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Wednesday
Apr042012

Local Area Marketing

 

Traditionally, Local Area Marketing (LAM) has been seen as particularly suited to franchise organisations. With the success and the marketing / cost-efficiencies if offers, however, LAM is fast being taken up by organisations in a variety of industries and fields that need to ‘do business’ locally.
The reason for this is that LAM is an incredibly efficient and effective way for multi store / outlet / office organisations to ensure that their overall strategies and tactics are successfully interpreted and deployed at the grassroots level. Plus, LAM gives each outlet the flexibility to react to local conditions. A well researched and implemented LAM program can become the quasi-marketing department for each outlet.

 
The growing popularity of Relationship Marketing coupled with technology advances – internet / email / mobile phones / wireless / CRM software / digital printing – has really seen LAM come into its own. It has never been easier and more cost-effective for organisations at outlet level to form more profitable relationships with their customers.
Consumer cynicism and education is increasing so the more the organisation is seen to ‘understand me and be one of us’ the greater the chances for success.
It’s essential that the key messages from your national campaign trickle down effectively.

EXAMPLES

  • Sponsor a sporting team, or two e.g. give uniforms co-branded, drink bottles, marque
  • Take a stall at the next school fete/donate something to it for auction/raffle
  • Advertise on the back of shopping dockets
  • Ask yourself what are the events, dates, and celebrations that people hold where the community comes together and make sure that your business is perceived as being integrated in those events.


While the scope and style of each LAM program can differ according to each organisation’s needs, the program’s major benefits include:
a. Brand Protection & Consistency - Local Area Marketing assists you to increase brand awareness, grow customer loyalty and drive sales by using information about your customers to build more relevant solutions that better serve their needs.
b. Local Flexibility
c. Raise your profile around a neighbourhood
d. Be seen as the local area expert - Local Area Marketing allows your team to act quickly in response to gaps in activity plans or to develop programs quickly to capture changing market conditions. Building relationships with customers and being perceived as locally relevant ensures a sense of credibility and TRUST.

By ensuring local area marketing strategies are in place and keeping abreast with what is happening within the local area, franchisees will continue to grow their share of the market. Local area marketing can provide a strong return on a business’ marketing investments

TIPS
1. Know your market.
Make sure you really understand the pond you are fishing in.  The demographics of one suburb to the next can vary vastly.  You want to be really clear on the profile of  your locality.  What’s the % of families, vs retirees, vs singles vs couples.  Where they work, how much they earn, nationality etc.
This will really help you understand the opportunities for building your brand locally?  Do you have the right offers and right messages given your market and their sensitivities?  To access a FREE breakdown of the demographics of your local area, tap into the resources at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Also know the habits of those you are targeting.  If busy Mum’s are key target group in your local area, find out all the places they go regularly. There’s lots of different ways you can do it but be clear on where you need to be seen.
 
2. Get in front of your local media
Find out who the editors are of your local paper and introduce yourself.  A simply friendly introduction is a great start, a follow up phone call will give you the opportunity to find out what topics or local leads are of interest to them.  Make sure you read the local press regularly to get a sense of the sort of stories they are writing that they feel are interesting to the public. That way you are on their radar for any editorial features or specials that are a good fit for your brand.

3. Hold an event
Putting together an event to create some buzz around your business!  If you are a ladies fashion store, perhaps hold your own fashion parade and invite your local hairdresser to do some of the styling and share the costs. If holding your own event seems all too hard, most local councils have a calendar of events on their web site that you can get involved with to help target local consumers and businesses.

4. Give back
Volunteer to raise money for a local charity or cause.  Volunteer for Canteen duty and the local canteen or perhaps volunteer services for an event.
This will usually help you raise your profile locally and give you exposure to important influencers (such as the local media, other local businesses and local identities).
Giving back to your community not only feels good it helps build trust about you and your brand in your local community.
Pick a charity that’s aligned with your brand values and resonates with your target audience.

5. Play to win…
Enter in your local business awards.  Simply being a finalist or nomination will usually mean your brand gets lots of exposure leading up to the awards and if you’re lucky enough to win you get the bragging rights that go along with it. Being able to boast that your community recognises you as a leading service or retailer in your community adds stacks of credibility to your brand and differentiates you from your competitors.

6. Grow a database
Get every single customer on a database.  This may seem like an obvious business tactic but I would say the majority of small businesses targeting their local market neglect to do it. In fact, if I think of all the places I regularly frequent in my local area – I could probably safely say I receive regular communication from maybe 3 or 4 businesses out of the 20 or so that I would be a customer of. If you find it hard to ask your customers for their details and whether they mind you sending them stuff – give them a reason to accept.  Start a loyalty programme or a VIP club.  You’ll not only get them coming back to you - you’ll learn more about them.

7. Join the club
Become part of your local business community.  Join your local chamber and attend their meetings and events.  There are countless other local business groups such as Business Swap, BNI and many more that provide you an opportunity to network with other business owners.  Many will not be competitors but might target the same market.

8. Look for Joint Ventures
There are many non-competitive businesses in your local area who are already servicing your target market. Joint Ventures in your marketing will give you many benefits including -

a. cross-pollinate databases

b. potentially double your target market

c. leverage off the trust the other company has built up over many years

d. save on marketing dollars


Local Area Marketing can be one of the most effective of all marketing campaigns when done correctly. Consumers want to buy off who they trust, by being locally active familiarity is your friend.

 


 

 

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