“Most local marketing programs fail, not because of lack of good ideas, but because of poor follow-through and support” – Jeff Slutsky
“Commitment is more important than creativity” – Dan Kennedy
A local- level marketing program is a local business outreach initiative where owners, managers, and employees who work at an individual location entice the local area consumers to be regular customers. The focus in is on the neighborhood or community. That geographic primary trading area where the majority of the business’s customers come from.
It could be a three to five mile radius but that could be bigger or smaller depending on the type of business and marketplace.
At this level, the mass media is cost prohibitive on an individual unit basis. Even when combining a number of units in a marketplace, the individual, local store marketing approach, when done properly, always shows the highest return for you marketing investment.
The Tactics Are Many
The tactics are many but not all of them work for every situation. Your goal is to collect a war chest of ideas that will allow you to take advantage of the hundreds of opportunities to infiltrate your local area with low-cost and even free advertising designed to generate initial trial and repeat sales.
But more important than the war chest of tactics, you need a system in place in your organization to ensure proper execution and follow up. The tactics are developed for and executed by the individual unit.
However, if your company has 100 franchisees, or 500 dealers, or 75 agencies, you also need to create a local marketing infrastructure to support that effort. Most local marketing programs fail, not because of a lack of ideas, but because of a lack of follow through and support.
So in addition to many of the specific promotions, it’s important to develop and execute an implementation infrastructure that allows you to consistently conduct local marketing programs over time.
You must follow to make sure each system is being executed properly by each franchisee, dealer or agency.
How is the Grassroots Marketing Solution Different?
The main emphasis is not on marketing. The marketing part is the easiest part of the program.
The focus is on training and development. When most local marketing programs get started, the unit manager or owner is handed a manual and told to go out to the community and bump up sales. Even with a full-day seminar, it’s not enough to get unit owners or managers to implement the programs.
Think of it like the military. You wouldn’t hand someone a gun and a helmet, point to the battlefield and tell them to engage the enemy. Soldiers are well-trained.
It’s unfair to expect an operations-focused person to develop marketing and sales skills on their own. They go through boot camp, specialty training, on-the-job training, certification, and so on. A similar approach is what is needed to make this type of program work.