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‘Grassroots’ Marketing

For most small businesses, the idea of having a large budget and reaching out to the masses is far-fetched. Most startups and small businesses are pressed for money but maintain the advantage of having time on their hands. Since, let’s face it, no one is rushing to meet a critical deadline or have a product ready to present to the board.

The advantage of “grassroots’ marketing is the ability to be more creative and more personal.

Many small businesses have found that the idea of social-media marketing is helpful in getting their product or service out into the public in order to get feedback and public awareness. The whole idea of grassroots is “from the bottom up.” In addition, being involved in a little bit of everything could lead to the next big thing to help a business grow or thrive in any competitive market.

One example of such a success is the price-comparison service Like.com, which was acquired by Google in 2010. Tara Hunt, who helped Like.com during its establishment, discussed how with a monthly budget of only $5,000, she was able to build strong relationships with individuals and build a strong user base in just six months. In today’s world, however, with so many new startups, it is important for companies to shoot around and see what sticks. It only takes one right person to find interest in a certain business, and from there, goals can be achieved.

An additional example of how important it is for a business to reach its target audience is Happy Family, a leading premium brand of organic baby and toddler meals in the US. By talking to their target audience of young moms and healthcare professionals, they were able to drive interest and spark conversation throughout playgrounds and supermarkets. Although the mom-to-mom network provided the base for Happy Family, no grassroots company could really take off these days without networking in both national and international arenas.

With the help of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+—along with blogs and forums—grassroots marketing can be more efficient, but also more competitive. Still, in contrast to paying large amounts of money on advertising or PR, using these online tools is an advantage that small businesses can use. An important note is to aim far and high while maintaining a creative edge over larger competitors. However, it is also important to stay patient and keep a strong customer base, even as business expands.

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