Brands stay local as Covid keeps consumers at home

local shopsWith Covid-19 forcing most consumers to remain in their own community, marketers are increasingly ditching national and even regional activity to concentrate their spend on local advertising campaigns.

So says a new study from Nextdoor – the neighbourhood hub – in conjunction with CensusWide, which found that 95% of UK marketing chiefs see brand advantages from advertising in neighbourhoods.

In addition, more than half (54%) believe local communications have become more important in their strategy since the pandemic, and a further 38% stated national communications has become less important.

When looking at the main drivers, 52% believe it has become more important for raising awareness of new products and services, and 54% said it is more important for raising awareness of their existing business. The findings also suggest marketers are putting greater emphasis on supporting local communities, as 52% stated this was very important to their business.

When asked how local advertising will be used to meet their marketing objectives for 2021, half of respondents cited planned expansion into new markets. A further 47% stated it will be important to help them raise awareness of new products and services. Additionally, 55% will believe it will be key for increasing sales, and 40% for rebuilding following the pandemic.

For those planning to allocate more budget to local community-based advertising, 65% will be moving it from regional, while a further 53% will be decreasing their national budget.

The main reason – given by 45% of those questioned – was local goes further than regional when it comes to communicating with neighbourhoods that are relevant to their business.

However, despite seeing the opportunities and possibilities local advertising can provide, 47% of CMOs believe it is always overlooked, and a further 46% believe it is sometimes overlooked.

Being too complicated to set up the boundaries for local targeting was cited by 44% as to the reasons they hold back from local advertising. A further 40% said it was due to there being too many areas to identify what would be the most appropriate and beneficial to their business.

Nextdoor EMEA commercial director Paps Shaikh said: “Last year we saw a fundamental shift to online community advertising as consumers look for reliable sources of information about the places closest to them. We have seen communities come together through acts of kindness and support one another during a time unlike any other we have witnessed before. As a result, brands and businesses have leveraged the power of local advertising to engage with consumers and offer reassurance when they’ve needed it the most.

When it comes to a breakdown of industry sectors; 72% of retail and FMCG marketers strongly agree local advertising offers them an advantage. A further 51% said local advertising goes further than regional when it comes to communicating with communities which are relevant to their brand or business.

Meanwhile, 58% of automotive marketers believe local advertising will help them find new audiences which are within close proximity to their business and 60% who work in the entertainment industry said local advertising enables them to give back to the community.

Finally, 75% of financial services marketers thought local advertising was an enabler to giving something back to the community.

Shaikh added: “Brands have realised there is so much value in taking their communications that step further – especially as we go through different tiers of lockdown across the UK. However, setting the boundaries for local targeting has never been easier. Specialist platforms which provide brands the opportunity to tailor and communicate with consumers at a local level depending on postcode is a simple and effective way to approach local advertising.”

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