One of the most powerful consumer trends of 2020 has been the move to the suburbs. Yes, the ‘burbs. The suburbanization of America is changing the way we live, work, and play.
This trend was in place before the COVID-19 pandemic began, but the nationwide health crisis has accelerated it. Consumers are increasingly shopping where they live, whether it’s for safety or convenience.
Smaller, local businesses are often perceived as safer choices than crowded big-box stores. There is also an increased desire to support local businesses during tough times as many of them will take the biggest hit throughout the entire pandemic.
For companies interested in growing their sales, this means an increased emphasis on localized marketing. According to a study by Accenture, two-thirds of consumers are now either shopping primarily in neighborhood stores or buying more locally sourced products.
So how do you engage local customers? We’ve put together a few easy ways you can begin the process.
1. Emphasize direct mail.
Direct mail marketing is your best friend in this situation. For many business owners, local and in-person contact aren’t possible. These business owners should consider using the option that is the next best thing to a face-to-face interaction– direct mail.
The most important thing to remember when you use direct mail is the value of the customer’s name, not a generic term that can be used for anyone. Try to slide in other personal details about them, such as something they have bought from you before. The more personalized and local you can make it feel, the better.
Consider pinpointing how you connect locally with pictures of your location. Reference local landmarks and personalities to create a sense of home. “Conveniently located one block from Town Square!”
2. Use local imagery.
Unfortunately, it’s time to ditch the stock photos and generalized verbiage, making your communications as detailed as possible. You need to use local imagery to showcase that you really know the local area and have been there yourself.
Use street names or neighborhoods instead of generic terms. This is the time to invest in a great photographer— these photos need to look good.
3. Add personalized maps.
Specialized software allows you to dynamically add personalized maps to your print and email communications. Not only will this help you connect to customers personally, but you’ll showcase how easy and convenient it is to work with your business.
Show the driving route from the recipient’s home or office to your store or venue. Add distance, driving time, and important landmarks, such as parking garages and restaurants. Make sure to make it colorful and fun, that way they’re more inclined to pay attention to the details.
4. Use radio to generate excitement.
Radio gives any message a hometown feel, so use localized spots to promote your event in advance of a direct mail campaign. “Look for our 10% off coupon in your mailbox soon!”
Boost awareness and increase the likelihood that people will open your direct mail piece as soon as it arrives. If you’re hosting an event or a manning a booth, make sure to drop the name of the your location as much as possible so people know where to find you.
Now is a time when buyers increasingly yearn for the comfort of home. Tap into that yearning with powerful localized multichannel marketing that keeps your audience’s hearts—and shopping—local.
PMI: Here to Help With Your Creative Marketing Services
Refocusing your marketing strategies isn’t necessarily an easy task. That’s why the professionals at PMI are here to help. With years of experience across various industries, we have the tools you need to help implement a more local and “homey” marketing strategy for your business, allowing you to better succeed in the current consumer climate.
If you need help, or have general questions, reach out to PMI today on our website.