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What’s Local in Your Marketing Sandwich?

22

Feb

2012

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Mar­ket­ing and Sales.

Two words that go together like sand and jam, for many small busi­nesses. To get jam tomor­row, most are strug­gling through the sand today, hop­ing not to drop the lot. In a pre­sen­ta­tion for a Net­work­ing Group in Ger­rards Cross, I spoke about how many small busi­ness cre­ators were once cor­po­rate spe­cial­ists carv­ing great bread and but­ter careers. Of course, on step­ping out of the firm’s din­ing rooms, they find sand­wich­ing the ele­ments of a small busi­ness around their skills is a seri­ous challenge.

Local marketing needs Google Places right in the middle
Cour­tesy of Ben­son Kua via Flikr

Sup­pose you want a slice of inter­net mar­ket­ing to layer into your hero sand­wich. Well, you’re going to find your­self stand­ing at a big deli bar, with an over­whelm­ing choice of spe­cial­i­ties from far and wide that promise to make you fat and con­tent. Nat­u­rally your eyes gog­gle and blink, and by the time you’ve taken a taste of every­thing con­ti­nen­tal you’ve lost your appetite, and your lunch money.

An uncle of mine has an expres­sion for this sort of une­d­u­cated, or in hind­sight unwise spend on inef­fec­tive activ­ity: School Fees.
Def­i­nitely try using it your­self, it takes the sting away.

Google Eyes

Look around and you’ll see that in the last three years there has been a big shift in how peo­ple think and behave when shop­ping for ser­vices and prod­ucts. Now that every­one has a com­puter in their pocket to shrink the web and go any­where, they choose to go just around the corner.

Over 20% of all Google searches are localised, i.e. they have a post­code, town or other local intent. Think of mobile search and that per­cent­age rises to at least a third. Smart­phones like iPhone, Android and Black­berry devices are out­selling reg­u­lar mobiles, and the num­bers of mobiles sell­ing are at least three times the num­ber of PCs.

Google has been fac­tor­ing loca­tion when return­ing results for years, match­ing our desire for  rel­e­vant, local infor­ma­tion as more and more of it is put on the web - in all searches, loca­tion is fac­tored. For the bulk of local busi­nesses, espe­cially in B2B sales, this is a meal deal that busi­ness own­ers don’t tend to think about. You see, because Google want to pro­vide acces­si­ble results to searchers they will often pre­fer local com­pa­nies and information.

Think about real life. Small busi­nesses find the bulk of their income comes from local cus­tomers, and when busi­nesses net­work, it’s usu­ally at groups in their local vicin­ity. The truth is, most busi­ness, even global busi­ness, hap­pens locally, so you’ve no immu­nity from community.

Local Mar­kets

Local Marketing App for Produce and Local Goods in CumbriaLocal Shops for Local Peo­ple: Cum­brian iApp

Here’s some other tasty morsels to help fill your sand­wich with local flavour:

  • Mobile searches quadru­pled in 2011.
  • 79% of smart­phone users use their phones to help with shopping.
  • 71% of smart­phone users who see TV, press or online ads search for more info.
  • After look­ing up a local busi­ness on a smart­phone, 61% of users call, 59% visit.

 

You know this. Look at your own fam­ily, friends and col­leagues com­par­ing prices online to buy locally at the best price, or week­end win­dow shop­ping to buy online later with free deliv­ery, and we all know peo­ple who are online all the time, but never on their computer.

Peo­ple don’t behave like this all week­end, then start using Yel­low Pages, News­pa­pers, etc., when they get to the office. They look for busi­ness ser­vices they need in the same way, with the same expec­ta­tions. Now all busi­nesses need local pres­ence, because Google and other search engines are going to pre­fer those that do.

When a local search is done, the searcher is close to  buy­ing.
When a mobile search is done,  the searcher is ready to buy.

What’s in your lunchbox?

We’re back at the deli bar, now with not a lot of money and want­ing some­thing, well, real. What to choose? My sug­ges­tion is what­ever you layer up, make local inter­net mar­ket­ing the thick­est slice. You see, you haven’t much time before every­one realises buy­ers love local, and that maybe they should be pay­ing atten­tion to their (your) local market.

Local Lunch Service

I’ve given many pre­sen­ta­tions on tips and tech­niques for small busi­nesses to improve the way they work and think, includ­ing how local really is for most busi­nesses where one’s head and heart should be. But I know it is really hard to fol­low up and fol­low through. So for this one, crit­i­cal part of a small busi­ness’ busi­ness a new ser­vice has been devel­oped, tak­ing one type of busi­ness and pro­mot­ing them exclu­sively ahead of their local competition.

Place Me! is a monthly ser­vice to get the phone ring­ing with more local enquiries, and it’s a com­pet­i­tive ser­vice too: if you’re not seen now in your local mar­ket, you’ll need to dis­place those that are.

A lunchtime spe­cial for Local Companies

Place Me! con­cen­trates on increas­ing busi­ness enquiries from your local mar­ket. It should be obvi­ous from this post that those enquiries are likely to be of qual­ity, so we’ve added these ben­e­fits for mem­bers of net­work­ing groups we have con­nec­tions with. I’m the Hub Direc­tor for Refer-On for exam­ple, we meet once a week, I’d rather not be work­ing for a colleague’s competition.

  1. Pref­er­en­tial part­ners. We’d rather net­work­ing friends be inside Place Me! so we’ll give pref­er­ence when sign­ing up.
  2. Set-Up dis­count. To match the offer made to Refer-On mem­bers, we’re dis­count­ing the set-up cost by over 50%.
  3. Com­pet­i­tive report. We’ll build a report for you that con­firms who your com­pe­ti­tion is, so you can decide what to do.
  4. Loca­tions dis­count. If you’ve two loca­tions, we’ll dis­count pric­ing by 50% on the sec­ond, if you’ve more than two we’ll review the loca­tions you have to see what else we can do for you.

If you’d like more infor­ma­tion about Place Me!, what it is, how it works, and how it can put the jam back in your sand­wich, just add your details. Then while you decide if you want to take advan­tage, we will have locked out com­peti­tors from your sec­tor and loca­tions for you.



N.B. We’re not going to use your info for any­thing else, it’s just to give you early advan­tage.
It’s a com­pet­i­tive ser­vice, so requests for the same sand­wich will be filled by date of order; I hope we’ve whet­ted your appetite for more infor­ma­tion…

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