June 29, 2020

5 Reasons Why: Grassroots & Proximity Marketing

Grassroots marketing is one of the oldest tricks in the book, outperforming trendy tech at every turn—now more than ever. As modern campaigns splinter into a thousand mediums, it remains the most efficient vertical in the industry.


In one recent study,
58% of consumers said they had searched for a product or brand online as a direct result of seeing out-of-home advertising. Even so, questions linger about what defines a grassroots tactic, how to best deploy one and why brands should bother with activating them.

1. Cost Efficiency

Let's be honest, ROI is everything. Even when a campaign's desired outcome is something immeasurable, think brand affinity or awareness, all brand marketing is executed with the intent to gain a net return that outweighs its initial investment. This is where grassroots out-of-home media (OOH) shines the brightest.

With local deployments in data-targeted areas, direct proximity marketing allows for deep impressions with lower costs and shorter turnaround times than more complex omnichannel executions. The efficiency is hard to match.

Reliable statistics emphasize this value; OOH tactics offer the lowest cost per impression on a national level, at a range of $3.38—$8.65 per 1k impressions. Generally, for every $1.00 spent on OOH, brands see approximately a $2.80 sales return, a higher rate than both TV and print advertising.

2. Any Time, Any Place

With most brands being forced to shelve longterm plans for the time being, landing impactful marketing without the need for an extended runway becomes especially attractive. Direct marketing deployed by the Civitas field marketing team goes from inbox to in-market in as little as three days.

These hyper-localized tactics reach into places that traditional media can't. Each Civitas-managed campaign is planned to a level of detail that includes not only zip codes but specific street addresses in almost every instance. Thoughtful targeting, when approached with strong data-backed strategy, helps deliver the real world engagement that marketers crave.

Smart brands also benefit, especially this Summer, by adding distinctly analog tactics to their media mix. After a long Spring spent indoors, Americans have a serious case of screen fatigue. Alternatively, grassroots media is present throughout their daily routine. On doorknobs, roaming sidewalks and in mailboxes, it meets people in moments they don't expect to be marketed to, encouraging retention and interest.

For example, studies show that Americans are planning to travel by roadway more often this Summer, by 72%, boosting the impact of street-level media like mobile billboards, sign spinners, bicycle advertising and yard signs.

3. Full-Service Staffing

It should come as no surprise that street teams are best equipped to activate street-level media. The right personalities can make all the difference. As a top-ranked temporary hiring agency, Civitas puts a high priority on this piece of the equation.

Once a project is approved, expert field marketers build a customized staffing recommendation based on an event or campaign's needs and goals, taking into account available candidates' location, experience and professional strengths. An in-house database filled with specialists, models, mascots, sign spinners, product experts, truck drivers and more helps Civitas put the right people in the right situations.

As a supplemental HR department, Civitas ensures all street team staff is trained on activation logistics, brand etiquette and campaign talking points. They're also brought up-to-speed on all applicable public health guidelines and equipped with PPE.

From metropolitan centers to rural communities, Civitas has activated temporary staff across the country while handling all vetting, interviewing, training and compensation. This process includes all necessary tax paperwork and location permitting, presenting a true full-service hiring model.

4. Collect & Analyze Data

Determining KPIs ahead of deployment is critical in any grassroots campaign. Whether it be email sign-ups, raw distribution counts or consumer engagements, Civitas-hired brand ambassadors are empowered to safely and securely capture campaign measurables through a mix of appropriate tech and interpersonal training.

With proximity media, both brands and their activation partners benefit from clearly defined goals, timelines and expectations. The results speak for themselves, in the form of crystal clear data reporting and post-campaign analysis prepared for each and every quick-to-deploy media project executed on behalf of a Civitas client.

5. Make an Impression

Real world interactions create more concrete memories. In this way, direct marketing tactics also deliver tangible return on experience. People are more likely to react to a smiling face, artwork in-motion or an unexpected placement than a static piece of ambient content.

This remains true when multimedia street-level messaging is layered in a focused area. Higher frequencies of OOH impressions have been proven to make a positive impact on response rates, with 82% of consumers going online after five impressions and 58% going as far to make a purchase.


Civitas is a trusted grassroots and proximity media partner for businesses big and small, delivering with boots-on-the-ground campaigns since 2012. Reach out today to speak with an experienced field marketing professional to pair brand and message with their most effective mix of street-level tactics.


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Planning to reporting, we can help get your messaging to street-level with quick-to-deploy grassroots media.

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