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Call it local store marketing (LSM) , area marketing or just building your business (QSR, single-owner restaurant or franchise operation) what you do within your area, shopping center or community to drive sales and grow customers is vital to the long term success of your business.
If you are part of a large franchise organization they may call it "below-the-line marketing". Because you are paying for it, it is separate from any national or regional marketing initiatives. Some franchisors use part of the franchise fees to pay for your local store marketing even going as far as giving you an LSM package or guidelines and some ideas of what has worked in the past. This is good for them but the franchisee is still paying for it and if it is part of your franchise fees you are illegally to see any good from it if you do not use it.
For the small business owner that is not a part of a large franchise organization it is even more important to plan and execute your own LSM. All small franchise and non-franchise businesses should be setting budgets, marketing calendars and promotions and planning for seasonal and last minute, circumstances-fed local marketing.
What are the main differences between national and regional marketing andLSM?
Basically, any national or regional promotion run by your franchisor is normally mandatory and may or may not be targeted to your customer demographics. This type of marketing effort takes a wider view and should target the average customer that your concept appeals to. The good thing about these promotions is that they usually use media, be it TV, radio, print or signage that you as an individual business owner could normally not afford but is funded by the marketing component of your franchise fees and is paid for by all within the franchise.
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LSM targets the demographics in the area where you draw your guests from and it is understood that as the local business owner, you know more about your customers than your large franchise organization. It is usually more cost effective and the returns can be greater if the promotion is well thought out and implemented well. Some of the best local targeted marketing can cost little more than the discount offered, provided you as the QSR or small restaurant owner present the offer well and give more value for money than your customers expect. Your local marketing efforts also have the flexibility to be stopped and replaced if not working or even continued past its planned end-date if working well. Something that a national promotion with expensive media buys can not do.
How do you determine the best local store marketing for your operation?
That will depend on the type of concept and how much you are willing to allocate to your marketing budget. It could be as simple as the chalkboard you see outside of most cafes and small restaurants, local loyalty programs or targeting local businesses with permanent discounts or as complicated as setting monthly budgets with a year long LSM plan, setting monthly promotions, daily specials and doing the research to understand your local demographics. It does not stop there. If you are serious about driving your sales you will also do the work after each marketing activity to gauge the effectiveness and cost of each. Make adjustments and add new ideas for the next time.
Source by Rod Stevens