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What Is Grassroots Marketing?


Grassroots marketing is the opposite of mass marketing, which broadcasts a product message to the vast general population in hopes that it will resonate with a small portion of that group. The idea is to directly connect with a product or service’s most logical potential customers at their places of work. commerce and leisure.

Simple Signs

Because of the prohibitive cost of mass marketing campaigns and the fact that many small businesses are community driven, grassroots marketing is particularly popular with small businesses. One of the most basic forms of grassroots marketing is to attach a sign to a telephone pole. The founder of 1-800-GOTJUNK for example was able to kick start his now very large business by using this method, although he quickly realized that one of the keys was making sure the signs were at least nine or ten feet up the pole, so they could not easily be taken down by pedestrian passers by.

Product Demonstration

Another form of grassroots marketing is the product demonstration, usually in-store or at something like a county fair. Even a big box retailer such as Costco has long ago learned the value of allowing consumers to sample the merchandise before buying. In the case of Holy Cow cleaning products, demonstrations at Ace Hardware stores have taken it one step further by showing how much better their item is than competing brands. As in the old Pepsi vs. Coke product demos.

Modern Day Grassroots Marketing

The modern day expansion of grassroots marketing can be traced back to the once ubiquitous door-to-door campaigns for products such as vacuum cleaners, Fuller brushes and Encyclopedia Britannica. One expert distills the success of any grassroots marketing campaign to three simple “F’s”: Feel-Good, Frequent and Free. That middle one is often overlooked; a layered, reoccurring neighborhood driven campaign has the best chance of eventually catching a particular customer when they’re not harried, busy or distracted.


Resources – “Six Grassroots Marketing Success Stories,” August 5, 2008, Retrieved August 19, 2010 from’

About Public Relations – Successful Grassroots Marketing, Retrieved August 19, 2010 from

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