Retail Marketing Online: Customer Profile

Local Retail Marketing Online

Who Are Your Customers and How Can You Reach Them?

For any location-based business, such as a restaurant or retail store, the key is foot traffic. You need to get people in the door to make sales.

But how do you reach customers? Who are they? And where are they located?

Technology has made the process of researching local restaurants or retail stores easier than ever for your potential customers. Building a customer profile is no longer something only major national brands can afford. Any business – whether a regional chain, a franchise of a national chain, or a single location – can take advantage of data to develop a more specific, more cost effective, and better targeted local marketing strategy.

Local retail marketing online consistently outperforms national campaigns for driving traffic and coupon redemption. It can be more relevant and timely at the moment when consumers are making purchase decisions.

Local Retail MarketingLocal Retail Marketing Develop a Geo-Targeted Strategy: Use Data Appending to create a Customer Profile

At the core of a strong local marketing strategy is a well defined customer profile that can be targeted to a local geography. Your promotions, community relations, social web content, and local search optimization should all work together to appeal to this target customer profile.

Gather customer information.

The first step is to get information from your current customers. By looking at store receipts or asking customers directly for basic information, you can take as few as 1,000 names, input their addresses into software, and develop a radius on a map of where customers are coming from. You can literally circle the areas that you’re currently reaching.

Append data and develop a customer profile.

From here, you can use the zip code and address information to add additional information: everything from your customers’ average income and age to family size and media habits. This information can then be used to develop a detailed profile of your core customers.  

For example, in my work with a local bike shop, I found they had two types of core customers. The first is the “comfort-oriented” customer who is in the mid-30s to low-40s, wants a recreational product to enjoy with their family, is more price-oriented, and tends to value comfort over performance. The second is the “performance-oriented” customer who tends to go for longer, daily rides, is over 40, has higher discretionary income, rides in groups or by themselves for exercise, and highly values the performance of the bike. With this insight Location Traffic developed two distinctly unique marketing efforts.

In some cases, you may be surprised by what the data reveals about your clientele.

Target and expand.

Once you know who your customers are, you can take steps to locate and reach more of them. For example, you can buy lists based on the specific criteria you’ve developed in order to do a mailing, whether by postal mail or email.

Or if you find that you are not currently reaching the customers you want to, you can take steps to find out why and change that. This may involve a radical rethinking of your overall marketing strategy and business practices.

Develop a local marketing strategy.

Now that you know who and where you want to target, you need to develop the right local marketing effort to match.

Armed with your customer profile, you may also use different methods of reaching customer groups – mailings, flyers, social media, blogs, events – depending on what you learn about these potential customers. And you can better orient your branding and messaging to speak to potential leads. Here’s a basic example using the bike example above: a campaign aimed at the comfort-oriented customers at the bike shop might involve imagery of families biking together and focus on promotions, while a campaign targeting performance-oriented customers might use imagery of an riding group and provide more details about bike performance.

Since you know where your customers are located, or additional locations that you’d like to reach, you can build a strong local marketing campaign online, so that you come up when local searchers search for your type of business. 

The result is a more specific, targeted campaign, more likely to be found by qualified leads interested in your products or services – and more likely to convert into a sale.

Drive traffic to your location with Location Traffic

Posted: 4/29/2013 9:20:15 AM by Shep Morrow