A Grassroots Marketing Definition and Guide To A Winning Strategy

3 min read
April 28, 2016

Grassroots Marketing Definition

For over 12 years we have been the premier grassroots marketing agency in the ethnic space.  But when we tell people what we do, they're often confused.  We needed a working grassroots marketing definition.  

At its core, "Grassroots" is defined at as the most basic level of something, its the lowest common denominator.  Its the essence of something stripped of all the fanfare, the bells and whistles.  The grassroots of our society is the every man, the people.  The grassroots marketing definition we use is the implementation of cost-efficient, unconventional marketing tactics to deliver a messaging to a very targeted group of common consumers that yields high return on investment. 


The Grassroots can often be a moving goalpost so Grassroots marketing strategy is not static.  It has to be fluid and flexible.  Here are a few things to consider when building your Grassroots Marketing strategy.


Be Creative

Creativity is at the center of every Grassroots marketing campaign.  Before devising any strategy sit with your team and brainstorm tactics.  Consider a focus group with your target consumer.  Here is where you win or lose so don't discount the unconventional.  Focus on what people won't be expecting and surprise them. 

Go Big or Go Home

By design grassroots marketing implies risk. By using ideas and implementation rarely witnessed by the target consumer, there's a chance your campaign may miss the mark.  This is why its important to hedge your bets with by keeping your budget low, researching your consumer and being ultra targeted in your approach.   

Be On Target

Word-of-Mouth is the oldest, some argue, still best form of advertising.  Good grassroots marketing, when done right, just enhances the process.  Because of the targeted and cost-efficient approach, Grassroots marketing banks on delighting the target consumer to such a degree they not only convert but become and evangelist for your brand via word-of-mouth.  This creates the residual leads that improve the return on investment.  

If You Build It, They Will Come

If your strategy is sound and executed properly, its important to not be your own worst enemy by meddling or forcing the issue.  You will invariably cause a clog in the machine.  Grassroots marketing marries the best of art and science and when done properly is a thing of beauty.  The buyers journey is an organic process. Step back and watch it work.

Can You Cut On A Dime?

Some of the best Grassroots marketing campaigns weren't conceived that way, well...not exactly.  In planning strategy and executing tactics its important to constantly evaluate what's working and keep an eye out for opportunities to change and improve the campaign in the moment.  Even the best plans won't uncover everything.  Remember, most of what you're executing should be new to you and the consumer so capitalize on positive unintended consequence.  Then brag to all your friends.... "I meant to do that."  

Stay The Course

Just because grassroots is unconventional shouldn't mean its not calculated.  Part of being effective grassroots marketers is being consistent and trusting the process.  Its often hard when you're way out of the box with an idea and not yet seeing the conversions, the tendency is to abandon ship.  If you've done your homework on your audience and execute flawlessly and consistently, you'll win.  


Great grassroots ideas get marketers very excited to implement.  However, its extremely important to establish measurements of success.  Make sure to develop a dashboard with key performance indicators that will help you to evaluate the campaign at a glance. Many grassroots campaigns are hard to define conversions as there often isn't a definitive product sale so be sure to identify what you deem a conversion on the front end.  Consultation requests, meeting set, downloads, sign-ups are all examples to consider.


When asked to draft a grassroots marketing definition, I had to take some time to think as it encompasses almost everything we do.   Its not limited to the field, advertising or even digital.  Its more of an approach.  I hope this guide has given you some ideas on how to get started with your grassroots marketing campaign.  As always, let us know if you have any questions or comments in the section below.  Also, check out this resource for more on how social prospecting can help your digital grassroots marketing strategy.  


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