Hyper Local Talk #1

How do you get down in the fabric of the local community? How do you influence from the real grassroots, one-to-one? These are questions that rack the brains of marketers these days. The Internet is the great distribution pipe marketers and PR people could only dream about.  But hyper local marketing requires an authentic voice, tangible action that benefits the local community and most dauntingly, it requires time and patience.

Manhattan Times

An example of hyper local marketing that works. I live in Washington Heights on the upper west side of Manhattan.  On the corner of 157th street and Broadway I pick up a free copy of Manhattan Times from the box by the subway station. Washington Heights is predominately Latino with a heavy Dominican concentration, along with a growing minority of professional whites determined to gentrify every square inch of this island. This is heavy duty Hillary Clinton country and Manhattan Times is unabashed in its support of our Junior Senator.  

So in the Manhattan Times I learn about the Bizz&Buzz campaign . It started in 2007 to promote activities in Washington Heights and Inwood.  Says the Manhattan Times site: The campaign includes special events, a regular email blast of upcoming events, and the paper’s weekly “Shhhh!” column, which reminds readers of the business openings, celebrity spottings, and media attention in Northern Manhattan, the city’s best kept secret.

So I get on the weekly Bizz&Buzz email list, which alerts me to Annette A. Aguilar & the StringBeans performing Latin jazz at the Garden Cafe on 207th street and Braodway on Valentine’s eve. I Manhattan Times Bizz&Buzznever heard of the band or the club but I had been sweating to find the right place to take my sweetie on the special day. Bizz&Buzz only has 362 subscribers. If it is confined to two neighborhoods by nature it will not grow too big. But it is the arrow in the bullseyes when it comes to hyper local marketing combining traditional (newspaper) and 2.0 (web and email marketing).

Google goes local.  Type in your city or town name or zip code and you get news results with your local news at the top of the search. Google says that this promotes local news sources but I suspect it also helps them target ads more effectively.  

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