Local businesses can benefit greatly from using what we consider the golden ticket to success: trade area marketing. If you’re using a one-size-fits-all approach with your local marketing and not diversifying your efforts based on location, we urge you to consider this strategy. Let’s walk you through trade area marketing, how to construct a strategy based on it and why it will benefit your business.
A trade area is defined by the “commercial reach” of a company, and stretches as far as your customers are willing to travel. This area can range depending on your business’ geography and number of households within a given radius. It can also increase depending on the type of products you sell and the proximity of your competitors. Knowing your trade area is key to building relationships with your local consumers and making an authentic connection.
Step 1: Audience Awareness
We all know that Simba just couldn’t wait to be king, but he had some inner growth he needed to conquer before he could step up to the plate. The same goes for your business; you need to do some digging and get to know your audience before you can be crowned by your community. Split your audience into two groups: existing customers and new or potential customers. This will allow you to send messages that resonate to help build your customer retention and strengthen your customer acquisition.
Step 2: Area Analysis
Remember, no two trade areas are the same. Get to know your neighborhood by driving around, visiting local events, noting key demographic statistics, listing your local schools and getting involved in the community. Integrate yourself into your trade area by seeing where your opportunities lie and spotting which ones you could be missing. Need help garnering this insight, UMI can help!
Step 3: Plan Development
Now that you have the data you need, you can build a strategy around it. Align seasonal opportunities or piggyback off a national campaign with a solid plan that is based on your local demographics. Some tactics could include targeted direct mail, signage, flyers, street teams, emarketing campaigns, billboard placement, VIP programs, and more into a strategic plan that will ensure results.
Step 4: Performance Check-ins
With each tactic you execute, analyze the data you get back. How many email opens did you get from your latest campaign? Did the percent increase or decrease from the last email? How many coupons were used from a direct mailer you recently sent? Always evaluate each element and its performance. Don’t forget to update your plan based on the results!
Take your business to the next level with trade area marketing. If used properly, you will see the ROI it brings immediately. You could meet short-term goals like generating sales for a particular product, or you could achieve long-term goals like increasing your customer awareness year over year. By pursuing a trade area marketing strategy, you will make your brand top-of-mind locally and create organic ROI. Some intangible positives also include increased brand awareness, positive impressions and a “feel good” mentality associated with your brand. This is especially true if your business engages in community good as part of your strategy – people are 6 times more likely to become a core consumer of a brand if they see them impacting the community for the better.
Interested in trade area marketing, but don’t know where to start? That’s where we come in.. Contact us today for your local marketing needs.