CRM, big data and digital/social marketing efforts have begun to blur the lines regarding what a market is or isn’t. For many years, DMA’s (Designated Marketing Areas) were the only game in town—clearly identifying advertising markets based upon television and radio markets. But CRM and big data analysis have brought entirely new methods of customer segmentation to the forefront. National marketers use digital/social marketing to send targeted messages based upon customer behavior. Those groups of segmented customers might live anywhere—and definitely aren’t limited to a Nielsen DMA.
The need for local media buyers has also faded, as more and more mega advertisers have begun purchasing local media from centralized locations. So, while national marketers may still be purchasing media based upon Nielsen DMAs, they are doing so at massive scale and cost efficiencies. The need for local market advertising expertise in television and radio markets is definitely declining.
The Importance of Local Store Marketing Has Never Been Greater
At the same time, customers are craving connection. Not just “mechanical” understanding of their buying habits, but real relationships. And customers don’t want to feel “homogenous” —they want to feel that they are special. A recent study by the McCarthy Group suggests that 84 percent of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. More and more, traditional and mainstream is starting to include digital and social advertising.
Think about it, if your local Quick Service Restaurant has a fabulous regional product that’s only available in your market—doesn’t it make you feel a little bit special when you’re talking to your relative across the country and they can’t get it? Or if the local drive thru attendant recognizes you and asks if you want extra sauce—because they know you always ask for it…doesn’t that make your day just a little bit better? Those are elements of human interaction that can’t be duplicated with CRM techniques. That human interaction …that “heart of the business” is what Local Store Marketing (LSM) is all about.
LSM is the great differentiator. It’s what makes a local business different from the competition. It’s what creates that connection with the local franchisee, their customers and their employees. It’s what builds a “trust bank” that will help a local business weather any negative publicity storms. And LSM is more important now than ever before.
The Final Miles Around Your Location
When national marketers are taking larger and larger “mechanical” approaches to their advertising efforts—which is definitely beneficial from a cost and efficiency perspective—it’s LSM that can complement these efforts and maximize sales at the local level. LSM is the perfect tool to ensure that specific local opportunities are being leveraged. That simply can’t be done at a national level—it’s extremely difficult to do on a local market level—it’s at the individual trading area level where specific local opportunities come to life. And that’s where a lot of sales come from—the final miles surrounding your location.
LSM starts with an understanding of your customers and your trading area. That’s where you will find the secrets to unlocking LSM sales. Challenge yourself to spot one new opportunity each week and then take action with your LSM plans to seize that opportunity.
While local markets as we’ve known them may be changing, the importance of your local trading area will never go away. LSM is the key to building deep customer connections and ongoing loyalty. Make sure you build LSM into your ongoing business plans and invest accordingly on this valuable tool.
Interested in learning more about creating LSM plans for your franchise or multi-unit business? Check out Steps to Creating a Local Store Marketing Plan #LSM #LocalCustomerEngagement #LocalStoreMarketing