One of the most powerful consumer trends of 2020 has been the move to the suburbs. Yes, the ‘burbs. The suburbanization of America is changing the way we live, work, and play.
This trend was in place before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the nationwide health crisis has accelerated it. Consumers are increasingly shopping where they live, whether it’s for safety or convenience. Smaller, local businesses are often perceived as safer choices than crowded big-box stores. There is also an increased desire to support local businesses during tough times.
For companies looking to grow their sales, this means an increased emphasis on localized marketing. According to a study by Accenture, two-thirds of consumers are now either shopping primarily in neighborhood stores or buying more locally sourced products.
How do you engage local customers? Here are five ideas.
1. Emphasize direct mail. Direct mail with pictures of your location and referencing local landmarks and personalities creates a sense of home. “Conveniently located one block from Town Square!”
2. Use local imagery. For localized marketing, ditch the stock photographs and use images taken in your area instead. Showcase the local landscape, architecture, and people.
3. Add personalized maps. Specialized software allows you to dynamically add personalized maps to your print and email communications. Show the driving route from the recipient’s home or office to your store or venue. Add distance, driving time, and important landmarks, such as parking garages and restaurants.
4. Use radio to generate excitement. Radio has a super hometown feel, so use localized spots to promote your event in advance of a direct mail campaign. “Look for our 10% off coupon in your mailbox soon!” Boost awareness and increase the likelihood that people will open your direct mail piece as soon as it arrives.
Now is a time when buyers increasingly yearn for the comfort of home. Tap into that yearning with powerful localized multichannel marketing that keeps your audience’s hearts—and shopping—local.
 COVID-19: New Retail Consumer Behavior Habits