Unlocking the value in your local community with hyperlocal marketing

Your local community is the lifeblood of your business, and that doesn’t change if you’re a single outlet or a regional, or national chain. Shoppers shop near to home or work, most of the time.

And because of this, the marketing budgets you invest in driving growth for your retail business need to be focussed in that community. For brick and mortar retailers, hyperlocal marketing is key.

Hyperlocal marketing

Hyperlocal marketing is an integrated marketing and media approach to driving maximum sales at maximum efficiency from the community around a physical store or service location. And if you have multiple stores, with different customer types, it requires a truly segmented approach on a location-by-location basis ensuring the community is truly served by the brand.

Understanding it, how it works and having the skills and resource to deliver it can be the difference between a shopper visiting you or your biggest competitor.

Understanding the local community

For any business with a premises or multiple premises who transacts mostly offline, your local community is your core audience and should be your focus. Understanding how geographically large that is may be more complicated and take some effort. This effort could be;

  • Using a loyalty scheme to analyse shopper data.
  • Undertaking some in-store market research.
  • Using data created by your shopping centre owner or local town centre management team.
  • Or simply just spending time getting to know your customers by talking to them.

Aside from Where, you’ll also need to understand Who. Major retailers such as Tesco have a detailed segmentation of their customer types, or personas. Personas are a great way of painting a picture of your shoppers – who they are, how they live their lives, what media they consumer, their hopes and dreams and how you fit in and serve their needs.

Understanding where your community lives is essential for successful growth as one thing is guaranteed – you aren’t maximising that pool of shoppers, there is plenty of headroom to grow.

Being present, top of mind and clear in how you serve your community is one of our key tenets for retail marketing success. And whether you have one store or 950, a marketing team of 50 or it is just you doing it, there are some key areas of focus, and making your marketing hyperlocal, around your store or store estate, that will drive efficiency and success. If the shopper is unlikely to travel to you because there are five other options closer to home, then don’t focus on them, focus on growing value from your local community.

Back to basics

In short, there are really three things you can use your marketing activity to influence;

  • Driving Footfall.
  • Driving Frequency.
  • Driving up Basket Spend.

If you are spending marketing budget and it doesn’t deliver at least one of these then please think hard on whether you should continue it.

Driving Footfall with a Hyperlocal Mindset

Footfall is usually the biggest lever you can pull to grow sales. Consistent activity that keeps you top of mind, clearly understood and relevant is vital. If you aren’t engaging your likely shoppers, there’s a great chance that someone else is and gaining that valuable sale. Regardless of the media you use, consistency is what helps build your brand.

Making sure your marketing activity is for your shoppers, not for you, and is effective, takes time and a mindset to test, learn, fail and improve. There are shortcuts you can take, such as hiring experts or following credible marketing effectiveness experts such as Les Binet and Peter Field.

There are media you can and probably should use, and some you shouldn’t.

Our top tip here is:

Think about wastage and avoid using media that won’t be seen by shoppers in your community

For example;

  • Social Advertising can be targeted around your store or stores using Facebook Business Locations or geographic targeting and gives you the chance to engage with your shoppers.
  • The letterbox is invaluable to some brands and can be targeted locally. At individual or postcode level.
  • TV advertising is proven to give the biggest short and medium term success, which is why it’s used by major brands both offline and online businesses.
  • Addressable TV is accessible to you via Sky Adsmart with an entry price of £3,000. It is an incredibly effective targeted form of TV ads which can be bought at postcode area level and to a very specific consumer profile – as an example we have run TV campaigns where the ads were only shown to households with 4-6 month old babies. For more advice on how to structure a TV ad take a look at this useful article.
  • Out of Home (OOH) can be bought on a site by site basis whether that’s bus stops or 48 sheet posters. Putting your brand right in front of your shopper.

Bonus power play
Test different combinations using a number of channels together with a single-minded proposition uniting them. This ‘media multiplier’ effect can give you a massive effectiveness power up. For example, for a health brand we doubled the sales uplift of a TV campaign by adding a door drop leaflet around stores to drive customer sales.

Google
Google has become the default go to for how should I?, where can I?, what do I do with? Where is my nearest? type questions. We see for a convenience retail client the single biggest day of searching being Christmas Day: “Where is a convenience store open near me?” And the team at Google really gets hyperlocal as they analyse our behaviour online.

There has been a marked increase in near-me searches in recent years – driven by a combination of high mobile device use and Google reshaping search, prioritising fewer, high quality Google Maps results for near me searches and going beyond just showing results, the Discover More Places feature has been introduced to drive even more local interaction.

The push on Google My Business, currently an SEO growth hack for improving visibility and the local customer reviews, (and physical shoppers review online prior to purchase) gives us strong signals that Google, through search and paid is locked on to hyperlocal marketing solutions.

Bringing in it all together
Hyperlocal marketing, across the channels that work for your shoppers, has to be an essential for the marketing of any physical retail business. Whether you’re on TV, paid social, or local press, making sure your brand and your message is seen by shoppers in your community is essential. And a clear understanding of what your community looks like is step one of your journey into hyperlocal marketing.

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  • Darren Low

    CEO