Local Marketing


Local Marketing

When was the last time you saw a small, local store advertise in another country?

Chances are, you never have. National businesses might use expensive advertisements on network television shows and in popular magazines to reach a huge number of potential consumers, but such options aren’t as available to local business owners.

Not only are there financial considerations, but few local stores draw in consumers who live further than a comfortable drive away. Instead, these smaller businesses engage in more targeted solutions, seeking out those in surrounding neighborhoods who might be swayed to visit by persuasive advertising and word-of-mouth.

Who employs local marketing?

Local marketing is used primarily by small businesses—stores and restaurants with a single location or outlet. Owners of franchised businesses may also employ local marketing to promote their specific locations, supplementing the larger franchise’s regional or national marketing campaigns (which promote the franchise’s name and products, but not specific locations).


Explore the Strategy of Local Marketing

1What is local marketing?
Local marketing—also referred to as local store marketing or neighborhood marketing—specifically targets the community around a physical store or restaurant. Promotional messages are directed to the local population, rather than the mass market (See also Community Marketing).

In practice, local marketing can take several forms. Many local businesses directly contact consumers through mail, in-town events, local team sponsorships, or advertisements in the town paper. Hoping to not only attract new customers but to drive repeat business, a successful local marketing push allows a store to stake out a significant presence in local consumers’ mental maps of their communities.
2Who employs local marketing?
Local marketing is used primarily by small businesses—stores and restaurants with a single location or outlet. Owners of franchised businesses may also employ local marketing to promote their specific locations, supplementing the larger franchise’s regional or national marketing campaigns (which promote the franchise’s name and products, but not specific locations).
3For what kinds of customers is local marketing effective?
Local marketing allows a company to develop a repeat customer base in the immediate vicinity of the business’s location. The standard radius of influence is about 10 miles, but could be even less than that in more urban areas, where local traffic and neighborhood density is much higher. (See also Close-Range Marketing)

People like to shop and eat near their homes; it saves time and is more convenient. Residents create their own “mental maps” of the surrounding area, with favorite restaurants and particular stores quickly and easily remembered. They develop shopping and eating habits based upon these maps, engaging in a great deal of repeat business.
4How is a local marketing campaign developed?
Local marketing campaigns may use a number of different strategies in order to build awareness within a neighborhood, often beginning with simple direct mailings featuring coupons or upcoming sales (See also Direct Mail Marketing).

Local Marketing Options

  • customized direct mail announcing openings, sales, and promotions, or containing coupons
  • promotion through the local chamber of commerce
  • hosting events
  • sponsoring local sport teams (school or league teams) and clubs (biking, book, etc.)
  • purchasing local ad space (such as at bus stops and other outdoor spaces)
  • participating in community fairs and social gatherings
As with any marketing campaign, information is key. Businesses should identify local organizations (including sports leagues, clubs, and homeowners’ organizations), schools, and living centers (such as senior apartment complexes, which often host community events). They must understand the various schedules of these organizations, and reach out to groups to support local events. Sponsoring a little-league team, running a booth at a local fair, participating in a local ministry—every event and activity increases visible presence in the community, and a business’s prominence in the mental maps of those living within it. Furthermore, such participation raises a business’s reputation, making people more likely to consider additional business relationships and offerings.
5What career titles work with local marketing strategies?
Marketing Managers may run consulting firms that can be contracted by a number of different small businesses without their own marketing departments, in order to develop campaigns geared specifically to that business’ neighborhood and/or audience.

What type of salary should I expect?

Marketing Manager
Median annual pay: $116,010
Top 10%: $187,199+
Advertising Account Manager
Median annual pay: $87,650
Top 10%: $186,630+

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • evaluate their client’s position in their market, and establish measurable goals for improving that position in the local community
  • select multiple strategies for promoting the local business, at an investment (cost) level appropriate to the small business client
  • develop advertising, incentives, and communications customized for the local market
6How can a marketing school help you in this field?
Effective local marketing requires identifying and leveraging multiple communications channels, and making business adjustments that will meet the needs of the neighborhood. A good marketing program develops both the communications and management skills you’ll need to do that.

In addition to taking specific classes on various communication forms (including print, audio, and video), a marketing school will require you to practice and develop your communications and presentation skills. You’ll learn how to identify the communications channels that different market segments and communities respond to best, so that you use the most effective methods to reach your target customers.