Grassroots marketing, sometimes known as guerrilla marketing, is an unconventional and new-age form of marketing. Instead of launching a big-budget advertisement that you hope will appeal to many people, companies using grassroots marketing target their efforts to a small group. The group will, in turn, spread your message to a much larger audience. It’s a way of recruiting your customers to do the work for you and requires very little funding.
Bootstrap companies (those starting with little or no external capital) and start-ups are most likely to use grassroots marketing. Like growth hacker marketing, it is a more cost-effective and concentrated form of marketing. Also, like growth hacker marketing, this method targets a very specific market.
Grassroots marketing has become more successful through the expansion of social media, as people can easily share and post about a product or movement. The key to grassroots marketing is to get your customers passionate and excited about what you are offering them. Then, they are naturally compelled to help spread the word. Sort of like a cult following.
Some examples of grassroots marketing include:
- A pet store sending dog bones out with thank you cards.
- Hosting a free event or crash-course on the industry you’re in.
- Offering an influencer (YouTube/internet star) a variety of your products and incentives in exchange for them promoting you on their channels.
- Encouraging people to refer your company to their friends through a variety of rewards and bonuses.
At the end of the day, customers, and people, in general, appreciate the attention. Major corporations can’t interact with every specific sub-group of customers they have, while smaller businesses with a target market can. The internet is changing how we market. With that in mind, I firmly believe that the days of billboards, tv commercials, and sidebar ads are over. The new way of marketing is personal, creative, cheap, and defined.