Last Sunday I went to the Patriots game here in Boston. The guys I go with always park and tailgate outside of the stadium parking lots like thousands of others. Once you are outside the stadium grounds, it becomes a grass roots marketing haven.
Not five minutes after we setup for tailgating, we were approached by a new natural cereal called Barbara’s. They came complete with a cart full of free samples. Not only did they give us all the samples we wanted but they asked if they could take our picture with the pretty “cereal girl”. My guess is this would be the follow up to post on the web. For a small company trying to market in this big world, this is a good option. Visiting crowds of people, being able to talk one on one, and offer free samples is real marketing.
Once we left the lot and headed for the stadium, we realized how many different grass root marketers were out and about. Some were even ambush marketers. For example, Schick was giving away coupons for free shaving cream and razors. I’m sure the Gillette Stadium peeps were not all too happy about that. After the game, Pepsi was giving away free samples of Pepsi Max. This worked well for the walk back to the car.
How much grass roots marketing do you do in your business? In years past most of our industry limited our grass roots efforts to handing out flyers. We should take this up to the next level. What about giving something away? It could be as simple as a coupon for something free at the venue. Instead of some kid just handing out flyers, how about using someone who can strike up a conversation about the product. Remember, that before the internet this is how it was done.