Why Local Customers Should Be Your #1 Target

Are You Neglecting Your Best Customers?

The benefits to a community when residents support neighborhood indies (versus shelling out for national chains or Amazon) are many and proven. Then why do too many small businesses in moderately populous neighborhoods fall short of marketing to their own local customers effectively? 

Many of these indies continue to pine for new, non-local customers and spend their precious marketing dollars on what amounts to a shot in the dark. Maybe they believe that local customers are already won over and that the potential of this audience is long-since tapped. Here’s why that assumption is usually wrong.

The legendary Pareto Principle (or 80/20 Rule) is a fundamental strategy that successful companies, large and small, have employed for decades.  But many indie business operators are unaware of how it works.

There are many articles written on the phenomenon, but what it means to your independent small business is simple:  

The top 20 percent of your shoppers (your Best Repeat Customers) should represent 80% of your overall revenue. And if they don’t, you’re leaving easy money on the table.

Local Is Luckier

This 80/20 Rule is important wherever “Shop Local” is a priority, because your neighbors make up the bulk of your Best Repeat Customers. Simple proximity makes this true for most independent shops, restaurants and service providers. Indeed, locals are your low hanging fruit — because it’s easier – and less expensive – to convince a current customer to buy from you more frequently (or in greater volume) than it is to convince a non-customer to buy anything from you at all.

Even if non-local customers must, for whatever reason, remain a priority for your business, know that they will require disproportionate marketing spend. And it’s particularly wasteful if you haven’t plumbed the full potential of your local customer base.

A Different Way of Thinking

To sum up, new lead generation is just a Big Corporate sales cliche that seeped into our small business consciousness. But for indie destination businesses — which make up the majority of “main street” enterprise — it’s often a square peg for a round hole, or (to really layer on the metaphors) a red herring that most scrappy local entrepreneurs can ill afford to chase.

The Deal Is Dead. Long Live the Deal.

The Deal Is Dead. Long Live the Deal!

Ever wondered why Deal has become a four-letter word in many independent business circles?

Well, it began as traditional local marketing vehicles – like the yellow pages and neighborhood newspapers – either disappeared or lost their relevance. And the big digital platforms like Groupon, Yelp, and ValPak rushed in like a sea change.

The Long Con?

For the most part, their recommended strategies were similar: promote steep discounts to win new customers! The methods used by some of these “marketing” platforms to gain traction in neighborhoods like yours were notorious at the time (if not downright extortive).

At first though, local independent businesses – threatened on all fronts by big box, national chains and something new called “Amazon” – swallowed the bait and often their pride to try something (anything) that might help them compete effectively.

Unfortunately, after the steep fees charged by these companies, those already discounted offers usually result in zero ROI for participating businesses:

Yelp Sponsored Ads – $300 PER month minimum 

Groupon – 15% charge against every already discounted deal

FB Ads – Mininum $5 PER ad PER day

Google Adwords Average at least $1 PER click 

ValPak – Minimum campaign $300 PER month 

“Maybe It’ll Come Out In the Wash?”

Still, this was about expanding our customer bases, right?  We were driving trial among excited new patrons who would return again and again, with or without our tantalizing offer!  

Nope. Turns out the non-local bargain hunters lured in by our discounted goods or services moved on quickly to other cut-rate opportunities. Few if any of these transients returned to indulge our full-priced offerings.

As a result, and to this day, “The Deal” as a concept elicits scorn from many local entrepreneurs. But cleverly crafted deals, used the right way, are still the most effective tactic for enticing the right sort of customers, delivering that elusive up-sell, and rewarding our most loyal patrons.

Anticipate Loyalty. Reward Proximity.

PoasterBoard.com is a geo-fenced directory and marketplace that allows your small business to Poast deals that YOU control – offers exclusively targeted to your most valuable customers. We’re talking about the locals with a vested interest in your success. Indeed, mere proximity means the barrier to repeat purchase (a key hurdle) is lowest among people in your neighborhood.

No More Gouging!

Marketing on PoasterBoard also saves you a lot of money. As an individual business, you’ll pay nothing for your permanent StoreFront on PoasterBoard.com. Instead, we’re supported by a fixed [low] monthly subscription fee paid by your local indie business alliance.

Plus PoasterBoard never takes commission from your Poasted offers. In other words, you keep 100% of every sale you make using PoasterBoard.com.

A Great Deal Hits You Where You Live

At the end of the day, local customers are not only your most reliable repeat revenue, they’re also the most effective influencers of other locals (and of non-locals). 

For someone like you – who is even more committed to your location than your best customers are – maybe PoasterBoard is finally the deal you can live with.