For small business owners who may not have deep pockets to sponsor huge advertisement campaigns, there has to be a way to get the message to the target audience effectively in a cost effective manner. This has led to the development and implementation of several low marketing ideas and tactics, one of such methods is grass root marketing.
This is a marketing strategy that goes in the reverse direction. Conventionally, advertisements are sent as a message through regular channels and it is expected that the message will peculate through the audience from top to bottom. But for grass root marketing, the reverse is the case. Instead of broadcasting your message in hopes that it will appeal to your audience, you target small groups, informing them about product and services and hope that they will spread the message by themselves to a much larger audience. It is a cost effective marketing method.
This form of marketing is based on personal recommendation of a product or service, word of mouth strategy backed by consistently supporting communities to promote their product. The whole idea is to connect with people, bringing your product and services to them at their place of work, leisure or commerce.
Principles of Grassroot Marketing
Over the years, this form of marketing has undergone some transformation. It once relied on a person to person communication, but today, as a result of the internet, significant changes have been made; however, the principles remain the same.
Here are the basic principles for a successful grassroot marketing campaign.
Identification: This form of marketing thrives on the power of personal relationship for the promotion of a product. The message is targeted towards people who would benefit or even seek out the product being marketed. Clients can be attracted through free offers, from there; every other activity of the client is a ripple effect of the message
Effects of Grassroot Marketing: Marketing by word of mouth has been around for ages, however, its effectiveness is a function of how the message is delivered and how fast it gets there. Through effective use of the internet, messages can go viral a lot faster. This boosts the effectiveness of the marketing technique.
Features of Grassroot Marketing: For grassroot marketing to be effective, the message must be easy to read and spread. By taking advantage of customer’s motivation, they can be incited to perform the desired action. Make use of the word “free”. Get your client to notice your free offer.
How To Implement Grassroot Marketing
For some companies, they hire hands to get into the target communities, in a bid to build and maintain relationships with them. The ultimate goal is to build a base of loyal customers who will promote their products. These become valuable resources to the consumers as well as the companies, relating the needs of the community to the companies. This is done to create a win-win situation for all parties involved. Companies can also participate in local events that are organised by the community, placing adverts where people least expects to see them.
Members of the target communities can be encouraged to create positive ripples of the product or services and the company can reward them in turn for it. By doing this, companies are able to reach a wider audience through the recommendation of community members.
Another method of implementing grass root marketing is to participate in an event where you can talk about your product or services. An example is participating in a discussion board for green business ideas which affords you the opportunity to explain how your business contributes to a green environment through the minimization of waste and effluents while quality standards is not altered.
You can create a buzz about your product. This can be done by starting a gossip about your product online, chat rooms and through other medium. You can also create funny yet targeted videos for your products.
How To Make Grassroot Strategies More Effective
For an unending stream of customers, there must be a way to make your grass root marketing efforts more effective. This has to do with implementing strategies for new clients. The most effective means of doing this is to always give something away for free. This could be in form of a branded mug, a free hat with your company logo on it or even a free branded T-Shirt. Another method is to offer discounts to clients who brings in another client.
In order to retain existing clients, companies can encourage them to purchase items at an increased rate by making promotional offers like free products, club cards or anything that is recognized in that community as soon as a client reaches a certain level of purchase. These incentives would help in maximizing expenditure from particular clients. Coupons do the same thing; they can be used as reward to encourage loyalty.
Examples of Grassroot Marketing Strategies
1. Word of Mouth
An efficient way to market your service to consumers is to get people to recommend your goods and services in their immediate sphere of contact. This could take some time to gain momentum, however once it gets going; its effect is very powerful. Companies can commence their own word of mouth campaign by staffs telling others about company services and even hiring people to provide solutions to questions posted by clients on internet message boards.
2. Client Commercial
A well-structured grass root marketing plan can get the participators so involved that they may not know that they are involved in a marketing plan. A boat or car dealer may request clients to take photos or make a video with their newly acquired cars and send it to the company. These videos can then be used as a basis for advertising. Since these are not actors, words will spread faster than normal about the adverts, grass root advertising has already commenced from that point onwards.
3. Offer Product Samples
Take advantage of trade fairs to show case your product and services. If you run a restaurant, you can give up some samples of your product for potential clients to have a feel of your services. For those into pets and veterinary services, you can organize a free animal check-up service.
4. Take Advantage of Local Community Events
Partnering with local community events is a great way to get the news around about your business and services. This is ideal for budding businesses as it does not cost much to place adverts on their handbills. For example, the event managers may charge as little as $20 to place an ad on a flyer that will be given to thousands of people. Even if you did not get a client from this, it is an effective means of establishing your brand name.
5. Sponsor Prizes for Local Contest
Do you know of someone who is giving away prizes at a local contest? You can sponsor some or all of this prizes. Give something great and attractive. It could be a cute gift pack or gift card to your store. The payoff could be worth the effort.
6. Make Use of Referral Bonuses
Exploring the possibility of getting new clients is a great idea as you never can tell who will become a long term customer. In order to maintain a stream of new clients, one grass root marketing strategy is to give out bonus to clients who refer new customers. Give out something that is worth the referral effort. You can even run a contest for clients who refer the most number of clients.
7. Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is a great tool. Once you have gotten used to it, the dividends are great. Develop a corporate Facebook Fan Page and a twitter account. Make sure you pay attention to demographics so you can target clients in your neighborhood. For business owners who are not tech savvy, the services of a social media manager can be hired to manage the accounts for optimum results.
8. Partner With Other Businesses
Most businesses have what is referred to as a chamber of commerce. Make some inquiries and find that which relates to your area of specialty. Join one, by doing so; you will be able to relate to other businesses in the same niche. Seek out creative ways to promote each other’s business. Be open to new ways of doing thing as we are always learning.
9. Charity Events
Running charity events is an outstanding way to get news about your business around and to help the less privileged. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can foot a portion of their bill or send them all the proceeds from a raffle. You could also organize campaigns to raise funds for them. This is a great way of making your presence felt in the neighborhood.
10. Blogging the Right Way
In less than two years, I was able to build my blog’s audience to over 1 million monthly visitors. Go here to see how I did it.
11. Secure An Interview Session In The Local Television
This is a great way of getting in the spot light. Secure an interview with a popular TV host in your area. During such sessions, talk about the benefits of your service to your immediate community. This could be done on TV as well as radio. It gets the word around faster than expected.
The aforementioned techniques are examples of grass root marketing, if taken advantage of and implemented effectively, the benefits surely exceeds the efforts.
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