Going hyper-local

Joe Mandese

'Think global, act local' has been the mantra for global marketers for some time, but it's also becoming an important rule of thumb for digital marketers. With the exception of e-commerce, most consumer buying decisions are still made locally, in communities, usually at some physical retail location. And because all media is becoming digital, even the most local media, new digital data streams are giving marketers insights into geography's role in consumer buying decisions. Couple that with the fact that most people now carry a mobile phone – which, when consumers opt-in, enables marketers to know who, what, when, where, and increasingly why, people engage with brands. Welcome to the world of hyper-local marketing, which is to local retailing what the internet has been to global communications.

Not surprisingly, the digitisation of local and place-based media, and the increasing availability of mobile media, are spawning a new science of marketing that flips Madison Avenue's telescope around 180 degrees, transforming it into the equivalent of an electron microscope. If the past decade of digital marketing could be described as the astrophysics of the media universe, the new era could be likened to the science of quantum marketing mechanics.