The Secret of Local Marketing in a World of Mobile Payments


The growth of mobile internet usage has really taken the world by storm.

This January, for the first time, Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet.

And mobile device usage shows not signs of slowing. Just yesterday, Apple announced that opening weekend iPhone 6 sales were over 10 million.

Apple’s new phone was announced at the same time as Apple Pay, a new system which allows you to pay at the counter with your iPhone 6. This certainly isn’t the only mobile payment offering today but whether it’s brought to you by Apple or PayPal or Google, there’s no doubt that the future of e-commerce is on our phones.

It’s even gotten to the point that traditional wallet manufacturers have taken notice.

Of course mobile consumers act differently than folks behind a computer. They’re often very busy and want to get business done. Fast. 57% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load and 30% will abandon a purchase if the site isn’t mobile-friendly.

So as marketers continue to push forward and think about the future of local media, they might also want to think about the qualities of “local” devices. As more of them fit in our pocket or our wrist, they become more and more a tool for making buying decisions.

In addition to developments in mobile payment, tons of location-specific apps are driving sales to local businesses. There’s apps like ScoutMob which serve up discounts for restaurants in your neighborhood and Google Now which is getting closer every day to anticipate exactly what you need when you need it.

But as we’re barraged with choices for local restaurants — who hasn’t been paralyzed by choice when perusing Seamless? — it’s the power of local messaging which makes the difference for local buyers. Consumers need to hear and know about local businesses before reaching for their iPhone. Brand recognition, trust and familiarity are essential components of the buying decision making process that simply can’t be discounted.

When it comes down to it, consumers are reached in a variety of ways: through a billboard they see while driving or by a catchy jingle they’ve heard for years. When it comes to reaching those local audience, there’s no substitute for impactful local marketing.