New Innovative Pet Product - Grass Roots Marketing Strategy

Not long ago, I was talking to a very interesting entrepreneur, a blast from the past, someone I'd had apparently met a long time ago, as in a couple of decades ago. Today, he has a new business, a new innovative pet product, one which apparently dog owners completely love. The business is working out well for him, and he was wondering how best to market it. His plan was to use the Internet, and some type of grassroots marketing to improve his word-of-mouth advertising.

His goal was to get 10,000 to 20,000 new customers, as he believed that would provide him with a good lifestyle, a decent profit margin, and help him grow his business, perhaps adding future products, and online catalog to grow the business into something big. I totally applaud this level of entrepreneurial vision, providing the product is safe, legitimate, and fair for all concerned. He assured me it was.

Okay so, how might you go about introducing a new innovative pet product using grassroots marketing strategies in a particular region, or state? Well, there are many things you can do, for instance; if you look at how Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream started out, they gave away free ice cream in all the popular locations and beaches around the country. The free samples they gave away got everyone hooked, and the customers loved it. They built their business out of nothing by traveling around in a motorhome and giving away free ice cream, not only was it fun, but it also worked.

Why am I so sold on this idea? Well, before I retired I ran a franchising company, we franchised mobile carwash units. We were constantly giving away free carwashes to introduce our service at office buildings, and I can tell you that nothing developed our clientele faster or helped us lock in a new customer than a free carwash. Now then, how might we go about grassroots marketing for this pet product you ask?

Well, first we need to determine where best to give out free samples, places where there are lots of dogs, and their owners. Luckily, there is a dog at nearly every other or every third house in our country. But it's best to get people out in the open, when they are with their animals, such as at the park, or dog training or something of that nature. Therefore I suggested that he make lists of potential places, and potential pet influencers.

Wouldn't it be great to have a list of all the dog walkers in his area, all those people that did dog training, dog sitting, and all the clubs that enter dogs in various dog shows? Those are all good places to start. Consider if you will when you go to a park, and you see a bunch of dogs lined up doing training, what if you got there just before the meeting started and talked to all the pet owners? What if you gave them free samples, a flyer, or collected their e-mail addresses with permission to contact them about your products?

In this case it really is grassroots marketing, you are literally going to the park, and talking to the pet owners while their pets are on the grass, and perhaps digging up the roots? Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Marketing Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;


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