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Man with apron on holding up a sign that says local and standing in front of baskets of vegetables ?>
Man with apron on holding up a sign that says local and standing in front of baskets of vegetables

Why Local Matters in Digital

Local digital advertising is about delivering ads based on the vicinity of the consumer, including messaging that supports national brand exposure but is contextually relevant to the in-market consumer.  However, a legacy connotation is that local equates to local-only publications such as local newspapers or community magazines. This leads advertisers to raise the skeptical question of, “Why local?”

The importance of local digital advertising can be seen in growing industry trends. Borrell Associates says U.S. local digital advertising spend will reach $24.5 billion in 2013. Much of the projected growth is due to the increase in mobile advertising that is inherently local, as Google suggests that consumers use their phones when they are on-the-go and also as they interact with the world around them. Real-Time Marketing (RTM) efforts are also essentially local, based on relevancy to the consumer’s environment. Even creative technology is able to take video assets and modify them in improved ways to feature local themes, i.e. Dynamix.

Local has become an undercurrent that is quickly gaining traction in the industry as more options become available for tailoring messaging specifically to an audience in the market. But, understanding the consumer and how local environments affect daily functions is imperative. Typical profiles incorporate core demographics and psychographics – anything that is tied to creating an overarching persona of the general target consumer. However, the application of that information needs to include examining the local market and understanding the nuances that segment the consumer further. Integrating these insights helps create budget frameworks for allocation and channel distributions, as well as media selections. For instance, a new report series from Nielsen, “Local Watch:  Uncovering Growth Opportunities,” explores the video experience (examining tablet, types of video content viewership and mobile access) by local market. Its findings support that although consumers across all parts of the country are staying connected and consuming content at a high rate, each local market “maintains their individuality even as new technologies are adopted.”

Consumers live in a world that is increasingly becoming digital. Devices keep them connected to their social circle, local and national occurrences, preferred brands and to shopping opportunities. Ever-growing Digital Place-Based executions impact experiences at staple locations such as the grocery store, gas stations, the gym, or office buildings. The amount of digital influence that surrounds consumers raises the challenge for advertisers to scale relevancy in varying local environments. So the question at hand isn’t “why local,” but really, “how do we customize our strategy for different markets?”