Posted November 2, 2011 3:04 pm by with 1 comment

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The internet may be the great global equalizer, but big brands are going local in order to make shopping more personal. Earlier this month, Walmart set up Facebook pages dedicated to each of their stores and Sears is offering local ads online.

A new report from CMO Council says this is just a small sample of what we’ll be seeing in the future. 86% of the marketers they surveyed said they’re actively looking for a better way to localize their efforts. 49% said that localization was essential to business growth.

In the past, local advertising meant the Yellow Pages, but not so much anymore. Local deal networks such as Groupon also came in at the bottom of the list.

What channels are marketers using? Direct mail, local websites, social networks and relationship-building events came out on top.

Pros and Cons

When asked about the pros and cons of localized marketing, 67% said it provided  “greater customer relevance, response and return.” Also mentioned was improved loyalty and advocacy and better connectivity with the customer.

On the downside, understanding the local market dynamics was listed as a challenge, along with determining the right cost/benefit model for the spend. As with many types of campaigns, measuring effectiveness was also listed as a challenge.

50% of those surveyed said they were under-performing in local markets and needed to step up their game.

My Local Website

Brick and mortar stores aren’t the only businesses that can benefit from local marketing. Adding a local touch to your online business can go a long way toward promoting sales and customer loyalty.  People like to buy from people. That’s why people will buy a $25 handmade hat on Etsy instead of a $5 mass produced hat at the store.

Take a look at your website. What image are you projecting? Cold, faceless company or hard-working owner who runs in local charity marathons? Simply showing the world that you’re a real person with hometown roots can buy you a lot of goodwill and that’s a whole different kind of localized marketing.

How important is local to your marketing plan?

  • Smart move for Walmart to market locally through Facebook. I agree that you would buy something from a “Guy” you know than from a website. Whenever I give out business cards , I let them know about me to make my marketing more personal.