Discovering the local in local marketing

It’s been over six weeks now since we started tracking how people that make a purchase in our stores discovered us (see this post on the Shopify hack we are using). Between that data, and the data from our demand generation efforts for the anniversary event, a now obvious lesson has emerged: each city has a unique signature; a different set of channels and activities that is collectively attracting the majority of customers to our stores. 

For example, in San Francisco, Reddit was one of the most successful channels for driving traffic to the anniversary event’s RSVP page. In Boston, Reddit barely registered as a blip. And in looking at the order tracking, a different set of activities are driving customers to our stores in each city.

Different sources of customer traffic in each city.

Different sources of customer traffic in each city.

It makes sense in hindsight. Every community is unique. It’s hard to imagine finding the optimal mix of activities for each one while working from a central location. Instead, you need to have some local knowledge to help out; someone that is familiar with the city and able to take on a big role in the community marketing while you set up and support as much as possible from the mothership. It goes back to the tension of figuring out what to centralize and decentralize.