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Building a hyper-local marketing strategy? Here’s how to get started

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Hyper-local is the marketing buzzword du jour. However, getting your head around what is available and how and when to use the activities is key to the creation of a strategy that is relevant and delivers the desired effect.

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Any marketing strategy will have a number of key components such as goals, target market, an understanding of strengths and weaknesses, activities, measure and feedback. In this day and age, whether you own a garden service in the leafy suburbs of Constantia or you are the Marketing Director on a 700-store network of fast food outlets, many of the same rules apply. Hyperlocal marketing is about being relevant to the community and the residents of the immediate area you do business in.

Goals
Every business needs them. But when you are thinking about putting a local strategy together the goals need to have a local flavour and specificity. Your goal might be to sell more ice creams. If you were going to make this a little more locally relevant, you may construct the goal with a geographic twist. Such as: We want to sell more ice creams in the following locations when the weather is mild to hot.

Target market — getting to know the people that live around your business
Understanding who you are currently selling to and who you want to sell to is a critical component of an effective strategy. You can get to know your audiences by observation (watching who buys what and who they appear to be) but to do this takes an immense amount of dedication.

You can use research surveys from various data vendors but often these are provincial or, at best, regional and thus don’t represent your actual locality – it would be like using a population number for Gauteng to base a strategy on for your shop in Morningside. There is little or no correlation between the provincial understanding and the people who live around your store.

Understanding where the fish are is a critical part of fishing! The solution would be to get a data partner to work out where your desired target markets are and market in those areas. Local data is critical to local success.

SWOT
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Find opportunity and be aware of the threat. Once you’ve established these parameters you’ll have a much more informed perspective of your environments.

Activities — talk to your local consumer

There are numerous activities you can undertake to drum up local support for your business:

  • Get involved with local schools and groups
  • Send an email or SMS to people that live around you
  • Buy relevant outdoor or street pole advertising
  • Put up signage in the right languages with the right tone
  • Provide relevant solutions — ice cream on hot days

Measure and feedback — tracking success

There are many ways you can measure success or, for that matter, failure. The sales factor is simple to measure, but not necessarily granular enough to promote an understanding of the actual causes. The measurement of conversion by channel can demonstrate how people buy things in your various channels. Different email addresses, mobile or short code numbers can be easily tracked. Digital or physical coupons can be distributed and tracked against purchases.

In order to meet your goals it is essential to start at the beginning. By getting your head around the strategy parts makes it easier to derive the activities you are going to need to meet your strategy goals.

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