Marketing is said to be the most important component of anyone jumping head first into a new start-up. Having a unique product or service doesn’t really matter if no one knows about it. This is why it is up to you to build your brand and promote your new venture. Most big companies have their own marketing teams or million dollar budgets; this is a luxury you may not possess. When your start-up lacks the proper funds to market your site through mainstream outlets, you are forced to release your creativity on the world and push your message across using various Grassroots Marketing techniques.
Grassroots Marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your intended target audience using word-of-mouth, door-to-door, and even guerrilla marketing strategies.
Here are four tried and tested ways to get physical consumers to your virtual marketplace:
Speak Up: Too many entrepreneurs are scared to speak up about their projects. The average working individual encounters hundreds of people a day. Successful entrepreneurs don’t just pass up opportunities when talking or networking with people outside the office. They are not afraid to walk up to strangers and just start chatting away and talking about their business. This is what separates entrepreneurs from success and just getting by. Every person you encounter could potentially be money in your pocket and access to that persons vast social network. There is no place for you to be shy and sheltered when you are trying to reach the masses.
Events: Every town across the world normally comes together during the year to celebrate random events. This could be a parade, a sporting event, a free concert… anything! Finding these events and marketing your start-up is a great way to market specific demographics. Participate in community events (sponsor yourself) and try to influence the community around you before you take on the world.
Brand Placement: We live in a world of marketing. Everywhere you go, your eyes are digesting hundreds of brands a minute. Do what you can to place appropriate signs, billboards, fliers in high traffic areas where your key demographic will be going to. For example, what if you placed two banners outside a club that faced a University’s main campus if you have a product or service that is targeting college students?
Be Unique: I mentioned in “Brand Placement” that we see hundreds of brands a minute when we are driving around town. Due to the high exposure of brands, our minds have done two things. Recognize the brands we are familiar with and block out the brands we haven’t encountered. This is why you must be CREATIVE and UNIQUE when you are trying to reach, new and potential customers.
Sign Spinning for example is a guerrilla marketing tactic that was developed in 2002 by teenagers who were sick of just holding the signs at the corner of the road. They began trying tricks and shows with their branded sign and people began to notice. That was in 2002, when I see a sign spinner these days I tend to drive on by without remembering who it was for. That’s why it is imperative to develop a unique, unseen marketing tactic for your new business.
No one can really predict to a definite how well your marketing efforts will work. There is a lot of trial and error involved when you first launch. I actually have made a habit at failing at marketing attempts. The good news is, you learn from everything you do and begin to build upon it. Everything listed above can get the word out in your area for little to NO cost to you. It all comes down to how much effort and sacrifice are you willing to put in to your new start-up.