Marketing Speaks to Get Your Customers Listening

Your business exists on a particular street in a particular spot. Like your neighbors, you want more business. Resources are limited, budgets are tight and so is your time. Grass roots marketing has its place in the business world, and for good reason. It can literally be the defining element to your success.

In my years at my ad agency, Limelight Advertising, we had so many managers and owners come through our doors because they knew they should be doing something to drum up business, but were unsure where to start and how to keep it going. Sound familiar?

Now if you’re a location or unit within a larger brand you may be thinking, “Isn’t that what the brand or the franchiser is in charge of?” I don’t know about you, but I don’t like just sitting back and waiting for business to come pouring through the windows.

So let’s go.

10,000 ft Marketing

Knowledge: Know what marketing is going on around your brand in your area. Ask for details of when and where ads and promotions are running. Find out what other marketing support tools are available to you. Ex. Signage, brochures, flyers, direct mail pieces, ad artwork, web elements, mobile apps, etc.

Engage: Raise your hand to be the location featured in an ad or be the primary location for a promotion. Put your location in the hat to test new products and services or marketing campaigns. Ask to be the center of a contest effort. What can you do for corporate or your franchise to help build awareness?

Support: There are marketing dollars out there up for grabs. By being part of co-op marketing programs both parties share in the cost to promote the brand. Many are offered by corporate or your franchise who pay a percentage of your marketing efforts. Your local tourism group or business associations may also have a budget you can access. If none provide co-op marketing, just ask them to. I love the old adage, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for.”

Just Use It: Take all the information above and put it into a plan on how you are going to put it to use. The best place to start is with a calendar. This will give you the skeleton to your marketing efforts. Now let’s put some meat on it.
Grass Roots Marketing

Community: Be an active participant in your local community. Get involved in area business meetings. Go to neighborhood events through attendance, volunteering, and sponsorship, if possible. Know the local teams, schools, clubs, groups, and so on. People like doing business with people they know.

Partnership: Work with the other businesses around you to pull traffic/customers to your area to establish your own marketing consortium leveraging economies of scale. You may want to create an event for the whole block to participate. Go in together on an ad, direct mail piece, door hangers, or a local business web site directory. This will generate awareness in the community about the businesses that are working together to serve them.

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