National and Global Marketing Are All Very Well, But 'Sourcing Locally' Is Important, Too
Bigger is not always better, when you consider the benefits -- like 'instant' conversions -- available with your local customer base.
When you can upgrade your burger-and-fries combo to a "large" for a few cents more ... snare better concert seats for for a few bucks extra, enjoy a "room with a view" for an exceedingly modest swipe of your credit card ... why shouldn’t you? So often it does seem that bigger really is better.
But when it comes to marketing, that rule does not always apply.
In fact, we live in a world where the entire globe is more accessible than ever. Need more followers and potential clients in your social media networks? Tools exist to help businesses gain audience members from all over the world. And this capability presents organizations both large and small with incredible opportunities to expand their operations, create partnerships and make a global impact.
Yet while doing business nationally and globally presents the potential for growth and development, many businesses pursue that growth while neglecting local marketing; they're too focused on the effort to secure the “bigger” or “better” result. And they end up letting important opportunities slip away without even realizing it.
The problem is that some businesses assume that if they market on a national or global level, their local market will see that marketing, know who they are and still shop for their products or service. And, while this may be true, marketing locally as a specific focus offers benefits in addition to those at a national or even global level.
For example, businesses active on AdWords with local advertising tend to make two dollars for every one dollar spent Not only that, but 88 percent of consumers will visit a store or make a purchase within 24 hours of doing a local search on their mobile device.
So, if you’re already making local efforts but aren’t putting as much time and attention into them as you need to or haven’t begun marketing locally at all, you may want to rethink your strategy and start making more active efforts to reach your local market. Below are some of the main reasons why.
7 reasons to be marketing locally
You can set yourself apart from competitors. Business competition is healthy, but you don’t want to be the business at the bottom. By marketing locally as well as nationally and/or globally, you can get yourself in front of the audience closest to you, establish your name, build your brand and set yourself apart from your competitors who aren’t making the same efforts or marketing locally at all.
It costs less. Local marketing tends to cost noticeably less than does running marketing campaigns on a national or global level, largely because there’s less competition. In some cases, local marketing can even be free (such as when you list your business on Google). And even though local marketing is cheaper or free, it can still give you a great return on investment. Proof? An analysis of local Facebook advertising showed that businesses saw an average of 152 percent ROI.
You can get "instant" business. Approximately one-third of searches on mobile are location-based queries and, as mentioned, the majority of consumers performing a local search visit a store within 24 hours. This means that when you market locally: 1) you get your name out into the community; and 2) when a consumer finds and decides on your business, you can get an essentially "instant" conversion, since the consumer will be visiting your store and/or making a purchase within hours.
You can enjoy word-of-mouth marketing and referrals. Did you know that word of mouth is responsible for up to 50 percent of purchasing decisions? Although you may get some word-of-mouth referrals when you make larger-scale efforts, they can’t compare to how quickly word about your company can spread through an entire community when you market well on a local level.
You can network with other local companies. Having a network is important since it can help you land the job of your dreams and connect with people or companies that have what you’re looking for. It's important for other reasons, too: Whether member companies rally together to help a family in need, help one another find better suppliers or communcate for any other reason, such affiliations are invaluable.
You can establish a reputation. How your company is perceived can affect the business you attract a lot more than you might think. As already mentioned, referrals play an important role in business, and if your company has a bad reputation or no reputation at all, getting referrals can be difficult. Local marketing, though, helps you become known -- for the right reasons -- and helps you reap the accompanying benefits.
You can better establish your brand. Your brand consists of multiple elements, but overall that brand sends a message (and plays a role in your reputation) to those buying from you. By marketing locally, you can better establish your brand by getting your messaging out more effectively and helping your business grow from the ground up.
Overall, to grow, you have to market. In this context, if you have dreams of becoming a worldwide company, national and global efforts won't hurt. But on the way to that status, remember your local customers as well, if you really want to boost and maximize your bottom line.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer