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Unleashing Local in 2021

Smart marketers have been using the L-word (local) for almost a decade. But never has it been as relevant and necessary as in 2020 and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic turned nearby into the norm.

Retailers struggle to survive and we’ve even seen big established brands shut down locations (as many as 25,000) and declare bankruptcy. Restaurants have also seen record numbers of closures — 100,000 and counting. But let’s not be all doom and gloom — especially in the holiday season.

Local is the Business Lifeline
As people shop, dine, and entertain themselves closer to home, reaching the consumer how and where they consume content is more important than ever before.

A recent study reveals that 66% of shoppers buy from retailers either in-store or online when they get a location-based ad. Consumers used to get a little freaked out that brands know where they are and what they need, but a whopping 80 percent of people want brands that use personalized data to target relevant offers to them.

Convenience and safety are more important now than ever before and those companies that can serve-up local experiences and deals will be the clear winners in 2021.

Turn Big Data into Powerful Little Moments
Brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants are getting smarter about who and where their prospects are. They have begun using the full range of analytics, machine learning, and automated marketing to direct messages and offers to subsegments of the market.

Smartphone messaging, targeted social posts, and even localized and customized print advertising and direct mail are all now hyper-targeted, integrated, and responsive.

Here’s a great example:

A multi-location athleisure company knows Jane loves patterned yoga pants because she bought a pair online. She gets a postcard announcing a sale at her local store. Pop-ups begin to appear on her social sites with new styles and patterns. A few days later, she’s walking through her local mall and she’s invited into the nearby store to redeem a 20 percent off coupon.

This strategy and related tactics are a clear example of how marketers are investing in omnichannel local experiences. Using this form of marketing results in a 10 percent revenue lift.

Brick-and-Mortar Will Make a Comeback
Creating and communicating compelling in-store (or at-curb) experiences compels consumers to visit your locations. To build the most effective local strategy, marketers and brands must:

  • Know who your targets are and how they shop
  • Deliver a full omnichannel experience, leveraging all media forms and delivery methods
  • Make the shopping experience itself memorable and convenient
  • Work with seasoned experts in locally-targeted advertising and personalization (like us)
  • Be nimble and adjust their real-time marketing campaigns based on shopper/diner behavior

Open your mind to local marketing and you’ll be able to keep your doors open — in 2021 and for decades to come.