Local Store Marketing (or neighborhood marketing as it is often known) is a marketing strategy that specifically targets the community or trade area around a store or restaurant with locally relevant, timely messaging, and promotions. The core goal of local store marketing is to build long-lasting relationships with the local consumers and community partners that lead to sustainable sales for the outlet.
Successful Local Store Marketing activation can manifest it’s self in many ways and forms: building sales through driving new trial, increasing customer loyalty, building brand awareness, increasing guest frequency, party size and average check size through things like:
• Hosting events
• Sponsoring local sports teams or clubs,
• Personalized direct mail or correspondence to local customers
• Issuing local press releases or purchasing ad space in local print
With that said, one commonality must stay true, and that is connecting and communicating at the local level through relevant and timely messaging and promotions.
What can local store marketing do for you?
Every storeowner or franchisee can benefit from making local store marketing a key part of their overall marketing and advertising strategy. Used properly, Local Store Marketing can become one of the most valuable tools in a store or restaurants arsenal and can be one of the most cost effective and proven tools to achieving long-term business success and strong relationships with customers and the local community.
Why isn’t everyone using Local Store Marketing?
Local Store Marketing is often overlooked as it can appear initially complex and hard to manage compared to traditional advertising campaigns that may simply involve ad buys and posters in store windows. Many companies consider marketing programs with Advo and Val-Pak as the extent of local marketing efforts. If executed properly, the benefits can far outweigh the temporary spike in sales that can be achieved from a traditional advertising campaign.
How do you start?
An effective local store marketing strategy should build brand awareness and goodwill within the local community. There are a number of things you can do to get the ball rolling:
Start small and build. Reach out to community leaders, the chamber of commerce, local sports teams or clubs and ask how you can support them, what events they have coming up and how you could get involved. Draw up a list of local businesses (ideally 100 employees or more) and contact them about special lunchtime incentive deals for employees or bring-the-family discounts. Connect with local schools and collages using award certificate programs or reading program sponsorships.
Most importantly don’t forget to leverage the relationships you already have with existing customers using Refer-a-friend programs, loyalty club cards, kids-eat-free specials and large-party incentives programs. If they already like your store or restaurant and visit regularly, make them your brand ambassadors by giving them a reason to talk about you to their friends, colleagues, and family.
Remember, successful local store marketing does not happen overnight, it takes time and patience to build strong relationships with the community and ultimately profits, so start slow and stay with it.