Target specific neighbourhoods
If your customers come from a narrow geographical area, focus your marketing activities on individual households, businesses or specific neighbourhoods in that area. Contact customers with direct mail, flyer drops, personal visits or telephone calls. Place street-level advertisements on billboards or transit shelters. Ask local businesses if they have space where you could leave your leaflets or brochures. If you have a retail business, invest in sandwich boards and attractive window displays.
Focus on cross-promotions with non-competing businesses
Create unique cross-promotions with other businesses. It’s a great way to save money while increasing market penetration. For example, a local movie theatre might cross-promote with a restaurant to offer a “night out” package. Or a graphic design firm might team up with a front-end web developer and copywriter to offer a one-stop, website design service.
Get involved with community-based organizations
People want to buy from businesses that support their community. Consider spending some of your marketing budget to sponsor a local sports team, dispense free bottled water at the next charity run, or pitch in to help beautify a neighbourhood park.
Advertise with regional media outlets
Consider placing ads with regional newspapers, radio and television stations. But be sure to check your media choices carefully to ensure they’re the outlets your customers read, listen to, or watch.
Get free media publicity
Boost your advertising campaign by running a publicity campaign. Approach media outlets in your region about writing an article on your expanding business, employees, unique product/service or your community contribution. Better still, write your own press release and send it to media outlets in your area.
Develop strategic partnerships
If your region is large and your business model requires many physical locations, consider “piggyback marketing”. Strike a deal to offer your products or services or distribute information, within non-competing businesses. For example, a dry cleaner might save operational expenses by setting up kiosks within the stores of a regional grocery chain.
Promote nationally, sell locally
Divide your marketing budget into two categories of spending: national brand awareness and local sales promotions. National awareness marketing should elevate your overall brand. Local sales marketing should focus on sales-oriented tactics such as: trial offers, special promotions and customer contact activities.
Empower local units to market themselves
If you have offices, stores or franchises in different cities all pulling business from their local communities, consider de-centralizing your marketing efforts. This gives your local units more control over their advertising and promotions.
Focus on national media
If you’re selling in many different provinces or territories, consider using some of your advertising budget on national media outlets. Contact national newspapers, radio networks and television channels that can deliver the cross-country customer reach you need.
Open more company-owned locations
Additional locations will enable your business to serve more customers in different cities. However, you’ll need to allocate a healthy marketing budget to drive sales to more locations.
Franchise or license your business
If you want to grow your company but don’t want to open more company-owned locations, perhaps it’s time to franchise or license your business model. Work with a franchise consultant, lawyer and accountant to set up franchisee agreements with appropriate candidates.
Focus on building your brand
Your brand is your promise to your customer. It’s what people think about when they see or hear your company’s name. A strong brand can make customers choose your company over the competition. Hire a professional advertising agency or marketing company to produce polished marketing messages and build brand awareness.
Target emerging markets
Global companies are scrambling to do business with emerging markets like India, China and South America. Perhaps those markets could be an ideal opportunity for your business – especially if your competition isn’t there yet. Before you jump in, be sure to do your research and work with advisors or agents who know those emerging markets well.
Grant Master Licenses by country
Like a regional franchise, a Master License gives an approved operator the right to offer your brand, product or service in a certain country for a given period of time. It’s an attractive way to launch your business in multiple countries, because licensees will likely know how to market your business in their home country better than you do.
Drive business to your website
Thanks to the Internet, you can do business internationally without spending huge amounts of money. Convert your website into multiple languages and develop a strategy to draw foreign customers to it.