Local marketing has always been a very traditional space. Newspapers, local magazines, yellow pages of some variety, direct mail, ValPak etc etc. Because of this traditional approach the local marketing segment has been a little slower to adopt the online space. However, if the numbers reported by a BIA/Kelsey study are correct that shift is taking place and ready to take root over the next few years.
The chart below shows the ‘recovery’ of local ad spend but the important number to note is that when the numbers fell off the table from 2008 to 2009 only traditional media took the hit.
Moving forward traditional marketing will still be the dominant vehicle but its percentage of the overall ad spend for the local marketer will be decreasing for the foreseeable future while online/interactive sees increases in overall percentage of ad spend.
Even mobile will be seeing significant gains when it barely existed as a blip on the radar in 2008.
The local aspect of marketing as a whole and Internet marketing in particular is on the verge of a real breakout. Why? It’s because it makes sense. In the end, most things we do and buy have a local twist. Until marketers truly understand this idea the local market will be under utilized but I doubt it will stay that way for long.