Revisiting Local Marketing: Why It Still Matters

In today’s internet-driven world with limitless possibilities for marketing and advertising, local marketing is often pushed to the peripheries. However, for large companies looking to enter emerging, new and untapped markets as well as small companies emerging in their own specific contexts, “local” will always matter.

For the latter, the quest is to effectively capture small markets in areas where they are limited and for the former, the challenge is to continue to attract people in disparate locations, away from their headquarters, against competitors. Either way, staying relevant in each particular local context requires targeted marketing.

As expert Janis Balis points out, the Covid-19 crisis has reinforced what we already knew: that brands need to communicate in very local and precise terms, targeting specific consumers based on their situation and what is going on with them. concerns the most.

It means really understanding the situation on the ground, country by country, state by state, zip code by zip code. For some businesses, such as banks, restaurants or retailers, this may even mean adapting communications store by store. The local context as well as the local talents are essential to imagine the satisfaction of consumer expectations and the expansion and consolidation of a company in a place.

Patanjali’s success story, reported by Harvard Business Review, shows how an acute local presence can help gain competitive advantage and defeat much larger competitors. As the report states, Patanjali’s Dant Kanti toothpaste brand held 1% of the market share in India in 2011 and grew to around 13% in 2017. This was in a category that has long been dominated by Colgate. , which had carefully built a dominant position over the past 80 years with few challengers.

Yet Patanjali could achieve dramatic breakthroughs in just five years, with very limited investment. Initially, Patanjali’s marketing efforts consisted of attending yoga camps and selling his products only through his own outlets. In doing so, she was also getting timely and hyper-targeted consumer feedback, which she used to shape her portfolio and grow her business. This case study succinctly illuminates the potential and effectiveness of local engagement.

To synergize the local with your marketing, several steps may be necessary. First, a firm local presence is needed, which could be accomplished by creating regional websites and stores for a brand with customizations of your products, programs and campaigns and featuring people from the targeted area, as customers and spokespersons.

The mere availability of an alternative in a specific cultural way can entice consumers to bet on your business. Plus, taking inspiration from Patanjali, showcasing the everyday relevance of your product through engagement programs can be a simultaneous opportunity to sell and grow a local customer base. For example, if your brand sells stationery for art, holding an art workshop may interest people, who will learn about the products for sale, as well as the brand while gaining the experience you intend to offer. firsthand.

Second, instead of mindless standardization, strategic adaptation is the way forward for optimal market utilization. The company’s uniform ways of working across different sites must be reconciled with the particular needs of each context. When you localize an effort and focus on a certain set of consumers, we almost enter the realm of direct-to-customer (D2C) services. Interactions here become all the more important with two considerations to keep in mind: consumer trust must be established and local talent must be tapped.

When people in the local community are your employees and advocates, it becomes easier to understand consumer expectations and enable your customers to share critical data with the business. Local talents, who have an advantage over others in understanding local cultures, customs and market needs, must therefore be part of the development and implementation of local marketing strategies.

Local marketing can provide a large company with much-needed granularity and nuance across its vast operations. For a small business, this can build a solid foundation for the future of the business. In either case, the region’s talent pool and consumer base have reacted to become crucial parts of the business and enable it to leverage many specific terrains to write greater success. Local is here to stay and marketing efforts need to take this into account to allow business to flow seamlessly and rewardingly.

(The author is Chief Impact Officer at the Recykal Foundation)