Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hyper-local Marketing

My town's weekly newspaper (circulation in low five figures) just carried a full-color insert from Netflix, offering a one-month free trial. Lately, Netflix's "standard" trial offer has been two weeks free, so the local offer has been sweetened.

Many friends and neighbors are already Netflix subscribers but others watch movies on premium cable or DirecTV. Plus AT&T's U-verse is expanding into my area. The result: lots of competition and lots of offers. Netflix knows to fish where the fishing is good.

Remember, the market for such services is mature; therefore, acquiring new customers generally means persuading consumers to switch from a competitor. Hyper-local marketing is helping these companies reach out to potential switchers in towns where intense competition has heightened awareness of the many options available. It also helps companies target prospects that resemble current customers (via demographics including geography and via psychographic segmentation).

Too often, national advertisers ignore the targeting possibilities of community newspapers. Yet weekly papers (especially those with paid circulation) can be very good vehicles for reaching consumers who are involved with and connected to their communities. Netflix is smart to take advantage of an underutilized medium in my area.

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