#SFSNYC: How Brands Decipher What Local Marketing Tactics Are Working

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It might seem easier if one solution could fit every brands’ needs in hyperlocal marketing, but that could mean overlooking the context of each brand’s relationship with its clientele.

On a panel moderated by Kevin Lee, CEO of Didit, at Tuesday’s Street Fight Summit in Brooklyn, a diverse trio of brands and organizations discussed how they use hyperlocal marketing—and what they are mindful of.

Adi Pal, co-founder of Mash + Grape; Jake Davidow, media buyer for JPMorgan Chase; and Belén Aranda-Alvarado, director of digital marketing and e-commerce for the Wildlife Conservation Society come from three very different perspectives. Mash + Grape has a network of retailers of distilled spirits who fulfill orders from consumers around the country. The Wildlife Conservation Society is an organization that aims to safeguard wildlife and their habitats around the world. JPMorgan Chase, meanwhile, is a multinational financial institution.

Each of these entities naturally approaches hyperlocal marketing somewhat differently, though there can be some commonality. Pal said his company is excited about meshing direct mail with digital, trying to see how they engage with customers in more unique ways than they are used to. “The challenge is getting that engagement to convert,” he said.

Davidow said that JPMorgan Chase wants to understand and reach consumers in relevant moments when they might think about financial services such as seeking a mortgage. Location can be an indicator of intent in that moment, he said, which differs from some traditional marketing methods. “So much of advertising is about getting messages in front of people when they are not in the moment,” Davidow said. “Location is about getting to them while there in the moment.”

Traditional ads, on television for example, might reach the audience while they are at home rather than when they are out in the world shopping, seeking services and good, or traveling to a destination. Understanding where the consumer is and why they may be there can better inform localized marketing campaigns, Davidow said. That might include steering ads about mortgages to consumers when they happen to be visiting a bank or financial institution.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, Aranda-Alvarado said, also sees value in trying to get the attention of people when they are in the moment. Her organization  wants to connect with people when they are at the beach or a park, locations which might put people in the mindset to visit a nearby aquarium.

The ambition of connecting through hyperlocal marketing is not as simple as investing in every new technology to turn up. Local marketing platforms built for enterprises, for example, might not meet the needs of the Wildlife Conversation Society and vice-versa. That makes brands must still take the time to see how technology may, or may not, relate to their needs. “We have to be wary of jumping into partnerships and with tools meant for other organizations,” Aranda-Alvarado said.

Joao-Pierre Ruth is a Street Fight contributor. Photograph by Shana Wittenwyler.