Local marketing in the early 2000s was analogue.
The objective was to spread important brand messages using various media, including newspapers, television, radio, and direct mail.
Social media was only getting started. Reviews were mostly restricted to certain vendor websites, such as eBay.
There was no widespread peer-to-peer digital connectivity. No Google Maps to look up local companies. Buyers would either rely on their local expertise, ask around for recommendations or just wing it and hope for the best.
Today, nobody flies solo.
The widespread use of social networks, digital media, and peer-review content has turned the process on its head.
Digital research is conducted. Search engines help people find businesses, and reviews may be used to independently verify the information each company posts.
There are now podcasts to keep drivers interested, and radio is no longer what it once was.
Newspapers are becoming more and more digital, and those with the resources to create a fantastic online experience can reach a wide audience.
Instead of changing cable channels, people stream what they want.
Direct mail is still probably effective in attracting customers, but it is also costly and wasteful.
Consumers now rely on digital tools to obtain information, as seen by shifts away from analogue information sharing. They would like more direct input into the purchasing process.
To locate local companies when buying locally, use search engines.
Customers that use search engines are trying to find a solution to an issue. a yearning to satisfy a need.
In 2022, putting local search first will be marketing 101 if you want your company to appear first in the local search results. Find answers where the fish are seeking them. Reviews are also the cornerstone of achieving higher rankings in local searches.
Consumers use reviews to determine whether you are the best option. But maybe even more significant is the method by which search engines reach the same conclusion. After all, algorithms are created by people.
Google evaluates your company’s health using the web version that has been carefully controlled. Will this company satiate my searcher, I enquire? If so, demonstrate it first.
If your company doesn’t prioritise local search, i.e., if analogue channels take up the majority of your money, take into account that local search rank and reputation have a cumulative effect.
Seniority still exists in the digital age, as it did before.
You gain more points for consistently appearing (technically defined as “domain authority”).
You are rapidly slipping behind if you don’t start soliciting and responding to reviews right now.
Tens of thousands of reviews are written by and answered by our consumers each year.
The early-mover advantage is virtually gone in several industries (auto). In others, the market is still fairly open (basically every other industry).
Your company may never completely be able to catch up if it falls behind today.