Considered one form of targeted marketing, local marketing is a strategy that involves focusing attention on a specific geographical location and attempting to attract customers within that relatively small market segment. This approach is often used by national and international retailers, and may involve the use of advertising campaigns that are slightly adapted to fit the needs of each community in which the business has a presence. There are a number of benefits associated with local marketing, as well as a few possible liabilities that should be considered before engaging this type of strategic marketing approach.
One of the chief benefits of a local marketing approach is that it allows a business to connect with consumers on a more personal level. As part of the public outreach, the company creates an image that conveys understanding and appreciation for factors that impact that local community. For example, a retail chain that operates in both rural and metropolitan settings may adapt the goods carried in the stores to address specific needs and wants of consumers in each of the two environments. This means that a discount retail store in one community may carry apparel such as t-shirts sporting the colors and logos of local sports teams, while a store in a different community may focus more on apparel related to professional sports teams. In like manner, a store in a metropolitan area may carry more gardening supplies suited to growing flowers on an apartment balcony, while a store in a rural setting may offer a range of supplies suitable for cultivating a large flower or vegetable garden.
Engaging in an effective local marketing approach requires getting to know the consumers in that targeted market. Preparing demographics related to the local area, including average household income levels, population figures, the number of schools in the area, and even the cultural aspects of the community are important to the task of gathering data for the local marketing campaign. Knowing more about the community in general makes it easier to determine what types of goods or services are likely to be in steady demand, making it easier to meet that demand and build a reputation within that community.
While there are benefits associated with using local marketing to build a reputation that generates steady business volume, the efforts are normally expensive on the front end. Should changes in the economy adversely impact the community, consumers will normally focus more on necessities and less on product lines that are relevant to the local community but not thought of as basic needs. Depending on the aggressiveness of the local marketing, the preparation of advertising circulars can be quite expensive, making it important to determine if the cost is generating enough response to make the effort worthwhile in the long run.