Opinion: The Hyperlocal Opportunity


Examine the competition
Conducting frequent competitor assessments is a classic business exercise that remains essential. Look at what your competitors are doing. Have they already deployed a hyperlocal campaign? If so, chances are they are grabbing your customers right now. For example, if coffee chain A is offering 50 percent off a latte to local area customers, why wouldn’t they break their commitment to coffee chain B? This is especially important if your product can be viewed as somewhat of a commodity. If your competitors are already there, you need to move now. If they have not taken action, you have an opportunity to be the first to the punch.

Educate your team
Consumer trust is critical to the success of any business and nowhere is a potential violation of this confidence more precarious than with a hyperlocal campaign. The most common perception is that this type of campaign consists of businesses firing off marketing offers to a consumer’s mobile device willy-nilly whenever they pass a store. In fact, many industry pundits believe that hyperlocal won’t arrive until that model hits the mainstream.

However, the truth is quite the opposite. Consumers don’t want to be inundated by brands every time they pass their local Starbucks. Your customers are interested in receiving locally relevant ads on their terms. Hyperlocal is about creating a community experience for the consumer that’s relevant to their area, whether it’s where they work or live, or both. Within this community, brands should develop an intelligent hyperlocal campaign that has a cadence, delivering relevant messages to consumers perhaps twice a month rather than every few hours. 

Know your audience

While attracting new customers is essential for the livelihood of any business, the hyperlocal effort is really best suited for your current customer roster. If you’re ultimately looking to strengthen your customer’s commitment to your brand, then hyperlocal is for you. Approach these customers with the opportunity to opt-in to your hyperlocal community. For those who reciprocate, you then have the opportunity to present them with attractive offers on a consistent, albeit infrequent basis. In doing so, businesses will be able to cultivate more frequent repeat visits. There’s no price tag you can put on that.

BIA/Kelsey's 2010 U.S. Local Media Forecast predicts that local advertising revenues will exceed $2 billion by 2014. As the focus on local continues to mount, a growing number of businesses will be faced with the hyperlocal question. Examining the details above should help these businesses determine if it’s the right path for them.

Jeff Hasen is CMO of Hipcricket. He can be reached at