Consumers are increasingly demanding a personalized connection with the world’s biggest brands. In turn, companies like Verizon, Lidl, and Nestlé are launching in-person activations to connect with customers on this intimate level.
How are brands executing these campaigns successfully? A hyperlocal, grassroots approach to experiential marketing.
What Grassroots Marketing Looks Like:
Grassroots Experiential Marketing is a highly targeted engagement with a specific consumer demographic in a precise location. Brands immerse themselves into local communities through a variety of targeted activations — pop-up shops, sampling, community events, workshops, demos, and more. The focus is on engaging with a particular niche or group of people, rather than a larger campaign designed to make a more generalized impact.
When Verizon Fios looked to launch a localized campaign across the country, we targeted individual neighborhoods through pop-ups, home shows, event and sports sponsorships, and retail mall kiosks. What started as a brand awareness play eventually morphed into a key sales driver.
What’s crucial to note about these events is that the brands behind them are never the direct focus of the action—they’re all about community enrichment. To be successful in grassroots marketing, it’s paramount to put the community first. By creating a positive impression in a community, brands can tap into that small group of loyalists to more meaningfully support larger, widespread campaigns in the future.
Nestlé Cailler partnered with Pierce to activate two bi-coastal custom pop-up experiences in New York City and San Francisco. These bi-coastal campaigns were designed to launch Nestlé Cailler’s premium chocolate brand in the U.S., but it also fueled brand momentum, sales, and awareness nationwide.
The Key to Grassroots Marketing:
Brands should be inclusive and integrated in the community, not invasive. It takes time to identify who you’re engaging with on a personal level and to understand the community’s DNA. What’s most important to your target? No two neighborhoods are the same.
Further, remember your bigger brand picture. How does a targeted activation fit into a larger marketing plan?
For example, Lidl supported their U.S. launch through a combination of hyperlocal marketing and larger grand openings with coupled with partnerships. Four-day events featured branded food trucks, samplings, random acts of kindness, and more.
Move Forward with Your Next Hyperlocal Campaign:
Successful grassroots marketing requires tailored activations that leverage community insights. It’s not always easy or time-effective to get those insights on your own. We can help.