Managing local marketing strategies for multiple-location companies can be challenging, even for experienced marketers. Let’s say you’re running a 30-location grocery store on the West Coast of the United States. Your store managers are begging you to do a better job of marketing to their local audiences. Here are just a sampling of their complaints:
How do you solve these problems? By adopting local store marketing (LSM).
Local store marketing (LSM) is all of the marketing activities you do to help your business be locally relevant to customers within a 1- to 5-mile radius. LSM requires a lot of effort, but the payoff can be great. It’s all about building relationships, giving back to the community and serving the needs of local customers.
Think about the unique characteristics of each of your locations. Essentially you want to come up with a location-based buyer persona (or multiple) for each of your stores. Here is an example to help you get started.
Having a location-specific database and good engagement platform will make LSM much easier and more efficient. If you have a store-wide database, you can’t promote Asian produce selectively to your Asian audience.
Assuming you’ve set up Google My Business (GMB) for all of your locations1:
Create location-specific web pages (company name/location) and social media personas to further help connect local customers with a specific site.
Use email marketing to reach out to each location-based persona. Ideally, have the local emails signed by the local store manager.
With smart phones all the rage, text messages are even more effective than emails for connecting with local community members, especially if you’re encouraging people to visit the store. Consider using an automated system to make texting even easier. Invite your customers back, thank them for coming in, send birthday messages and much more. Offer your customers a treat and give them 7 days to come in to redeem it.
At a minimum, replace the corporate address information with the local address information. You can do this for online assets as well as for physical assets.
When you use geotargeting in your online communications, not only do you make local customers feel warm and fuzzy by highlighting favorite watering holes (e.g., popular restaurants, bars, companies and shops), but you also influence the owners of those favorite places to think about partnering with you. This gives you the opportunity down the road to do some joint marketing, which can be very powerful.
We all love great reviews. But we know that with great reviews come some not-so-great reviews. Truth be told, the bad reviews aren’t the end of the world. People trust companies much more when they don’t look absolutely perfect. For example, let’s say you’re looking for an area rug on Overstock, and you see that they have some bad reviews. But when you dig deeper, you notice that most of the bad reviews were due to the wrong product being sent, and the reviewers said that the company handled the mistakes smoothly.
Whether the reviews are bad or good, it’s important for the store manager to respond to all of them (the local person is key here). Corporate should write up positive and negative templates that they use on behalf of their store managers (making sure their store managers see everything) or their store managers use.
We hope this article has given you good ideas for how to adopt LSM if you are marketing for a company or franchise with multiple locations.
Happy Local Store Marketing!
1Please visit to learn how to do bulk verification in GMB.