Before we get too far, I want to clarify that in my professional opinion, there is always more than one correct way to view/build a marketing strategy. That’s what makes this business so fun – the unique creativity required to solve an open-ended problem. So, I am not going to tell you that a “hyperlocal strategy” is always the best approach. Like anything else, it depends on your objective, internal politics, KPIs, ability to execute it, local government, bird migrations, gas prices, pandemics, etc. But I will argue it’s usually the best approach because EVERYTHING at some point, is local, from the customer point of view. And customers are what drives business.
Hyperlocal marketing, by simple definition, speaks to reaching audience targets around your individual location (use the same tactic, same message, but change your audience demo based on their geo.) Our definition goes one step further: Hyperlocal Marketing means to focus your intention on the individual customer and what works within the community around your store. It’s the idea that being local is louder than being national. This may require different tactics, different messaging, and different targets for each location. It’s a much greater task and often way more work than one would think. It requires insight into each market.
This often means breaking your budget down so that each store has an opportunity to market to their own neighborhoods in their own unique way. It requires understanding that some stores may require more money and energy than others. For example, New York City will be more expensive than Syracuse. It requires understanding who can execute locally. Some stores may have owners or managers that are willing to execute more, or store managers who are active in their community or on social media. It requires understanding what’s available to use in some markets. Some stores may have a better opportunity than others, like sponsoring the Bills in Buffalo. Not every city is going to have as loyal a fan base or brand affinity (I can say that because I’m a Bills fan.) It generally requires that you understand current events, hot buttons, colloquialisms, geography/maps, festivals, famous alumni, local heroes and culture of each town. AKA – you should probably visit!
Hyperlocal matters because effort matters to the customer. Customers want to know your brand has taken the time to speak to them where they are (and don’t forget that part of your marketing involves the support of the store personnel as well.) Think about seeing your favorite celebrity walk down your street and take the effort to say hello personally. What a thrill! Now pretend your brand is a celebrity. Work toward that situation.
Conversely, you’ve seen the movie where the city slicker with the suit walks into a gas station and the guy in coveralls and straw hat says, “You speak real pretty. You ain’t from around here, are ya?” This is the antithesis of hyperlocal marketing. Customers aren’t dumb. They know who took the time to try.
Lastly, consider your budget. It seems counterintuitive that it may save you money to be hyperlocal. And depending on how you execute, you may be right. But let’s just consider this example. Say you have $80,000 dollars to spend. And that Bills stadium seats 80,000 people (one dollar per head.) But you know that only those sitting in certain sections can act on your message. You know that roughly 10,000 of the 80,000 people are your true customers. When you send your message across the stadium, you’re paying to hit everyone. Wouldn’t it be better to hit those 10,000 people 8 times instead?
It’s not complicated. It just takes a little practice, maybe a flight or two, and the ability to flip your perspective to that of a local customer. What matters to them? Long story short: Hyperlocal marketing is a mindset!