Wednesday, August 11, 2010

3 Things Locally Owned Businesses Must Do

Locally owned businesses that want to do business with the local population need to consider 3 very important points to have an effective marketing strategy. Local marketing is unique and should not be treated like a national campaign. Individuals that shop locally are attracted to companies that they have some type of connection. You must know your target market and base you local marketing on this information.

1. Local Public Relations - You must be working with different local community groups, organizations or schools. Supporting these entities will be seen as giving back to the community. The specific entities will be based on what is best to reach your target market. For example - sponsor local events, become a partner in education with the local schools, support local sports organizations and teams, provide a free service or product to non-profit events, etc. The opportunities are endless in many communities. Pick a few that you care about and that will reach your target market.

2. Local Involvement - Being involved in civic organizations and groups are great networking opportunities. The local chamber of commerce, business groups, leads groups, etc are also great local networking opportunities. Involvement in the local groups that include other local businesses is great marketing and networking. If you are a B2B company, this is where many leads are found. B2C companies can find customers and other businesses to create productive partnerships in other activities.

3. Local Advertising - Part of supporting other local businesses is advertising with your local media outlets. Whether it is newspaper, radio, magazine, online directories, chamber of commerce, etc. - you want to spend you marketing dollars locally. It sends a dual message of local company supporting other local businesses. Remember - advertise only with those outlets that reach your target market. Do not advertise with them JUST because they are local.

This is a very good start and will serve as a good foundation to your marketing strategy. Your local customer base need some way to have a connection with you or your business. Find ways in the community to connect to as many people as possible.