The future of local is whatever, whenever, wherever – there’s no such thing as a national consumer.
What’s a national consumer? There’s no such thing. A consumer has a home, an address and a zip code. They have a location.
Until somewhat recently, only local businesses had the tools to market themselves in their own neighborhoods. Google AdWords, for example. Why? Because until recently, nobody thought national brands could scale locally.
Local PPC (aka Pay-Per-Click) marketing is a go-to advertising platform for local businesses and independent contractors. If you use a search engine to find a plumber, you’ll probably receive a highlighted sponsored ad for a few plumbers in your area.
Now, local businesses can target customers in any specific geographic location, as national brands can. For example, when I look up “maid service” I get a mix of local services and national brands, like Molly Maid and Merry Maids.
This is Molly and Merry both getting a cut of the local action. Their services are available locally, so why shouldn’t they advertise in those specific regions?
This same principle applies to other national brands. Have you ever seen a television commercial on TV for a chain restaurant that doesn’t exist anywhere near you? Why are they wasting their money?
Residents of Massachusetts saw commercials for Sonic for 10 years before anyone bought a franchise and built one there. The reason why it took so long is that Sonic is typically run by employees on wheels, which doesn’t bode well for New England winters. So why did Sonic continue to spend its commercial ad dollars on consumers who weren’t able to drive up and buy that cherry lime slush they were pushing?
If you’re buying PPC ads, but you’re not buying local PPC ads, then you may be flushing money down the toilet.
Consider this: is a consumer more likely to respond to an ad promoting her favorite shampoo, or one that promotes a sale on her favorite shampoo at Target a mile away?
How Local PPC is Adapting to Geo-Friendly Promotions
When you’re paying for a click, make sure that every person clicking is part of your target audience. If you’re a national brand, you know it’s taken decades to imagine this as a multiplatform possibility, but here’s how that has changed:
PPC is no longer just Google, Bing and Yahoo.
It’s also Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets, too. All of them will allow you to target ads to a specific geolocation, which means that if you’re having a sale on a product only in Boston, you can create that unique campaign.
Ads no longer need to be blanket statements.
Every broadcasting medium from television commercials, to video ads and banner ads, can be customized right down to the zip code. Solutions like SmartDelivery exponentially expands your audience exposure across channels, devices, properties and media. It places promotions in the right place, at the right time, with the right message.
Multiplatform PPC advertisements are easier to deploy.
You can now consolidate targeted offers from all your print promotional efforts (flyers, ads, etcetera) and transition to a fresh, always-on, curated experience on any digital platform.
In the non-click real world, Geofencing is enabling advertisers to connect directly with consumers in their immediate area. The MLB has installed iBeacons in stadiums in order to help fans get around, while Apple stores are using them to assist customers in purchasing decisions while in the store.
Location-based advertising is not just the future; it’s the right now. If you’re not delivering ads that are geographically relevant, then you’re delivering ads that are geographically irrelevant.