More leading national brands are taking a local approach to their marketing.
According to one study from the US (a good indicator market for Australasia), local marketing spend has been steadily increasing over the last five years. Why so?
Customers identify with their community
It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing customers and prospects as just a homogeneous collective with similar personal needs and desires. We can overlook that they are part of local communities they identify strongly with and are often extremely passionate about. The more ‘local’ your brand feels, it follows that the more predisposed consumers will be towards it, especially if you show that you share that passion and connection for the local area with them.
Customers search locally
In 2018 a survey of 1,000 smartphone owners in the US found that 82 percent of consumers who use their phone to assist with shopping had done “near me” searches (92 percent for Millennials).
According to the survey, the most prevalent categories for ‘near me’ searches was as follows:
- Food — 84 percent
- Entertainment — 56 percent
- Banking — 50 percent
- Apparel — 41 percent
- Persona care — 38 percent
With the data undeniable, it is vital that brands optimise their marketing for the locations they operate in, especially in the key digital areas including paid search, social advertising, organic social posting, listings management and SEO. If you’re not targeting consumers searching locally, your customers are likely visiting local businesses or national brands that have realised the power of local.
Locally relevant content improves local engagement
At the 2014 Cannes Lions festival last year Sir John Hegarty, founder of advertising agency BBH, said that global advertising “does not work” because people feel it “isn’t a part of their culture and doesn’t connect with them”. Local area marketing tactics such as sponsoring or hosting local events, offering location-specific promotions, featuring local teams and staff in marketing, and engaging local communities on social media can all work to humanise your brand and help you become part of the fabric of the local communities you operate in.
Local reviews have a heavy influence
Something you can’t afford to ignore are online reviews. Over 95% of consumers read reviews about local businesses, and 90% say positive reviews influenced their purchase decision, so managing your local online reputation should be a key focus of your marketing strategy. And don’t think that just because you haven’t set up local Facebook or Google My business pages, you will be immune to negative local reviews. These days customers will create these pages themselves, and their comments and reviews may be going unaddressed.
Traditional local area marketing is easy talk about, but much harder to execute. That has changed in recent years with the proliferation local marketing automations tools right across the media channels, traditional and digital. You can find a great summary of this technology in Brand Machine’s latest eBook…..
Are you ready to dive into the wonderful world of LAM automation but don’t know where to start? We breakdown these new solutions in detail in our new updated eBook, 6 game changing marketing apps for multi-location brands. You can download it here.