Although small businesses rarely have large marketing budgets to particpate in media buys and event sponsorships there are effective ways that a small business to integrate with their community.
A major component of iPartnerMedia's growth in the first five years is our commitment to engaging with various community organizations such as chambers of commerce, schools, professional organizations, economic development and charitable, non-profit organizations.
Newer companies without big marketing budgets can follow the four tips below to do some grass roots marketing themselves:
1) Be a leader not a follower
Take on a leadership position within organizations rather than just writing a sponsorship check.
2) Identify strategic alliances
Pursue supporting community organizations that have a tangental fit with your own. Seek means of trading sponsorship for in-kind services which do not require outlay of cash.
3) Do your homework
Try before you buy and spend time with an organization before going "all-in." Get to know a little about their board of directors, financial stability, ability to execute.
4) Give to get
Having a philosophical approach that more giving will result in rewards downstream. Giving is not defined only as monetary. Time, talent and treasure are all valid forms of giving. Use your unique skills and expertise to add value.