A Guide to Marketing Your Business Locally
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Posted by Sarah B. on February 20, 2017 in Merchant Focus

Being a small business owner in a local market can give you a leg up on the national stores. People like to shop local and give back to the community. And guess what? That is you! Creating your target market based on the customer demographic should be a breeze since you know your community so well.

 

When you consider what drives your average customers and what will bring them into your store, you might start with yourself if you are even close to your target demographic. If you aren’t, which is often the case, ask someone you know who is in your target demographic. An advantage you have over a large chain store is that your customers know you and trust you. Asking questions of your current customers is a good way to find out what they like, how they feel about your current advertising, and what you can do to get their attention. Don’t forget to offer a small token of your appreciation for their cooperation in your research.

 

Despite our technologically savvy world, usual local marketing practices are still important:

 

  • Collaborate with another local business that is trying to reach the same customer demographic. For example, a paint store might collaborate with a flooring store or a kitchen supply store may collaborate with a grocery store by sharing business cards at each other’s locations or making note of a free gift or discount when a receipt from the other business is presented.
  • Participate in or support local events or organizations. If your target customer can see your business name in connection with something positive in the community, they will remember it.
  • Advertise with local radio and television stations. Also, remember they have an online presence and you can probably advertise there as well.

 

However, don’t discount the importance of digital marketing. People are using Google Maps to see what is near their location, businesses can focus on advertising to Facebook users within a five-mile radius, and Google offers great local search advertising capabilities to really target customers when they are looking for a product. If done correctly, email campaigns also continue to be effective. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, 91% of all U.S. consumers still use email daily.

 

No matter how you reach your customers, it is important to know if your advertising is working. If you can ask a customer how they heard about you, or use something like Google Analytics on your website, you can adjust and continually improve your marketing efforts. And keep in mind, people respond to authenticity, confidence, and what is in it for them.

Sarah B. is our Retail guru
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.


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