Does your most promising customer base live within a 20-minute drive from you? Are these the folks who are most likely to become your frequent buyers and loyal fans? If so, it makes sense to establish a neighborhood marketing plan that lets you concentrate some resources on this market.
It’s tempting to think you’ll reach more prospects through TV and radio, but harkening to the siren song of national mass media rarely works out for small and medium businesses. Chances are you’ll end up spreading your resources too thin to make any impact. Instead, stick with a few proven-effective ways to connect with your local market.
- Get involved – Community events like annual parties, sports events, clean-up days and festivals give you a chance to connect with your neighbors on a personal level. Consider throwing a party, running a fund-raiser for a neighborhood cause or sponsoring a sport team. Don’t use this neighborhood marketing tactic just for advertising, though. Make a real effort to get to know your neighbors as people.
- Welcome new residents – Newcomers often appreciate a little help finding useful local businesses. Grabbing new residents’ attention early also helps ensure you become one of the businesses they frequent as they establish their routine. Every month, buy a list of newly arrived residents and welcome them by sending a personalized mailing with a coupon or other incentive to get to know your business.
- Local mailings – The humble direct mail campaign can pull surprising profits if run well. Marketing locally gives you an edge here. Instead of sending blind, blanket style mass mailings, you can mail to your recent customers’ neighbors. These individuals are highly likely to share your existing customers’ needs and buying habits. Consider sending jumbo postcards that aren’t likely to get pushed aside. Some 54 percent of mailed postcards get read, according to the DMA Statistical Fact Book 2012.
Have you been tapping into your local market as much as you could be? If not, what are your plans for future neighborhood marketing?
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