For anyone starting a new business, marketing and advertising is essential. There’s no point having a fantastic product or service if no-one knows about it. And today’s obsession with social media means that simple marketing strategies have never been more effective and the number of people you can reach out to is endless.
Most big companies have their own marketing teams and often they have huge budgets to utilize, but with start-ups it’s a completely different ball game. So, what do you do when you don’t have the funds or a marketing guru to help you? Just put your creative hat on and push your message across using Grassroots Marketing techniques.
Grassroots Marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your target audience using simple techniques like word-of-mouth, door-to-door sales, competitions - with your product or service forming the prize - and even guerrilla marketing strategies.
Here are some really effective, grassroots marketing techniques that any business, no matter what the budget, can benefit from.
1. Chat to people.
Networking and recommendation is vital as a free marketing tool. The average person encounters hundreds of people a day and with the Internet and social media this is constantly growing. Speaking up and being willing to talk about what you do is what separates entrepreneurs from success and just ‘getting by’. Every person you encounter could potentially be a sale and the key to a vast social network.
2. Be present at local events.
This could be a village fete, a sporting event, 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 specific demographics.
3. Think about brand placement.
Today we’re constantly bombarded with brand messages, so we’ve learned to filter out some of the noise. You need to think about where and how you position yourself and by targeting busy areas where your key demographic will be you can get a head start. For example, if you have a product or service that targets college students, get your brand noticed at the entrance to a University campus with flyers, posters or billboards.
4. Get creative.
Because we’re faced with hundreds of brands in our everyday life we tend to recognisrecognize the brands we’re already familiar with and block out the brands that are new to us. To avoid this, you need to be unique when you’re trying to reach new and potential customers. You need to stand out from the crowd.
And this is where it gets exciting; where you can push all the boundaries and get creative with guerrilla marketing. With this style of advertising, low-cost tactics are used in a bid for maximum results - so it’s perfect for start-ups. Unconventional, whacky marketing tactics can have a massive impact.
It’s fair to say that no-one can predict how successful your marketing efforts will be. And there’s a lot of trial and error involved for any new business. Everything we’ve talked about above can get the word out very cheaply, but the rate of your success really comes down to how much effort and consistency you apply when you’re reaching out. Short-term sacrifice for long-term gain.