Are you a local business dependent on local traffic? The time to get “hyper-local” to the mobilized was yesterday!!!!

Think about how many businesses you just learn about in your own hometown — you’ve driven by their sign for years but just noticed them because you finally needed something they were selling so you sought them out.  You never heard of them before, how is that possible?!

You aren’t focused on them, they didn’t get your attention.  They didn’t reach you.

Hyper-local advertising has been around for a while, it’s been plagued with obvious issues relating to devices, geotargeting, privacy concerns, and the fact IP addresses are only about 70% “true to location” — meaning my device sometimes will start showing the weather in Rapid City, SD when I now live in Jacksonville, FL!  Geotargeting has come a long way these past 3 years and the technology, platforms, and understanding of this medium and audiences still has a lot of opportunity for growth and improvement.

Geotargeting advertising platforms have been evolving more quickly and competition is forcing these companies to start offering new and affordable advertising programs.  This will benefit all businesses on the local level dependent on physical foot traffic, this means it will also help the smallest “Mom & Pop” businesses most since campaigns can be set up to accommodate any budget.

I mean ANY budget — starting at only $1 a day

can get your advertising message on A THOUSAND LOCAL MOBILE PHONE SCREENS RIGHT NOW!

I am pretty impressed with the initial CPM numbers based on the fact these are highly targeted ads.  As we all know in the marketing strategy/ad placement world, the more advertising is targeted, the higher its value to those advertisers.  This makes sense, after all, since a company that manufactures outdoor camping equipment like Colemans should be willing to pay a lot more money to reach 1,000 people who are actually interested in camping and hunting as opposed to just 1,000 people with nothing else in common but the fact they all own a cell phone.  With the “targeted” list they’re reaching 1,000 people who “love camping”, the “generic” list is just 1,000 people.  Maybe the generic list contains 10% who love camping, is it safe to infer that the “targeted” list is worth 10 times more than the “generic” one, then?  10x more responses, 10x more referrals means 10x more potential sales.

But it gets even more interesting as the “targeted” list in this scenerio is actually even more valuable by the fact these people are on mobile devices within driving distance to your location.  Targeting increases the likelihood of reaching interested and motivated buyers, but it also guarantees the majority of these targets are mobilized — already on their cell phone, perhaps at a traffic stop, looking to buy the product within the hour.  This scenario is playing out across America 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and more local businesses are putting more money in paper coupons in their local “Shopper” weekly than they are in this much more immediate channel!

Just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea

For many business owners, if they don’t understand something, they just don’t do it.  It must be a bad idea or they would’ve thought of it already.  Ohh, get over yourselves.

I’ve found they won’t consider it, they’re slow to adapt and are not willing to put even a portion of their scarce ad dollars into something “unproven” (meaning they didn’t see results with their own eyes, but how could they if they’ve never tried?!)  It’s unfortunate, because you can use all the logic and numbers in the world — the same owner who will easily spend $300k or $400k per month on radio and television advertising isn’t willing to put even 1% of their ad budget, often no more than $1k per month, reaching targeted mobile consumers typing in descriptions and looking for the very products and services they are selling.  If you add up the cost in lost sales opportunities, by not advertising to local mobile consumers is depleting the actual value of the rest of your advertising because it is weakening your return on your overall advertising investment.

20% of your ad budget should be diverted YESTERDAY to local mobile consumers!

Right now, if you are a local business and you depend on traffic to your store, you should seriously consider phasing in a localized mobile advertising campaign at least 20% of your total advertising budget!  That’s just a start, depending on what you’re selling and your local market and competition.  After all, you may be late in the game so your ad won’t be nearly as effective if 3 of your competitors are already doing this.  (Yes, I’m talking to you small local business owner.)

Those local businesses who are not reaching those highly-mobilized consumers searching for the very product they offer are losing business to their local competition who ARE reaching them on their devices.  Until this type of advertising becomes standard practice (and it will), the early adapters will gain a permanent advantage over their sluggish local competitors, even if their competitors offer superior products and service.  It’s all about making your company as easy to be discovered as possible, so if you remain undiscovered, your are as valuable to that person as that sign on the road you’ve been ignoring these past 5 years.

Targeted advertising means more sales and referrals

Paying more in advertising to reach a target demographic just makes sense, being willing to pay a bit more to the mobilized crowd makes even more sense if you are a brick-and-mortar store.

So, when you can get three benefits advertising in this way:

  1. Localized targeting by geographic proximity
  2. Demographic targeting by consumer interest and previous purchase history
  3. A majority are mobilized consumers, possibly in their vehicles driving to find what you’re selling

You have a recipe for realizing a much higher return on your advertising investment if you are a local, brick-and-mortar business.  Make sense?!

One solution of many — look into them.  Yesterday!

Aside from the Google Adwords platform, which allows you to isolate any ads to mobile devices and geotarget, consider Microsoft’s Ad Center and Chitika as well.

Chitika, one of the largest website advertising delivery networks, recently rolled out such an advertising campaign platform called “Cidewalk”, which focuses on hyper-localized advertising via mobile devices.  For $5, that new 2 for 1 pizza deal can reach 5,000 people within driving distance to your pizzeria.  Of course, if this is the case, I hope your ad states “For dine-in only” so you can hopefully regain some of the lost revenue from giving out a free pizza by selling some drinks, but you get the gist.

Either way, you will be reaching a bunch of new people locally for $5, even if you’re not a pizzeria, you need to look into this so perhaps they will see your ad on their smart phone, look you up and wonder why they never heard of you before.  Be discovered, it’s not too late.


– Aaron Belchamber


Aaron Belchamber is celebrating 20 years of media production and marketing.  He has helped hundreds of different companies from national jewelry chains to automotive dealerships grow their businesses with effective and creative marketing solutions leveraging technology.


Aaron Belchamber has written 243 articles

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