Local marketing—also referred to as local store marketing or neighborhood marketing—specifically targets the community around a physical store, agency, or restaurant. Promotional messages are directed to the local population, rather than the mass market.
Local marketing is used primarily by small businesses—stores and restaurants with a single location or outlet. Owners of franchised businesses may also employ local marketing to promote their particular areas, supplementing the larger franchise’s regional or national marketing campaigns (which promote the franchise’s name and products, but not specific locations).
For what kinds of customers is local marketing effective?
Local marketing allows a company to develop a repeat customer base near the business's location. The standard radius of influence is about 10 miles, but could be even less than that in more urban areas, where local traffic and neighborhood density is much higher.
People like to shop and eat near their homes; it saves time and is more convenient. Residents create their own “mental maps” of the surrounding area, with favorite restaurants and particular stores quickly and easily remembered. They develop shopping and eating habits based on these maps, engaging in many repeats business.
At the same time, new businesses are always moving in (and other businesses are closing), so these maps are continuously updated. Therefore, any store or restaurant—and particularly new ones—has to work to advertise its presence even in its surrounding neighborhood, to get these mental maps.
Businesses in different communities will apply local marketing tactics at various consumer segments assuming that a business’ location was planned as opposed to random, the consumers who live in the neighborhood are already the types of customers who are interested in that business.
Local marketing is about knowing and interacting with neighbors. It is not just about investing money, but about spending time and developing relationships. It cannot be done purely by at a computer—although that is yet another tool to be utilized— rather, requires getting out there and connecting with customers face to face.