When’s the last time you searched for something “near me” on Google? If you’re like most consumers, you’re doing it more and more. Between 2017 and 2019, “near me” searches grew by 250%, followed by an additional 28% growth in 2020. Simultaneously, searches for “nearby”, “open”, and “now” are also growing.
That’s why it’s so important to drive local offers with the right data.
There are lots of data sources in your offer management platform. In it, you can see POS data, social media insights, website analytics, email engagement metrics, survey results, loyalty profiles, and much more. One valuable piece of data is location data. With it, you can target customers in a specific geographically-limited area and leverage all of the “near me” curiosity that today’s consumers have. After all, if they want to buy something “near me” and your offer makes it easy to accomplish, you can generate significant loyalty and incremental revenue.
How do brands benefit from local offer campaigns?
There are plenty of reasons — the biggest being that you’re targeting a smaller group of people. For big brands, that can mean:
- Faster time to market, with a shorter chain of approvals than a global campaign
- Proof that you understand (and are involved with) the local community, which builds customer trust
- A chance to be more creative with offers that leverage local-specific terms, events, and milestones
- An opportunity to pilot campaigns in local markets before rolling them out everywhere
- Higher chances of getting reviews for specific locations, which can go a long way towards building awareness in local markets
- On average, lower costs per target
- Promoting different products or add-ons based on local popularity
You can also use geo-targeted offers to stand out from the competition. For example, if you’re trying to take market share from another QSR in a particular neighborhood, city, or region, send customers a text message offer when they’re close to one of your competitors’ locations. That way, they may be walking or driving by your competitor but they’ll be thinking about you. This can be an especially powerful tactic now, considering the pandemic has changed so many consumers’ daily routines.
Segmenting your campaigns by location also gives you an opportunity to run multiple campaigns at once, without overwhelming people. For example, you may do a special offer for a grand opening in one city, while doing a different offer campaign in another city to celebrate a big sports win, while doing a different offer campaign in another city to help people cool down during a heat wave, while doing a different offer campaign in another city to generate more visits on a specific day of the week.
This is an approach that big brands are already leveraging. For example, First Watch specifically decentralized its marketing strategy so that it could take advantage of hyperlocal and regional strategies in hopes of driving more awareness and higher incremental sales than it did with global campaigns.
For years, the only way for brands to target local audiences was to do it with physical offers, like having fans bring in their ticket stub the day after the big game to get a free sandwich or putting a coupon for a free cup of coffee in the local newspaper during a cold snap.
Now, with the right offer management technology, it’s easy to target in even the smallest of geographical areas, with a variety of channels that your customers prefer — thanks to geo-targeted app notifications, geo-targeted SMS messages, geo-targeted social media ads, specific direct mail parameters, geo-targeted email segments, and more.
While the technology that powers local offers may be relatively new, the concept of local targeting isn’t. Back in 1887, Coca-Cola offered pharmacists two gallons of Coke syrup (which was considered a medicinal product at the time) in exchange for the names and addresses of their customers who lived nearby. Then, they sent out direct mail coupons for a free glass of Coca-Cola to drive awareness.
Just bear in mind that location itself doesn’t always generate the most personalized offer. Even if you’re targeting an incredibly hyperlocal audience, customers still expect offers that align with their preferences. That means leveraging additional data in your offer management platform to ensure that your audience is receiving local offers that feel relevant.
Bottom line — local campaigns can be incredibly powerful for your brand’s awareness and loyalty. The data inside your offer management platform will tell a story about even the smallest of geographical areas so that you can create targeted campaigns that have the right message, for the right audience, at the right time.