Hyperlocal marketing often translates to geo-location targeting for digital ads. But what if hyperlocal was more about the individual than online behavior? What if hyperlocal could be redefined as the opportunity to connect one-to-one. You know, the way things used to work. Why is this important today? Because thanks to many things (cough, cough COVID) that human connection has been lost at many levels.
While technology plays a role in making it easier to obtain and disseminate information, what it doesn’t (yet) do (well) is add in the Human Factor. That Human Factor is what has kept many businesses moving forward, or as we have seen, stopped others in their tracks. But how do you scale that special sauce, that Human factor (personal connection) when the breadth and reach of what we do today is not just about getting to the guy or gal around the corner—but more often around the nation or even globe?
Let’s start with the history of hyperlocal. It began with a small business trying to get the word out in their neighborhood. Much of this happened through individual conversations and handshakes. Some of it rippled outward by word-of-mouth or handing out flyers in crowds or even targeted events. It was powered by people who knew people and how to connect with them in a way that seemed less like selling and more like letting them in on something new or giving them access to a really great deal. Then it was up to the business to take that fledgling relationship to the next level.
Today everyone is inundated with a barrage of information. While most of it is targeted and some of it is hyperlocal, it has lost the luster of what happened when you met the owner, the workers, “your guy” and knew that your money was what was keeping him and his family and his whole business afloat. Some of this is what has driven the success of the “Shop Local” movement. On the flip side, it has also driven the rise of the “Buy Nothing” mindset where consumers aspire to only consume what is bartered and given away (we do have more “stuff” than in any other time in the past—but the ramifications of that is another topic for another time.)
Look, we work in digital marketing and are not saying to ditch the benefits of technology and targeting in any way. We believe that starting with the human aspect of the business is the best way to go. What do we mean by that? Simply this: begin with the humans behind the business. That could mean boots on the ground in the location looking for a solution that only a human can see is really needed. It could be having a dialogue with local target audiences, shoppers, and consumers to understand their human truths whether it is what they need, what they are missing or what they desire most.
We started this thought process because we felt it was an important topic that needed to be talked about. The question posed was: “How do you humanize hyperlocal marketing to make it more of a person-to-person connection?” We would love to hear from you and your thoughts! Give us a buzz—a human will actually respond—and speak with you! (or drop us a line by email or even snail mail!) We are setting up a survey @HUMAN FACTOR SURVEY to get more input and create a white paper which we hope to share out soon.
So, long story short, we believe you should always put people first. It will give you the results you are looking for in life and in business.