Inside The Mind of The Local Consumer

When we think of Online Marketing sometimes we immediately get caught up in the technical jargon of title tags, backlinking, citatations, la, la, la, la….


That’s SEO.

Don’t get me wrong, Search Engine Optimization is important, but in order to get any benefits out of SEO we must first have a compelling message on the other side of that click.

Whether you are a business owner or a consultant that helps business owners with this internet thing, you must not overlook the fundamental reason we are doing this.

To Get More Customers, To Make More Money, To Grow Our Business.

In order to do this we must make our prospect “Pick Us”.  You can be number one on Google, have a million backlinks, all the SEO juice in the world but if you miss the most critical step of actually convincing the prospect to pick up the phone, fill out a form, make a trip to the store you have failed.

What is the Minimum Effective Dose for accomplishing this?

You must get inside the mind of the local consumer!

Let’s examine this in four sections.

Who are the local consumers we want to reach?

How are they searching?

What are they searching for?

How do you make them “Pick You”?

Who are the local consumers we want to reach?

The good news is that this should not be difficult because we are all “Local Consumers” on a weekly, daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

However, for some reason, we ignore those instincts when we put our internet marketing hats on.  We immediately start thinking in terms of SEO and website ranking. Stop that. It’s not time yet.

Forget the tire kickers, entertainment seekers, bored searchers. We want to speak directly to the “purchase driven consumer”.

That’s the local prospect that is ready to buy. Their credit card is out, they are ready to jump in their car (or are already in their car). They’ve already decided they are ready to buy, they are just trying to figure out who they are going to buy from.

They have a problem or desire, they are prepared to spend money on it, they just want to make the right choice and feel confident they are picking someone that has the solution.

How are they searching?

Today the local consumer is also the mobile consumer.  Smartphones and tablets are outselling PCs and are becoming the device of choice for browsing the internet.

Remember, we are just targeting “purchase driven consumers”, so we must consider that when they are ready to engage they want to find information fast. We live in a microwave society. WE WANT IT NOW! Why not give them what they want?

When local consumers are ready to buy they don’t want to dig through pages of “who we are” “look what we’ve done” “our awards”…  especially when searching on their phones.

If you are like me, when you are ready to buy, you want “fat finger friendly” information, and you don’t want to work hard to find it. This may surprise you, that information doesn’t have to be on the businesses website!

What are they searching for?

First of all, marketing online to local customers is not all about having a website. Get that completely out of your head. If I was banned tomorrow from having a local website I can say with certainty it wouldn’t stop me from generating local customers online.  Not one bit.

Why is that? Because local, purchase driven consumers aren’t looking for websites.

Think about it. When you are ready to buy locally, are YOU looking for a website? Take your internet marketing, SEO blinders off for a second and start thinking the way you do as a purchase driven consumer.

Over the last several years research has shown that local consumers are looking for:

  • Phone Number
  • Address
  • Hours of Operation
  • Maps

Only then do websites fall on the list, and that’s if they don’t find what they are looking for first!

So along with the information above, your compelling message needs to be included in business and directory listings, Google Places, Social Media sites…  Anywhere local consumers might find you. That’s not necessarily a web site.

Change Your Mindset

When developing your compelling message don’t get pulled into the SEO trap of thinking more traffic, more clicks, more customers…

Click Volume Doesn’t Equal Customer Volume

What I mean is don’t think typical SEO keywords and phrases.

Think in terms of solving problems.

Instead of “Dallas Mortgage Broker” think “Dallas First Time Home Buyer Loans”

Lower search volume? Of course.  But you are speaking to “purchase driven consumers”.

I’ll take ten purchase driven prospects seeing my compelling message over 1000 clickstats on a website.

How do you make them “Pick You”?

Well this is actually one of the most important but neglected ingredients in the recipe.

So they find you online… Along with a page full of your competitors. Why should they pick you?

I’ll tell you why. Because you do what the others don’t. You speak to their problems and provide the solution.

Here is a simple formula for doing this.  Make sure your compelling message speaks to these simple thoughts occupying your prospects mind.

1. This business probably won’t understand my problem.

2. How do I know they are qualified?

3. My situation is unique. This probably won’t work for me.

4. What’s my risk for looking into this further?

Your message doesn’t have to go into deep explanations of each of these. You just want them to feel that you understand their problem and they should take the next step and make contact.

Here’s an example using the mortgage term I mentioned earlier for someone searching for a “Dallas first time home buyer loan”.

If you are thinking about buying your first home, you probably have a lot of questions.

“How much can I afford?”,  “How much down payment do I need?”,  “What kind of credit do they look for?” “Have I been at my job long enough?”.

What you’ve done is acknowledged issue number 1. “Maybe they do understand my problem”.  You don’t actually have to answer these questions in your compelling message.  You want them to make contact to get those.

We continue…

At Acme Mortgage we’ve helped hundreds of Dallas families get the right financing for their first home…

You’ve just acknowledged issue number 2. Established that you are qualified based on factual past transactions. Yes, it can be as simple as that.

And we’re confident we can help you.  Even if you think home ownership is out of your reach, give us a call, you may just be surprised.

Number 3. Check!

To get a fast, free, no obligation review Call 555-555-5555 or fill out our simple home buyers help form and see how Acme Mortgage can help you realize the dream of home ownership today.

And number 4. You’ve just eliminated the risk of contacting you to find out more.

But most importantly. You’ve given this prospect every reason to “pick you” by speaking directly to their problem.

Just spending a little time to think like a local consumer, how they search, what they look for and acknowledging the thoughts that are going on inside their head will put you miles ahead of your competition.

4 Replies to “Inside The Mind of The Local Consumer”

  1. Jack, I like your approach here. I have read other commentators express similar ideas, but you have explained it better. Many of those low volume keywords phrases scare some business people off, but it’s definitely quality over quantity. If a certain phrase only generates 50 searches a month, but those 50 are ready to buy, well, who wants to turn down 50 new customers a month?

  2. By showing what the target audience wants, a brochure can immediately attract the attention of people,
    regardless of the type of marketing message you are aiming for.
    ” You want to believe, after all we are cultured to trust others. If your updates don’t contain any valuable information, your subscribers will lose interest.

  3. This is an excellent formula I’ve used to help clients position themselves as the obvious choice fro prospects and business decision makers to call. Works every time, hands down.

    Thanks for sharing it Jack.


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