The Economic Benefits of Buying Local

How much money did you spend at a local, independent business this week? Books from a used book shop instead of Amazon? Fruit from a farmer’s market instead of a grocery chain? Perhaps you hired a local handyman to fix that leak in your sink.

Independent We Stand says that if every family spent $10 a month at a local store, $9.3 billion would be returned to the local economy. That’s more money for schools and roads and fire equipment. That’s money to put a park on a vacant lot or create a safer environment for you and yours.

The initiative thinks that more people would buy locally if they truly understood the impact, so they’ve created an online widget that makes it crystal clear. Visit IndependentWeStand.org, and click on the economic impact calculator. Enter your state and choose the metro-area nearest you and get ready to be amazed. Those dollars really add up fast.

American Express Has a New Twist on the Old Deal

Everyone loves a discount, but remembering to print or cut, then carry and redeem a coupon is a hassle. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone out to eat, only to realize that I left the coupon at home. And I’m here to tell you, most places won’t give you the deal without that golden ticket in hand.

Enter American Express. They’re working to eliminate the hassle of coupon redemption by eliminating the coupon, printable or otherwise. They’ve teamed up with Foursquare on a new program that gives consumers cash back on their American Express card when they fulfill a deal requirement. No coupon needed.

SmartBlog talked with American Express Vice President of Global Marketing Capabilities Dave Wolf about the idea and here’s what he had to say:

Strong Growth Expected in Location-Based Services

In real estate, location is everything and it’s pretty important when it comes to marketing, too.  According to a study by Pyramid Research, location-based revenue in the US is expected to climb from $2.8 billion in 2010 to $10.3 billion in 2015.

A big chunk of that change will go out to location-based advertising, which, according to Pyramid, is the fastest growing segment. They expect it to be responsible for 60% of the location-based service revenue by 2015. Within that, local search is key.

“Not only are navigation applications moving to a search-funded model, but there are also a wide range of other companies looking to capitalize on the growth of local search, including start-ups (such as Poynt and Yelp), local business advertising specialists (such as Yellow Pages) and vertical aggregators (such as toptable and HotelBooker).”

Insurance Emails Click While Technology Emails Lag

Social media is great for the fast hit, but email is still the option of choice when it comes to delivering a customized marketing message.

A new study by Harte-Hanks shows that overall delivery rates are at 95% for 2010, slightly up from 2009 and unsubscribes are down to .19%.

When it comes to the all important open and click, it varies by industry. Overall, open rates dropped to 17% from 26%, but Harte-Hanks says this might not be an accurate depiction of the facts. They say that many emails only report as “open” once the images have been downloaded, but many people will skip the images, rather than deal with the potential for a virus or simply because it’s an unnecessary step.

Clickthroughs Are Still the Most Used Marketing Metric

When asked what types of metrics they use to measure success, the majority of marketers responded with the good old clickthrough. Now, I’m all for “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but we’re starting to see that, especially with social media, counting clicks isn’t the best way to gauge success.

So what is? eMarketer has seven answers in their new book, “Digital Impact: The Two Secrets to Online Marketing Success.” Written by eMarketer CEO and co-founder Geoff Ramsey and Vipin Mayar, EVP of McCann Worldgroup, the book states that there are seven types of metrics, that if mastered, will give you a clear picture of how you’re doing.

Let’s take a closer look at a couple of them.

Qualified Reach, or Qualified Visits

Advertisers Increase Spending, But Consumers Aren’t Buying

Spending is up! Spending is down! It’s just another week in the world of marketing and this time AdAge has both stories running in the same day.

First we have stats from Advertiser Perceptions which show that advertisers are planning on spending more money in the coming 12 months. You would think that an increase in spend, signals confidence in the economy but apparently one thing has little to do with the other.

Advertiser Perceptions CEO Ken Pearl says,

“The biggest surprise was that in the face of what appears to be a weakening economy, optimism is not just maintaining but increasing among advertisers.”

Or maybe advertisers have become delirious from the stress of falling profits and are going on the spending equivalent of a drinking binge. Think I’m off the mark? Check out this chart.

3GTV Launches First ‘Smart’ Grocery Store

TV commercials are great for reinforcing a brand preference, but what happens when the TV is off and the consumer heads to the store? If you look at a grocery list, it’s more likely that you’ll see “soda” instead of “Coke” or “coffee” instead of “Tully’s.”

3GTV has a solution and they call it the “Smart” grocery store. The test program, which launches today, involves 9 Bloom grocery stores in the Washington D.C. area. Here shoppers will be shown brand messaging as they shop through the use of digital, shelf-edge displays. The program also is interactive and has the ability to track and measure shopper activity.

PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Nestle Purina have all signed on to be a part of the pilot program which could be the next big thing in in-store marketing.