Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ensuring ROI Through Grass-Roots Marketing

Someone e-mailed me the following question on the blog that I wanted to tackle: "What kind of promotions or grass roots marketing would a business put on to make sure they get a worthy ROI?"

This is a great question, but a little open ended. The first item to address is what is the final goal? Is it generating exposure in a company or product, securing sales leads or increasing product sales? That goal will help guide the marketing plan.

Another issue to consider is who is the target market? Is it teenagers, which means most of your marketing will be online, or is it adults, which means you may use more traditional forms of marketing.

From a grass roots perspective, from research and personal experience these are the activities that will generate the strongest ROI.

• Word of Mouth – it’s simple and easy and if done correctly, it can generate huge interest in a company. Tell a select group of “connected” people about the new product or business. Offer an incentive for them to tell all their friends. Did you hear about Wii’s marketing plan? Nintendo gave the product to a family, a game enthusiast and a soccer mom in 10 cities around the country to generate word of mouth exposure for the gaming console.

• Event experience – It’s amazing how much success a company can have by holding an event to introduce a product or generate sales leads. It can be something as simple as closing down a restaurant for the night, inviting potential clients and showing samples of the product. Now, if you have money to host an event at an athletic event, it’s possible to draw additional clients or even potential clients who are higher up on the food chain. People are always willing to talk business at a sporting event.

• Buddy Up to Bloggers – Like it or not, there are a plethora of bloggers out there who have the ability to "make noise" in a certain industry. They may have a loyal following who read their blogs daily. If you know of any bloggers who cover the space the business is in, introduce them to the business or product. Even better, invite them to attend a private event with other bloggers and media.

• Media Relations – If done correctly, it does not take a lot of money to generate press coverage in local media outlets or in vertical trade publications. Media relations should be a component of any marketing plan. If you have a product that can be reviewed and beta customers who are willing to talk to the media, this is an easy way to generate exposure and provide decent ROI for a company. The sales team can take the reviews to show potential clients the benefits of the product or business.

This is a basic list that you can never go wrong implementing, depending on all the factors of the launch. I believe it’s always smart to have one or two safe ideas as well as one "out of the box" idea to include in any marketing plan.

Anyone should feel free to let me know if I am completely off base.


At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Nick said...

Thanks for the quick response!


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