Definition of Local Marketing

Local Marketing
Getty Images / Kathrin Ziegler

What is Local Marketing? 

Current statistics suggest that a majority of the people searching the web on their phones are looking for something local. According to a study shared by Search Engine Land, 50% of people go to the store or business they searched for within a day of that search. Additionally, 60% of people have made use of the information they found on local online ads and on a business's website.

 
 
These factors have great relevance for the business trying to bolster its presence in the local market. The emphasis on trying to reach customers, often long-time, loyal customers, in the business's local area is at the heart of local marketing. Here are some elements that these businesses will want to add to their marketing efforts in order to reach the locals. 
 
Local marketing specifically centers around a local service, physical store or restaurant. All of this entity's marketing efforts concentrate (or should) on driving customers into that particular establishment.  Usually, these customers live within a 10-mile radius of the business in question. 
 
Traditional Local Marketing Tactics 
In the days before the Internet, many small businesses employed some pretty standard tactics to get people into their doors. They developed a mailing list: Often the names for these are collected at the register when the customer paid.

Anytime that business had a sale or when the customer had a birthday, it's likely that the business sent out an email. (Many still do use email lists, although not all the names on the list come from in the store: Some come from local searches, now, too). 
 
Street teams and local events count as other ways a store might have drawn customers in.

Street teams do activities like handing out flyers, samples from the store, and sign people up for the mailing list. Local events could include a sponsored foot race, a chili feed, or a local entertainer.  
 
Digital Marketing Local Marketing Tactics 
Mobile customers most often look up information like a business's phone number or location on Google Maps. They also search for reviews, driving directions, and other particulars. Therefore, the savvy business owner puts that information on the company's website, Facebook page, and other social media outlets. A business might also start a blog or allow themselves to be interviewed by a local online magazine or blogger. 
 
Segmenting Your Local Market Niche 
Local marketing doesn't just mean a business targets a general set of people in the local market. The business owner has a specific idea about who the business's target customer is. A local club where up-and-coming indie bands play on the weekend will have a different customer demographic than the restaurant that runs lunch specials specifically for the church crowd on Sundays.  
 
No particular niche is better than another one, but to make the most effective use of marketing dollars, customer populations should be identified and segmented at least in the marketing plan.

 This, in turn, determines how a business creates its marketing messages as well as its advertising and marketing campaigns. This might include where the business advertises. A Google AdWords campaign targeting local users may work for one crowd but not another.  
 
Finally, it's good to use multiple marketing vehicles to reach your target market. There's still a place for radio, TV, and print advertising in the digital age. That said, a business owner should always test the responses a particular campaign is getting. This allows him/ her to spend money on media that really pulls in leads and to dial back on the media that doesn't have the same success rate.  
 
It really doesn't make sense for a local business that services a local area to pay for national advertising. If your customer base is specific and within a 10-mile/ 10-minute radius of that business.

Any marketing efforts that don't specifically deal with these factors as well as with mobile searches don't do that business justice. A tightly focused marketing plan that is designed to appeal to a specific age, income and social demographic will earn that business more cash in the long run.