Grassroots Marketing

If you run a local small business, then this post is specifically for you!  And, even if you service anywhere in the world, and you’re not set on a specific location, this will get your creative marketing juices flowing so you can increase your business and put my profit in your pockets!!


How many of you have heard of Grassroots Marketing (aka:  Guerrilla Marketing)?  Ok, good.  I see a few hands.

Grassroots Marketing is all about marketing at the street level engaging your customers so they’ll do business with you.

Dan Kennedy and Jeff Slutsky wrote a great book all about Grassroots Marketing called No B.S. Grassroots Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Take No Prisoner Guide to Growing Sales and Profits of Local Small Businesses.

I want to share with you two excerpts that really caught my eye.  These ideas really get your creative marketing juices flowing… and the best thing of all… they work!

In the ninth chapter, Dan talks about Direct Mail (I love love love direct mail, and you should too) and marketing to “New Movers.”  These are new people who just moved into your area (you can purchase lists of new movers from a list broker).

Ok, so what Dan starts talking about is a local, upscale bakery who targets new movers.  You know how it’s customary to give a pie to a new neighbor?  Well… Here is an excerpt from the No B.S. Grassroots Marketing

“…If you really want to get grassrootsy, you’ll go out and personally knock on the door, greet, and gift the new neighbor at their home.  One of our Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle Members who owns an upscale bakery in a relatively small community employs a person who does nothing but take fresh-baked pies and other desserts as welcome gifts to new residents’ homes, getting to several each evening between 6:00 and 7:30 P.M.; no pitch, no coupons, just a welcome gift.  A follow-up letter with a deadline-dated coupon is sent the next day.  This same person takes fresh-baked breakfast pastries to new businesses in the area in the morning.  The conversion rate on a series of mailings with various coupons and offers sent to the new neighbors personally welcomed and gifted in this manner is nearly 90%…”


Did you see what the bakery does? 

  • The bakery gets addresses (and I’m sure they have their names) of new movers.
  • They have an employee personally deliver fresh-baked pies and desserts as welcome gifts with no sales pitch.
  • They send follow-up coupons the next day in the mail (You could even make the coupons personal, adding the names of the new movers to the coupons).
  • The coupons have a deadline.

Do you do any of the above?  Or, are you like most of the businesses out there who go the “one and done” route… Send one sales letter and never follow up.  Send someone to personally deliver baked goods, but never follow up, etc.?

Oh, and can you imagine what these new neighbors are telling their new friends, co-workers, and neighbors?!  They’re talking up a storm about this bakery.

You can do the same!  Just think outside-of-the-box.

There’s also one other tactic, in the fourth chapter, out of many in this book, that I want to share with you to get your creative marketing juices flowing.

Jeff starts talking about a small independent pizza shop that came up with a great grassroots marketing tactic when the national chain, Domino’s Pizza moved to town with their gazillion dollar marketing budget.

So, this small independent pizza shop was having great success with the Yellow Pages.  Well, when Domino’s came along, they got a full page ad in the YP.  This was the first page under “pizza” and the small independent pizza shop’s ad got pushed further to the back.

So, what did they do?

Here’s Jeff’s excerpt..

“…His solution was to run a campaign that said, ‘Bring us the Domino’s Yellow Pages ad, out of the phone book, and I’ll give you 2-for-1 pizzas!’  People were ripping them out and brining them in.  After that campaign, you were hard pressed to find a Domino’s Yellow Pages ad anywhere in their market.  Domino’s was upset.  They had to pay for that ad for another 11 months…”

Oh man!  Now that’s what I call Grassroots Marketing!!!

Look, how many businesses do you know who do the above grassroots marketing tactics?  Probably zero.  Because, like I say… “if you follow the herd you’ll get slaughtered with the herd.”  Be different and watch your profits soar.

Take these ideas and see how you can implement them into your marketing campaigns.

Be sure to pick up your own copy of the No B.S. Grassroots Marketing book by Clicking Here or going to your local bookstore.  If you’re like me, you’ll highlight and tab the cover off the book so you have easy access to the information when you need it.

So, if you’ve done grassroots marketing before, what tactics have you used?  What kind of results did you get?

Be sure to leave your responses in the comments below.



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