The growing catchphrase, “Think globally, act locally,” which began as a slogan to help bring focus on the environment, is now being used in marketing and commerce, according to StreetFight Mag senior editor, Noah Elkin. While consumers are spending more annually, purchasing is still occurring locally at neighborhood markets; small businesses; and local branches of larger, big-box stores.
Elkin points out that consumers typically first consider global impacts before acting locally. Consider, for example that, no matter where purchases are made, including local stores, consumers likely used what StreetFight describes as “far-reaching platforms” such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp, to help make those shopping decisions. Consumers also rely heavily on their mobile devices to look up needed local information. In fact, this reliance has become quite ubiquitous.
It’s not surprising that marketers do not always understand that they have not fully covered the local market. Marketers use emerging and expanding marketing and technology along with powerful social and commerce platforms that are meant to assist them in effectively targeting customers. Yet, consider the consumer in a store aisle using a smartphone to help with purchasing decisions. While the technology and marketing appears to work, in theory, in practice, the continually emerging technology may not be working in line with what marketers seek, notes StreetFight. A consumer in a shop seeking a “plumber or electrician within his or her zip code,” creates a more elusive local market for advertisers.
While global platforms have improved at providing local information that may be used to ease consumer decision-making, accessing that information may be significantly time-consuming for today’s consumer who seeks more immediate gratification, according to StreetFight. Meanwhile, many emerging “local and vertical-specific search tools and platforms” may be quite effective if the consumer resides in the market being served, scale and consistency may be lacking. This is where marketers may be facing their greatest challenge: Winning the local market by “balancing sufficient reach and scale with specificity, according to Elkin.
“How technology, marketing and commerce intersect at the local level and the challenges around winning the last mile are some of the issues I look forward to exploring as part of Street Fight’s editorial team,” writes Elkin. Citing David Card, Street Fight’s director of research, Elkin says, “The time is right … shifting consumer behavior means the stakes in the local market are higher than ever, and they will go higher still as the marketing technology sector experiences another in its cyclical waves of consolidation.”
Elkin, Noah. The Not-So-Low-Hanging Fruit: Why the Local Market Remains Elusive; September 8, 2015.