The Marketing Corner: The Opportunity of Hyperlocal

February 24, 2014 Updated: February 23, 2014

Budgets can be just as constrained for small businesses just as it is for many American consumers.

Trends show that some small businesses are reducing the number of vehicles used to deploy marketing and communication messages. Clearly, it’s an effort to be cognizant of budgets and ensure desired return on investment (ROI).

While there is a plethora of data available discussing national marketing best practices, what about businesses that have a limited trading area? The answer is hyperlocal. Hyperlocal is an approach that unites a specific area into one identifiable community.

If you have a small trading area and possibly a product that is not necessarily unique, it may not be essential to saturate the entire metro area to deliver your marketing messages. What may be required is to define the community (or another area of interest) and seek creative ways to deliver your message.

Below I outline a few tried and proven hyperlocal tactics to consider.

Newspapers offer a range of products that allow small businesses to get their message into the right consumer hands. Contrary to popular belief, newspapers can offer a high ROI. If this vehicle is used with frequency, cost can be driven down to enhance overall ROI. Goals must be clearly set at the beginning of any campaign.

Digital advertising is an ever-evolving medium. Used in combination with newspapers can be an impactful tool for small businesses. Its very DNA allows geographical, behavioral and contextual targeting. Deploying a digital campaign offers lead generation. Hence, it becomes very efficient and provides real-time ROI metrics.

Direct mail continues to offer many businesses a viable vehicle that typically has minimum waste. This vehicle has always been good for geographical and demographic targeting.

Radio is great vehicle due to its ability to target consumers via station formats and/or coverage areas. Its promotional nature offer excellent opportunity for timely messages to drive traffic and/or announce upcoming events.

When using hyperlocal tactics be sure to set your ROI goals at the beginning of the campaign. If you set year-over-year ROI, use those goals as a starting point to benchmark performance. As with all marketing communications, continue to optimize what works and eliminate what doesn’t. Hyperlocal can be an opportunity to maximize ROI, especially when budgets are tight.

 Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying: A How To Reference Guide on Advertising for Business Owners”; available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: adelelassere@gmail.com

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