Advertise locally makes sense

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Published on July 29, 2016 by Neil Webster

We speak to lots of SME business owners every week, in our line of work, and almost without exception the vast majority of them tell us they want more customers spending with their businesses. Lots also say they’d like their existing customers to spend more with them.

A business might be the best run business in the world, have the best reputation, sell fantastic products, be better than all of its competition and sell products that are hugely desired by large numbers of people. Inevitably though, some customers move on, some run out of money, and customers even die! For every business, customer churn is a fact of life, and is also affected by things such as competition, new trends and a rapidly changing trading landscape. As a result, pretty much every business needs to replenish existing customer bases by getting (and keeping) new customers. Recent research suggests that it makes sense to keep activity focused locally

The old adage that the best way to get more customers is from referral by existing customers is accepted by everyone. It could be argued that it’s a more effective version of the social media “like”! There’s universal acceptance that this works. As a way of attracting new customers, advertising normally comes a close second, especially if the output is relevant, targeted, and attractive to potential customers and executed really well. Many advertising and marketing agencies have departments dedicated to ensuring that their clients budgets are planned and spent in the most effective and efficient way. Invariably a key factor in media planning for advertisers of all sizes is making sure advertising is happening close to where the purchase is being made.

Simply, most people spend most of their time.and their money close to their homes and we believe that this is the single most important thing that SME businesses who rely on local customers need to consider when planning their marketing and advertising. It’s been the case since the beginning of civilisation and remains true today. Budgets need to work hard and a key driver in this is ensuring advertising is happening close to where a purchase is likely to be made.

A study by Crowd DNA for Local Media Works called “Loving Local” shows that 80% of people spend half or more of their time within 5 miles of their homes and this increases to 93% when people are asked the same question to within 10 miles of their homes. Similarly, and more importantly for advertisers, 76% of people spend half or more of their money within 5 miles of their homes and a staggering 96% of people spend half or more of their cash within 10 miles of their homes. There’s more detail on this at

Google recently released some research on how people use their search engine and unsurprisingly, search locally is high up on the list. In fact, the world’s largest web search company indicate that around 80% of people use search engines to find local information. Crucially, 72% of consumers who searched for local information on their smartphone eventually visit a store within 5 miles of the search.

So, when planning your next advertising campaign, it definitely makes sense to make sure that your budget is set to work hardest and that means spending this on advertising that is as close as possible to your consumer - whether it’s in newspapers, on radio, using digital or social media - or a mix of all .

Neil Webster, Commercial Director, KM Media Group