Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Powerful Local Marketing

This crossed my inbox this morning and I thought it was very appropriate and good news for us Michigan businesses. It turns out that the #1 thing that creates loyal customers is not whether you are local or not but how easy it is for them to resolve problems with your product. And that feature gives you an 18% advantage. Of course this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be shopping local; we’ve got to support our neighbors but what it does mean is that you can expand out of your local region and be successful.

What's 18% More Powerful Than Location in Local Marketing?

Conventional wisdom dictates that local marketing isn't scalable because proximity is the primary advantage of local suppliers. In the small business community, this just isn't true. While location is important, ease of problem resolution is a much stronger driver of local selection.

In a recent Warrillow survey, we asked small business owners to make trade-off decisions between benefits of local suppliers across dimensions like convenience, relationship, and community. As a group, convenience factors were a strong driver of local affinity, and fixing problems easily topped the list of convenience benefits. In fact, problem resolution was roughly 20% more powerful than proximity in small business owners' assessment of local strengths.

It's easy to see how proximity can mask the stronger driver of easy problem resolution – the two are complimentary in the mind of a small business owner. Don't let your lack of local presence blind you from the core issues of accessibility and fast problem solving. Business owners didn't get into business to navigate your internal help desks; don't make them spend a second more in queue, in line, or in process than is absolutely necessary.

Once you've got your service function in order, talk about it! But be warned, “Great customer service” is neither believable nor specific enough to drive home your ability to quickly solve problems. Quoting issue resolution turnaround times, accessibility options, and specific staff qualifications are much more powerful than watered down service claims in the small business marketplace.

p.s. If you’d like to subscribe to Warrillow’s newsletter you can and it’s free. Go to www.warrillow.com I find their information interesting and useful.



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