If Social Media’s “brand chat” is at one end of marketing, hike all the way across the spectrum to the hyper targeted, call-to-action space called local marketing. This is where you can dial up the specifics of your customer targeting and approach them with focused, action-oriented sales messaging. These days it’s direct marketing on steroids and it’s being enabled by some big, new-school media companies.

Google reports that 20% of all searches are from people looking for local places: plumbers, restaurants, and — for those of us living in the Vancouver suburbs last week — snow tire shops. Over the past couple years, Google AdWords has offered the ability to get closer in with our ads, almost down to neighbourhood levels, to ensure we’re only advertising to people that matter to our businesses. It also provides a local business directory, Google Places. Google really believes in local targeting for its advertisers: rumour is that Google is about to buy local deals site Groupon, and is willing to spend in excess of 2.5 Billion dollars to bring a single-offer, geo-targeted, selling tool to its customers.

Targeting is not new; companies like Environics Analytics have being developing lifestyle-based segmentation models for years to help businesses identify the needs, attitudes and behaviours of customers, and overlay that on geography. Some of this is based on the simple adage “birds of a feather, flock together”, meaning consumers tend to live in micro regions where other consumers behave like them. What is new is how this is being transported into self-serve advertising tools, for example Facebook Advertising.

FB supports demographic filtering, but also behavioural filtering in its advertising. The social networking giant has integrated a tag-like filter that allows advertisers to type keywords that are part of users’ collective profile data. Want to target single men in British Columbia, age 25–34, who love to play the Monopoly board game? There’s 420 of them on Facebook waiting to act on your advertisement!

When you put together your next marketing plan, make sure you consider your local prospects and how you can use the new tools to cost-effectively get your sales message in front of your most receptive audience — and them only.

Hot Tomali Communications
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