Looking after the brand next door

Consumers want to support their local business communities and are looking to brands to follow suit

Lockdown measures undoubtedly caused untold difficulties and even misery for many, but there have been some positive consequences. With non-essential retail closed and a stay-at-home order in place, people’s physical universes have been somewhat squeezed. Add to this pressure on nationwide delivery services from the surge in online grocery shopping and consumers have been getting creative.

The pandemic has seen a surge in consumers looking to providers in their local areas. Instead of using the overburdened major supermarkets, customers have been shopping local, purchasing from local wine merchants, farm shops, butchers and more who themselves have managed to switch from largely in-person retailers to online only in record time.

Consumers have also seen how the pandemic has impacted their local shop and business owners and many are making a conscious decision to ‘shop local’ in order to support these companies.

Marketers across the board are taking note of this trend and the latest research from CensusWide in partnership with NextDoor shows that 95% of CMOs see brand advantages from advertising in neighbourhoods.

More than half of UK CMOs (54%) believe local communications has become more important in their communications strategy since 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.

By sector, 59% of automotive CMOs felt that local advertising helped and found them new audiences that were in close proximity to their business while 75% and 60% of financial services and entertainment CMOs felt that local marketing helped them to give back to the local community, while more than half of CMOs overall stated that supporting local communities was a top priority and that advertising on local social platforms offered brands an advantage.

“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,” says Paps Shaikh, commercial director, EMEA, Nextdoor.

Featured image: simona pilolla 2 / Shutterstock.com