May 01 Local advertising is important for a competitive edge
In the early 1990s, Pace Picante Sauce aired a commercial of cowboys eating around a campfire. They ran out of their picante sauce. “Cooky,” the cook, handed over another bottle of sauce that was not a Pace brand, so one of the cowboys explained how Pace was specially created with the ingredients in the sauce and also mentioned that it was made in San Antonio. The cowboy with the generic sauce read the label and exclaimed, “This stuff was made in New York City!” The chorus of angry cowboys exclaimed “New York City!?!” And this reinforced the San Antonio association with Pace Picante Sauce.
I’ve always liked that commercial from the standpoint that the product was special due to the region where it was made. The fact that I can remember it now is a testament to the impact to the chord it struck with me. I like companies that take pride in their work and are not afraid of where their beginnings are.
A national brand can do well locally if it has someone engaged with the community. Tupelo used to have a restaurant manager of a national steakhouse chain who was so tied into the community that people would refer to him rather than the name of the restaurant. I could barely pass a baseball or soccer field without seeing his business’s name. His personal involvement in the community helped his brand.
We should be proud of the businesses that call Mississippi home. North Mississippi manufactures quality products and is also a great place to live. Quality of life is extremely important. Almost everyone can tell a story of someone they know who came to this area to spend a couple of years with their business and yet they either elected to stay here for their career or they retired here. My family is that story.
Local advertising can give a company an added boost. Local messaging can resonate more with the audience. It helps when the audience is known and when the audience feels known. Every town has a personality. Some personalities may be similar, and some may be different.
Audience makeup can be different. When a company defines its target audience, it is important to check the area where the message will be received to make sure the audience is there. If the audience is older, it makes sense to advertise in a certified retirement community. If the audience is college-aged, it makes sense to advertising in a college town while college is in session. It’s casting the advertising “net” to reach the widest audience possible.
There are a lot of messages being sent by many companies. It is difficult to stand out when there are so many messages and so many ways to receive the message. How a company’s message agrees with the audience it reaches is important.
National companies do a good job of getting their message out. If the national company has local “feet on the ground,” using a localized message in conjunction with a national presence can give them an added boost.
Local companies know their markets better. Being engaged in the community and personalizing their message to the local audience gives them a competitive edge.