs to be nurtured with links to blogs, great information, fun posts that show personality, pictures and videos, and much, much more.
3. Be present at local events – This could be a food festival, golf event, baseball game, a free concert, a fun day. You don’t have to actually be there in person (although that helps), but finding these events and advertising your business with flyers or posters is a great way to reach different audiences. Park your logo-ed vehicles in visible locations.
4. Think about brand placement – If you have a booth at an event, offer something more so you can put up signage near an entrance. Find other places at events to have signage, give bags out (with the logo on them) at the farmer’s market – make sure you have pricing inside (a flyer or rack card). Seek ways to have a banner up, get recognized on the loud speaker, or get your logo included.
5. Get creative – Hire a scout troop, hockey team or swim team to drop off your door hangers – covering more ground at a reasonable price. Offer them a reward to use for one of their trips.
6. Hand out balloons – at the farmer’s markets, outside concerts, or have some fans made for outside concerts for the summer. These are very cheap!
7. Use chalk – Write a message on the sidewalk in a busy location about a sale or special.
8. Put a sign or pull-up banner outside your location door to catch attention, use balloons on your door, attach ribbons to your door handle. Change the front of your store/shop as often as possible so it doesn’t start to blend in.
9. Testimonials are still a terrific way to reach audiences – Get a customer to say nice things and then ask if you can use the quote about great service, terrific people, etc.
10. Partner with other businesses – Find another business that reaches the same audience for sales and give out each other’s flyers. Seek out creative ways to promote each other’s business. Be open to new ways of doing things, as we are always learning.

If you need help with your grassroots marketing efforts, give us a call or stop by the office.

Founder, Marketing & Communication Strategies, Inc.