Gareth Grant, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop, says that over the past two years, we’ve been made much more aware of the value placed on local services and businesses around us.
We all choose to live and shop locally, in geographic areas that suit us and that are convenient to our life stages and lifestyles. This plays a role in the shops we frequent, the restaurants we eat at, the cinema houses we chose to watch the next instalment of the Fast & Furious (F10 coming in 2023, watch this space) and ultimately the brands and products we chose to engage with, or not.
In 2021 we saw a surge in searches related to ‘near me’, a shift in focus to hyper-localisation relevancy. This is commonly known as the Local Imperative. So, having an understanding of these locally minded, collectively conscious consumers at this local level is key.
Additional data to back this up is the strength we see in local community media. Take community newspapers as an example. In South Africa, 83% of all circulating newspapers are local publications (sold, free and hybrid titles). When looking at the ABC figures from Q3 2021, the category of local newspapers circulated 4,814,684 copies. To put this into perspective, this is 4.8 times the amount of daily and weekly/weekend newspapers, which circulated 994,281 copies in Jul–Sept 2021. It’s clear that the Local Imperative is in full swing.
Still not sure? If we look at the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa’s (BRC’s) RAM™ Apr-Aug ’21 figures, we see a community station, Jozi FM, with a Past 7 Day (P7D) listenership of 529,000. This just goes to show how powerful community media is, and how alive the Local Imperative is. An audience of over 500,000 is not small. This is comparable, and in some instances bigger, than ‘mainstream’ commercial radio stations.
You may be asking ‘so what?’. Well, the point is that as advertising and marketing experts, it is essential that we don’t solely focus our attentions and budgets on the ‘mainstream’ stations, channels and publications. We need to geo-segment a little deeper to understand this locally minded shopper and talk to them in close proximity to where they shop, play and live.
As a brand custodian, how much physical and mental availability do you have at a local level? A lot, some, none? The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science have reports on this.
We need to make it easy for our customers and potential customers to think of us when making a purchase or acquiring a new service. This will also help a brand or product defend or grow market share. To further enhance a brand’s local presence, and localise messaging to that area or community, will ensure that all brand assets remain constant. This makes the messaging and brand that much more relatable to your hyper-local customer.
Peel back the layers and make sure that you do not ignore this ‘close to home’ shopper, as it is in these hyper-local areas where products and services are ultimately bought.