Local Business Advertising Today

Local businesses are at the center of every community. Cultivating and supporting them creates jobs, but there are many other public benefits which help build a vigorous local economy. Local businesses create choices and diversity, a solid tax base, reduced environmental impact, greater support for nonprofits, a sense of community character and they keep money circulating close to home while encouraging investment.

People need to know these businesses exist and that makes advertising them indispensible. Local businesses are at a disadvantage in today’s economy because of national chains and limited budgets, so they must choose their advertising strategy prudently. They must realize that consumer habits are changing and traditional advertising is not as effective as it once was. The pendulum has swung rapidly towards electronic media like the internet and cell phones. My Zip’s bundled advertising strategy is on the leading-edge and helps local businesses navigate these changes for a fraction of the cost of doing it themselves and substantially cheaper than putting the incremental pieces together one at a time.

There are many reasons for local businesses to advertise and do it continuously. Perceptions will not always be accurate if consumers lack the essential information to make a fully informed decision. National chains bombard us every day, but the consumer usually lacks information on the value local businesses provide. To make matters worse, consumer loyalty has been on the decline in recent years and competition has increased. The National Retail Merchants Association states: “Mobility and non-loyalty are rampant. Stores must promote to get former customers to return and to seek new ones.” Advertising must reach the consumer steadily during the buying process or lose them to more aggressive competitors. Finding an effective way to make advertising pay off over the long haul is the key to success.

A business needs to get people to their location. For every 100 items that shoppers plan to buy, they make 30 unanticipated “in the store” purchases, an NRMA survey shows. Businesses that succeed are usually almost always steady advertisers. Companies that cut advertising can decrease sales by 45%.

So what can a local business do to stand out from the crowd? A great company to consider is MyZip, whose promotional strategy drives traffic to businesses with a smart blend of advertising services. Along with their effective core products, My Zip helps locals support locals, tying local businesses to each other, nonprofits, the consumer and other key organizations. Using an exclusive approach, My Zip™ promotes only two businesses per business category, per zip code, thus helping the participating businesses gain a powerful home-field advantage. In addition to exclusivity, the package delivers high visibility, name recognition, cause-related marketing, repetition and a long-term cooperative effort throughout the community. To top it off, My Zip also provides a local Community Specialist to help every step of the way!

Overall, Yellow Page ads are giving way to internet searches. Newspaper subscriptions are at an all-time low and consumers record TV shows,so they can watch them without viewing commercials. To succeed in today’s economic climate, savvy advertisers need to allocate more of their advertising budgets towards the Internet. Americans are getting used to making a purchase wherever and whenever the mood strikes them. Online advertising will reach about nine billion dollars this year and will grow at a rate of 29% per year, which is far outpacing the growth of other advertising forms. Traditionally, advertising campaigns have often focused on highlighting specific products and services, but promotional campaigns are becoming more geared towards building brand equity through high-tech avenues. In addition to the peripheral benefits we’ve discussed, My Zip provides the perfect product solution! An Exclusive Partner with My Zip receives an affordable and comprehensive 3-fold online and offline advertising strategy that will expose their local business to the public eye. Local businesses that register as Exclusive Partners receive all three of the following services for one low monthly fee.

1. The Buy Local™ ZipTag™ Program is a great way for locals to support their local community, nonprofits and key organizations while they themselves benefit. The inexpensive ZipTag has a tangible built-in value, as it affords consumers valuable offers and discounts to help draw customers and increase sales, and the ZipTag also doubles as a valuable property recovery service. ZipTags can be put on key chains, cell phones, iPods, laptops, cameras and other valuable items, thus the consumer will always carry your business with them. If these items are lost, there is a phone number on the ZipTag and My Zip will help return the items to the ZipTag holder. Lost keys that are found can simply be dropped in any mailbox.

ZipTags are also a perfect fundraiser. Nonprofits benefit from increased fundraising and cause-related marketing makes a local business known as one of the good guys in the community. People will associate your business with helping a worthy cause and the consumer will feel all the more satisfied with their purchase.

2. The Be Found service submits participating businesses to over 140 local online directories and maintains them long-term. This service is available with or without a website, as My Zip provides a landing page in the ZipTag Directory where each business can include a map, directions, contact information, pictures, specials, and other pertinent information. Google claims that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Your business needs to be where your customers are and your customers are online.

3. Mobile Marketing is an advertising venue that a local business can no longer choose to ignore. Mobile purchases are set to quadruple by 2014 and if a business wants to remain competitive, mobile marketing technology will be one of the keys to their success. According to Wikipedia, there are nearly 302,947,098 mobile phones in use in the U.S. Consumers are rapidly adopting mobile applications as a vehicle to research and purchase goods and services. “There may be an increasing advantage of having a mobile presence as consumers come to expect access to companies while they’re on the go.” Steve Cox, President and CEO, Council of Better Business Bureaus.

If you’re looking for an affordable way to build vital online awareness, beat your competition and grow your business, you’ve found it! My Zip’s Exclusive Partner program encourages the values we want reflected in our neighborhoods. Join My Zip today!

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