Local search services create fast returns

Despite industry excitement about local-focused daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, multichannel retailers have continued to employ search, social and location-based tactics to effectively target by region and location.

“For multichannel retailers, their bread-and-butter is their local store sales,” says Sucharita Mulpuru, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research and an expert in e-commerce and multichannel retail. “The more they can create personalized relevant offers that drive people to stores, the more often they can convert those shoppers at a higher rate and get them to add items to their cart that they wouldn’t have considered buying before they walked into the store.”

Products like Google AdWords, Yahoo Local, MyChinoki.com and Localeze can make all the difference in the world for businesses looking to draw in local customers. Moneytree, a provider of payday loans and check cashing services, utilizes Localeze’s local search business identity management services to ensure that potential customers don’t only find online listings for bigger national competitors.

The company operates 126 branches throughout California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Washington, as well as online loan services.

“Localeze helps us spread information out through tons of directories,” says Chris Rosser, Internet marketing assistant at Moneytree. “It’s a quick, one-time deal and makes sure our business information is always up-todate and accurate.”

For Clive Coffee, a retailer of highend coffee equipment, which sells products on the Web, as well as in its Portland, OR-based retail location, it’s imperative to the company’s success that local residents locate and venture into the showroom.

“Obviously, it can be very expensive as a small business to get people in the door,” says the company’s founder, Mark Hellweg. “You have to calculate what the return is because that’s money we can spend on other things as a company. What we’re offering with our showroom is a very unique concept.

We allow customers to demo espresso machines before buying them.”

Hellweg uses Google AdWords and Google Places to make sure his company is easily accessible when customers search online for coffee equipment, and that those customers are targeted during the search process. Once customers come in and show purchase intent, Clive Coffee collects customer contact information in order to follow up and target customers with invitations to come back for events and to leave online reviews.

“You don’t want to be intrusive and obnoxious but sometimes you have to remind people that you’re out there,” says Hellweg.

The National Hockey League culls consumer data to enhance programming experiences and direct marketing to drive customers to the NHL retail store in New York City, ticket booths and Shop.NHL.com. Very few sports fans are as loyal and passionate about professional leagues as they are about local franchises, so the NHL’s marketing leaders segment their digital and social direct response communications in order to provide relevant content to fans regardless of where they are or for whom they cheer.

Most recently, NHL leveraged social and mobile to draw the local community to the arena for its January All-Star Game in Raleigh, NC. “We used social to drive awareness and acquisition for the event,” says Michael DiLorenzo, senior director of social media marketing and strategy and business communications at the NHL.

In an effort to reward attendees and hopefully turn them into future event attendees, the NHL ran a Foursquare promotion during the Fan Fair events that preceded the January game to reward fans with prizes such as T-shirts and tickets.

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