The term “Hyperlocal” has been around for at least two decades and like most of us, it is not a word we generally heard many folks using until just recently. If you are a news reporter, real estate agent or someone involved in local community activities the word has been heard often. However, if you are involved in technology or specifically, technology marketing, the word hyperlocal has just recently started to be used and is becoming a frequently heard term in development within the Mobile Platform industry as it continues to expand.
So what is it and why should the ICB community be very much aware of this new trend? The older working definition of hyperlocal is “online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, a zip code, or other small geographically defined community.” Inside the technology marketing community, it is defined as “a group of potential mobile customers in a city or town, a neighborhood, a zip code or some other small physically defined area that merchants have an interest in developing sales opportunities.
The ICB community, by its very nature and without the knowledge of the word “Hyperlocal,” over its history, has always tried to develop its customer base, which is, for the most part, the definition of what the technology marketing folks now refer to be as hyperlocal. There are a number of recent articles that have been written explaining how difficult it has been to identify these markets in the past but today, because the major merchants have realized its value and the buying consumers have embraced the use of a mobile platform this problem is going away. And that is a great benefit for the ICB market.
You ask why? Well, because of advances in mobile technology it is now possible for consumers, on the go, using a smartphone, tablet or even a small laptop with Wi-Fi can actually find local merchants for items they wish to purchase by searching the Internet and then using available GPS to show them how to find the location and just how close it actually is. How great is that?
Now for the ICB community, if they take the time to become fully embraced in the Internet, using properly designed websites, social media, Internet business directories along with some of the other tools that are quickly being developed within the marketing industry they will be on the same level as the major merchants. When a consumer does the hyperlocal search, their businesses will come up in the results just as easily as anyone else. When that happens, the ICB has an equal, if not a better, chance of the local consumer visiting them. That’s how great it is.