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  • Writer's pictureLauren Goldberg

Local Marketing. It's where retailers win or lose

Updated: Oct 12, 2018

Today’s customers are savvier than ever before. People literally have the world at their fingertips, but consumers want personalized, relevant experiences. And what is more personal than your neighborhood? It’s where you choose to live. It’s where you choose to spend your time and potentially raise a family. Customers want to shop local and be able to get what they need when they need it.

As I discussed in my blog “The State of Retail”, over 90% of retail spend happens in store. And in addition, 70% of consumer spending takes place within 15-20 miles of home or work. Customers want to support local businesses. According to BrightLocal's 2017 survey, 97% of customers search online specifically for local businesses. And that doesn’t only mean independent retailers.

Think Global, Act Local - Not just a catchphrase any more

The good news is big brands are starting to realize this. This is why you are seeing digital native brands like Amazon, Warby Parker and Fabletics investing in brick & mortar stores. But just having a physical presence isn’t enough. Retailers have to show that they are relevant to the community. Have you heard the phrase “Think Global, Act Local”? Customers want to support retailers who are a vital part of their community, but want the benefits of a national retailer (selection, omni-channel capabilities, pricing, etc).

That’s exactly what the most successful retailers are doing. According to a study by the CMO Council, 58% of senior marketers consider local marketing a critical part of their marketing mix for profitability and growth. According to Balihoo, almost two-thirds of national brands conduct marketing campaigns directed to customers in their local markets.

Here's the truth - Local Marketing works

The reason why national brands are investing in local is that the ROI is there. Here's the data that tells that story:

  1. On average, businesses make $2 in revenue off of every $1 invested in local advertising through AdWords.

  2. 74% of shoppers indicate being more likely to respond to location-specific messaging.

  3. 80% of consumers prefer locally relevant advertising.

  4. 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location

  5. According to a recent study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business, community engagement brings positive outcomes for retailers in two ways: by directly building consumer trust in, and commitment to, the retailer; and by lessening the importance of the retailer’s economic value proposition, or the perceived value of products and services sold.

The biggest challenge for national marketers is being able to scale. I’ve been there….it’s not easy trying to be relevant in 1000+ communities while you are sitting in a corporate office somewhere. But it’s possible without hiring headcount in every major market.

Here's my top ways to drive retail sales on a local level. Also, check out my top digital strategies to drive local retail sales and 6 Benefits of Local Partnerships posts.

Check back for more articles on the best way to execute locally, while maintaining your national brand integrity.

For a free local marketing strategy consultation, please contact me here.

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