Introducing the Local Marketing Hierarchy of Needs

(Scroll past the image for the article and explanation)

The Local Marketing Hierarchy of Needs is something I developed to address a few major issues I’ve observed time after time when working with small and local businesses. Local businesses can’t afford to do EVERYTHING at once, right off the bat. They need to prioritize the items most likely to produce tangible and measurable results in terms new customer acquisition first, then expand to more serendipitous activities that can lead to more explosive growth later. This formula is my go-to blueprint for local marketing success and growth while eliminating waste from the marketing budget. We wanted to first introduce this methodology. In future posts, we’ll dig into all of these items in much more detail! Be sure to check out episode 1 of  The Local Marketing Land Show for more.

BAE (Before Anything Else)

Before we get into the blueprint, I want to present the one question you HAVE to answer first, no matter what business you are in: why would a potential customer choose YOUR business over one of your competitors? The answer must be backed by tangible stats, facts and evidence. Simply claiming you have “better service” isn’t enough. Now, if you have more awards for service, or better reviews across several platforms…then this can be a point of differentiation.  Whether it’s for convenience, location, price or because you actually provide superior products/services, you must provide tangible evidence to back your claim. This question (often referred to as a unique selling proposition) must be answered before anything else in this blueprint matters.

#1 The Foundation

These are the little things that will set you up for success, get in your name out to the local community, and build name recognition and goodwill. These are musts for almost any local business, but it’s just the starting point.


  • Networking & Community Involvement
  • Chambers, networking organizations, referral groups
  • Sponsorship


  • Email newsletter: promote news, specials, time sensitive information/products and services and to keep in touch with direct access to your current customer base to stay top of mind, increase repeat business & word of mouth referrals
  • Public Relations & Influencer Outreach: engage with influencers, news media, bloggers etc. to increase reach of your brand, earn linked mentions for SEO etc.
  • Website is set up for success
    • User friendly, mobile friendly
    • Loads quickly
    • Does a good job of selling your business to the customer
    • Does a good job of making it easy for leads to convert
  • Reputation & reviews
    • Google reviews
    • “Piggyback” sites specific to your niche
  • Local SEO fundamentals
    • Website is properly optimized for search using proper keyword targeting, page titles etc
    • Your Google Business listing is setup and verified
    • You have a “starter” list of potential link opportunities and link targets

#2 The Spark

  • Direct response online Advertising for lead generation
    • You need a killer campaign in place on either Google or Facebook to drive new customer leads
    • You need the systems in place to properly target, attract, convince and convert leads
    • You need the ability to measure real results (leads spreadsheet)
    • Also look into direct advertising opps on other sites
    • Fine tune, test, optimize and make working funnels continuous

#3 Fine Tuning & Maintenance

  • Constantly testing, optimizing and improving all previously mentioned items
  • Digging further into SEO, earning inbound links and improving value and quality of your site

#4 The Holy Grail

  • Content Marketing
    • Start to build an audience around a topic area that you could be a leading expert for a group of people
    • Build an audience that actively seeks the content you produce and publish & knows, likes and trusts you!
    • Leverage that audience to increase sales of your product or service
    • Monetize that audience in other ways (charging other businesses to advertise to your audience in newsletter on blog etc., charge for sponsors of your content, sell supplementary products/services directly etc.)

Supplementary Items

  • Traditional media & advertising
  • Trade shows
  • Event hosting & meetups
  • Guerrilla marketing tactics
  • Organic social media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *