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12 Grass Roots Ideas to Skyrocket your Local Store Marketing Efforts

Advertising Tips

Are you looking for innovative ways to establish a grass roots connection between your business and your local neighborhood? Here are a few tips on how to boost your local store marketing:

1.Calendars and pens for customers

grass roots ideas local store marketing

Credit: Columbus CEO

One of the best ways to spread word about your business is by giving away free items. In particular, freebies such as pens and calendars are widely used and often prominently exposed by customers in their homes and offices, making them a great grass roots idea for marketing.

Just ask Huntington Bank about their pen marketing.

2.Loyalty program

A great way to infiltrate a local market and compete with more recognized brands with a national presence is by establishing a loyalty program. The type of program depends on your business, but it could range from being as simple as a stampable paper card to a plastic card allowing the customer to accumulate points. For more ideas about loyalty programs, take some tips from Menchies or Hungry Howie’s.

3.Advertising flags

grass roots ideas advertising flags

Sometimes establishing a presence in your local market requires making a physical mark. When a local bakery wanted to make a splash with their grand opening, a row of advertising flags was just the thing to get them noticed. Instead of potential customers driving right past their location, they noticed them and stopped in.

And what happens when people notice your location? This.

4.Vehicle advertising

Placing your brand and the name of your company on your vehicles is a great way to spread knowledge of your business around town. Make sure to add a catchy slogan which reveals what your company is all about and include your website or Facebook page link so that people can look into your range of products or services. For more ideas about vehicle advertising, take a look at 5 Things about Wrap Advertising that May Surprise You.


grass roots ideas giving away t shirts

Credit: Sujan Patel

Have your employees wear t-shirts with your company’s logo or a catchy slogan that will catch your customers’ attention. As your brand expands, customers will start wanting to purchase your shirts, giving your business exposure to an even wider circle of people.¬†Think t-shirts won’t work for you? They’ve been the single most important marketing method for this company. And they have the results to prove it.

6.Themed days

A great way to attract new customers and retain the existing ones is by establishing themed days. For instance, you could introduce a discount for senior citizens on certain days of the week, a back-to-school discount once a year or even giveaways on certain occasions that are relevant for your business. Because any day is a good day to celebrate.

7.Establish a connection with a local charity

Charity work is a great way to give back to the community as well as establish a connection between you/your employees and locals. You might choose to organize a food drive, give a percentage of your profits to a specific charity or feature a charity in your local business by collecting donations. GameStop partnered took on an inspiring partner for the month of April, and it proved to be a win-win-win for everyone involved.

8.Buy ad space in a local paper

One of the best ways to infiltrate a local market is by promoting your business in the local paper. You could either do so in the traditional way — by buying ad space — or by sending your products to the relevant news department for review. That way, a news editor might decide to do a feature about your business or your products, putting you in the spotlight. If you do decide to advertise in the newspaper, this article has some great tips on spending, ROI and the ad itself.

9.Invite a local celebrity to your store

celebrity endorsement grass roots ideas

Credit: Under Armour

Star power is a very effective marketing tool. Its primary benefit is that it draws in potential customers — the celebrity’s fans — who normally might not have come to your store. This allows them to explore your business’ products first-hand and potentially widens your customer base.

Look for local chefs, children’s book authors or even local preforming arts groups.

Check out this most successful celebrity list for some jaw dropping endorsements.


A great way to give people a chance to try your products is to give out samples. There are various ways to do this, from giving them away to customers in front of your store to collaborating with non-competing brands in the neighborhood to give them away to their customers. In any case, samples are a great way to have people try your products without having to physically come in to your store. When it comes to grass roots ideas, samples, take a front seat.

11.Street art

grass roots ideas street art

Depending on the type of business you’re running, an innovative way to draw attention to your business is through street art. For example, stencils on the street asphalt in your neighborhood are a cheap and effective grass roots marketing tool. Also, decorating the facade of your store with street art can be a good way to attract attention to your business.

Check out how street art promotes a running shoe store and a local community.

12.Participate in a local market

Local markets are periodic events that enable small, local businesses to showcase their products and expand their customer base. Ask around when your next local market is going to be held and find a way to incorporate your products or services.

And, any grass roots ideas list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the power of videos. Consumers love videos. So whether its playing at your location or just posted on your Facebook page, videos get you noticed.

For more insights on how to make marketing work for you, check out our white paper on location based, on-site advertising.

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