Many businesses are disappointed in the return on their local advertising investment and are moving their spending to Internet based advertising. The low returns are the result of a misunderstanding many small business owners have of the purpose of traditional advertising media.
Small businesses are interested in sales. Newspapers, yellow pages, radio and local television are better at brand building, building awareness about a company and its products. They reach large audiences, however, it is almost impossible to target a message to the consumers that may be interested in a specific product or service. As a result, after many impressions, a large number of consumers may see the message and recall a brand, but only a fraction of those are interested in the product and will make a purchase decision. However, advertisement rates are based primarily on the total audience size that the media can reach. That is great if a business is paying for brand building. But if it is looking for immediate sales, it is guaranteed to be disappointed in most cases.
Direct Local Advertising enables local businesses to advertise directly to local consumers. Direct mail continues to be popular and successful because it allows small businesses to target consumers using demographics and location information to reach those most likely to be interested in their product or service. However, direct mail is static and does not capture the actual interests of the consumer. It is cheaper than traditional media, but conversion rates are on the order of 1%.
Direct Local Advertising seeks to move one step closer to one to one marketing between a small business and local consumers. By leveraging one of the best features of the Internet, the ability to personalize the display in real time based on viewer information, businesses are given visibility to expressed interests of local consumers. This information allows them target specific interested consumers and create attractive offers to convince those consumers to make a purchase decision. Offers can be refined in real time based on direct feedback from consumers, without the cost and lead times of traditional media. The result is increased sales, at a lower cost and greater satisfaction for local consumers.
Direct Local Advertising sites must build audience to give small businesses an adequate market to which to present their offers. However, because only a fraction of traditional media audiences are actually interested in a specific product or service, the direct local advertising audience does not have to be as large to generate positive results for businesses. Businesses advertise directly to those interested in their product category. That is the most important audience where sales are concerned.