Local Marketing is also known as local store marketing (LSM) or simply neighborhood marketing. As the name suggests, local marketing or neighborhood marketing is a strategic marketing technique used for targeting customers around the physical and geographical location of a business, with clear messages tailored to benefit basically the people within that region. Simply put, local marketing is aimed at targeting the audience close to a specific store, company, service provider, or other business entity.
Local marketing strategy
The strategy of local marketing is to identify the needs of the people within, say, a 10-mile radius of your company or store, and then developing your marketing efforts towards satisfying those needs. Technically speaking, the idea is to become a part of the community by contributing to it, thereby creating awareness. For example, a new local restaurant in an urban center with lots of companies around can offer to take care of the workers’ lunch. So during lunch break, the people in that area find themselves coming into the restaurant and soon, it becomes part of their routine. A mental map is built in the minds of your customers directing them to you. Local marketing is not only aimed at bringing in new customers, but ensuring that they keep coming. This means more sales for the local restaurant. The goal is to make customers out of the residents close to you by offering them what they need but probably never knew they needed. Your services also have to be topnotch to keep them coming back.
Who is local marketing best suited for?
Local marketing is most commonly employed by start-ups and small local stores with a single location. However, an individual branch of a larger corporate body may also employ local store marketing to establish its presence in that specific region. This is done for the purpose of complementing the mass-marketing campaign of the franchiser.
Local marketing options and techniques
As with so many other marketing schemes, local store marketing involves several tactics used by enterprises to promote themselves all round the world. The options or tactics include:
- Sending custom mails directed to specific audience announcing sales, promotions, coupons, etc.
- Organizing events
- Promoting the business via the local chamber of commerce
- Engaging followers in discussions via social media
- Providing useful items for schools, companies, sport teams, etc.
- Offering discounts
- Putting up bill boards at vantage points
- Taking part in community events and social groups.
- Paid online marketing tactics like local search marketing, beacons, geo-targeting, amongst others.
As is obvious with the above options, the tactics peculiar with local marketing is boosting a cordial relationship with the immediate populace, thus befriending them and encouraging them to become customers even without actually asking them to. As a store selling sport wears and items, sponsoring or contributing to a sporting event in that locality will go a long way in building the people’s trust in you. The reputation of the company is built, opening up an avenue for people to consider working with or patronizing you.
Local marketing has a lot to do with not just investing or making money, but building relationships; connecting with your audience face-to-face and not just with machines. When good relationship is fostered between you and your customers, then your business is guaranteed of a long-term viability.
Primary Elements of Local marketing
There are four primary elements to consider when promoting your business via local marketing. They are as follows:
- Segmentation: This refers to the distinctive features of your targeted group of customers. What particular needs does each group of customers have? What distinguishes them?
- Media: This refers to the method by which you are communicating with your audience. Are you reaching them through your website, social media, mails, or mobile apps?
- The Message: The message should be tailored towards the target audience and not the general public. The mode of communication should also be such that is peculiar to and well-received by the intended audience. This helps in converting your audience into customers.
- Measurement: Local marketing is a means to an end, and this end or result is the actualization of gaining new and increased number of returning customers. There is a need to have a means of measuring your results to know how well you are satisfying your customers and if truly your efforts have paid off.