BlogMarketingWhat is Grassroots Marketing?

What is Grassroots Marketing?

A grassroots marketing campaign is a marketing strategy that is targeted to the community. It usually involves word of mouth, family and friends, etc., rather than traditional advertising. For example, a company might invite all their employees’ families to receive free samples before they are released to the market or make sure they use local celebrities to attract more people.

Different companies have different ways of reaching out to the community with grassroots marketing campaigns.

Some examples include hosting street fairs, giving away samples of items for free, or handing out coupons for future purchases. These strategies aim to increase awareness about a business by appealing directly to consumers who are already familiar with it because it has become a popular product within their community.

For example, a company may give out free samples of their new food product to residents and share them with family members. Groundwork marketing is a very effective way of increasing awareness about the business because they appeal directly to people who live in their area and can describe how useful they find the product. Another strategy is word-of-mouth marketing, which includes inviting neighbors and friends to test the new food product.

One successful grassroots campaign was undertaken by K-Mart when they circulated a national coupon campaign throughout an entire town. As a result, many coupons were placed on different products such as shampoo, cereal, etc., for those who purchased those particular items.

This helped build community efforts by encouraging families to shop at K-Mart together and giving them multiple chances to save money on their favorite products.

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They also had many grassroots events that involved the community, such as a free babysitting service for children. At the same time, parents shopped at K-Mart or school supply giveaways throughout the year. Many people saw this as a supportive tactic because K-Marts provided valuable services to the town of Ridgefield.

How does it differ from word-of-mouth marketing?

Grassroots marketing is different from the word of mouth marketing because it is usually a one-time interaction between a company and a consumer. In contrast, word of mouth can be ongoing interaction. Another main difference between these two types of marketing is that grassroots campaigns target communities, while word-of-mouth campaigns may include people from different social backgrounds.

In addition, grassroots is usually less expensive than word of mouth because they simply distribute samples for free. Moreover, it may be more effective because they are directly tapping into a vast number of people in the community.

On the other hand, word of mouth is not as targeted towards communities and mainly focuses on referring consumers to another business. It can be an ongoing interaction between companies or friends/family that helps increase brand awareness through referrals.

Word of mouth also requires constant effort, meaning that companies need to constantly engage their customers to retain loyal supporters. In contrast, grassroots marketing can build success over time without additional work after initial efforts are created.

Word of the mouth involves receiving referrals from family members or acquaintances rather than being handed out by random strangers. It can be an ongoing interaction between businesses or friends/family that help increase brand awareness through referrals. It requires constant effort, meaning that companies need to engage their customers to retain loyal supporters constantly.

Grassroots marketing is a form of advertising a company may use to increase the number of people aware of their product. They usually accomplish this by hosting events and giving out items for free so consumers will have a chance to test them out and hopefully spread the word around town.

In addition, grassroots marketing is more targeted towards local communities, while word of mouth marketing is less focused on where it comes from and spreads all over social groups.

What makes a successful grassroots marketing campaign?

Grassroots marketing is the most effective when it comes from someone who is not being paid for their services. Instead, people are acting on their own to influence others in their community. In addition, a community must have strong ties between members.

It can’t be random strangers receiving samples or products because they may not care much about the product and instead will share with other people who happen to benefit from it.

This type of marketing is usually powered by friends, family, or members of the community that are willing to help out and try free samples. They can be important people in town, such as lawyers, teachers, local celebrities, etc.

What advice would you give someone who wants to promote their business using grassroots?

Grassroots marketing is an effective way for businesses to grow since it does not require much money like other advertising types. This is why many entrepreneurs rely on this method to get their businesses started. However, there are some things they should keep in mind when designing their campaign: 

  • The message must reach all members of the targeted community (i.e., don’t focus only on young adults if you’re trying to get older people as well)
  • The message must be simple (i.e., avoid using long words or complicated phrases that may confuse consumers)
  • If possible, include a video with your written message to make it more appealing.
  • ‘Follow the 80/20 rule’ meaning, 20% of marketing efforts will create 80% of results while the remaining 80% of actions will only bring in 20% of what you want to accomplish.

Without continued support and effort made by both parties, grassroots marketing can lose its effectiveness. However, it is usually effective when used continuously because word will spread about how great the products are.

There is no specific time frame on how this sort of campaign should last to be a success. It usually depends on the product that is being advertised and how much effort is put into getting the word around town.

In addition, when companies have been using grassroots marketing for a while, they tend to lose steam quickly because many consumers may feel like they’ve already heard their message before and don’t want to listen to it anymore.

In this case, it would be wise to change up the campaign with something new to get attention again. But, at the end of the day, if done right, grassroots marketing can be an effective way for local businesses or even companies trying to get their name out there in general (i.e., restaurants trying to offer free samples) can from since customers are more likely to give the product a chance if it’s free.


Compared with Word-of-mouth marketing, grassroots marketing is better because it helps promote community-wide events that look for very targeted segments of the population. On the other hand, Word-of-mouth marketing can spread to all types of social groups and has a more long-term experience than one-time encounters with different individuals in your community. These campaigns are successful ways for businesses to increase awareness about their product while also initiating conversations between friends and family members.

A data-driven professional with more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO, PPC, automation, and so on. Privately tea lover, gamer, tech nerd, and traveler. I love writing about marketing!

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