Local Marketing

How has the local marketing equation changed?  Who killed old-school marketing?

Remember the Yellow Pages?  Those big, heavy books dropped on your doorstep.  They were delivering these a couple years ago.  But not anymore.  They’re all online. 

Marketing on a local basis has become unrecognizable when compared with even 10 years ago.  But why?

Up until the 1980’s, local marketing … in fact marketing of any kind … was a pretty simple process.  Spending far too much … there was little alternative … on Yellow Page ads. 

Some direct mail. Newspaper and magazine advertising.  Co-op mailings.  Radio and TV.

And The Internet Didn't Exist

  • So there were a lot fewer competitors.
  • And, of course, a lot fewer choices.
  • The economy was relatively low-tech. So information was hard to come by. Sometimes almost impossible to come by.
  • Customers pretty much believed whatever an advertiser told them whether on a local or national basis. The result? Much lower resistance and an easier buying decision.

Sellers … and marketers … had the power.

But Something Changed In The 1990’s. Brought On Entirely By The Internet

  • Technology and the rate of technological change exploded. Exponentially.
  • Competition? Well it did the same.
  • Information increased so fast that consumers … and marketers … were left breathless.
  • And we were caught up in an entrepreneurial boom.

But something else happened. The amazing advancements in technology ... and information ... also changed the local marketing equation. The result?

  • increased resistance
  • longer buying cycles
  • price wars with everything perpetually on sale
  • products becoming “commodities”
  • marketing messages becoming indistinguishable from one another

And today? Buyers now have the power. And sellers are at their mercy.

The Local Marketing Formula

There’s a definite formula when it comes to local marketing. Because buyers want to make the best decision possible. It’s only human nature.  No matter where they live.

But what is that magic formula? The formula that entices buyers to develop a relationship with you instead of your competitors. Well, the formula consists of four ingredients:

1. First, you’ve got to capture the attention of your qualified target market. You do it with something that interrupts their pattern. And starts to engage them.

2. Then you’ve got to make it easier for your prospects to gather information.  Simplifying their decision-making process.  Now more than ever before.  How?  You give them access to the free information they need in the easiest way possible.  In a way that makes the decision-making process a no-brainer.

3. This information should educate your prospects by letting them know you’re the answer to their needs and concerns.

4. Continue to give your prospects a risk-free means of taking the next step in the buying process.  The more information you provide them, the more control they feel they have when making a final decision.

Except in today’s world, customers make their buying decisions more quickly than ever before.

The Education Component

Your job as a successful local marketer is to be the source of knowledge … the voice they listen to … when your prospects are trying to figure out what to buy.  And who to buy it from.

Give them enough information that they feel they understand the pertinent issues.  And are in control of the buying decision.

The bottom line? The more you educate your prospect in a way that makes them comfortable … using the technology they use every day … the more successful your business will be.

Where Do You Start?

Whatever the size of your local company, how do you take advantage of the mobile marketing explosion to get to the head of the pack? And stay there.

First of all, offer something on your website … a buzz piece I call it … as a free download to prospective customers.  A white paper, a free report, or a newsletter subscription.  Information they think is valuable.  About what you offer … your product or service.

Offer your buzz piece on your regular website or on what we call a “lead generation” site.  In exchange for this report, readers will give you their names and email addresses.  So you can continue to inform them about what you do.  And why you’re the expert at what you do.

Understand something though.  Mobile media is changing the way people get their information.  And how they make their buying decisions.  More than 12% of the world’s internet traffic now comes from mobile!

Your customers are now using their mobile devices … their smartphones and tablets … to get instant information.  And to make instant buying decisions from anywhere.  At any time.

Local business owners have to realize that their customers are turning to mobile media at a staggering rate.  For example:

  • 94% of all smartphone users have done a search for local information.
  • 70% of them have called a business because of that search.
  • 66% of them visited a local business in person.
  • 90% of those did it within 24 hours!

Your customers are using mobile media to search for products and services.  They’re making instant decisions … buying decisions … based entirely on the information they’re finding on their smartphone.

And most of them check their email on their mobile device.  Remember, an email address is still required to sign up for just about anything in today’s  wired world.


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