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Newsletter #916: The “Go Local” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

“Going local” isn’t just for food producers and eco-friendly stuff. It also works for word of mouth marketing. You can show your fans and their community love that gets the whole town talking by focusing on smaller, closer audiences. Here are some ways you can do it:

1. Ask them to make something
2. Drive around
3. Find your local leaders
4. Check it out: How many people are in space right now?

1. Ask them to make something

Ben & Jerry’s asked their fans to send them pictures of what it’s like to eat their ice cream for their #captureeuphoria contest — not too remarkable. What’s amazing is that the winning photos will be featured all over the photographer’s hometown in Ben & Jerry’s ads. This starts conversations like “Hey, I know that girl!” or “Did you see _______ on that Ben and Jerry’s poster?” By tapping into local sense of pride, you tell a unique story that people want to pass on.

The lesson: Get the community involved in your message and people will be glad to share it.

Learn more: PSFK

2. Drive around

You don’t have to put on fancy charity events, host fundraisers, or promote a 5k to do good for your community. Sometimes all you have to do is drive around. That’s what CVS Pharmacy does with their CVS Samaritan Vans. Since 1978, their fleet has helped stranded drivers change flats and offered other roadside assistance. That doesn’t have a lot to do with pharmaceutical needs — but you can bet that when people see the red and white vans around town they think twice about going to their competitors.

The lesson: What simple, local good can you start?

Learn more: The Auto Channel

3. Find your local leaders

You don’t need a celebrity endorsement or popular blogger to tell people about your stuff. Sometimes you have to go local to find your best talkers. For example, when the American Dairy Association of Ohio was looking for a way to promote chocolate milk as a restorative post-work out drink (which has some impressive research behind it), they didn’t call up Shaun White. They took their message to small towns in Ohio, where they talked to the communities’ most powerful local influencers for health and nutrition: high school coaches. The coaches told their players, their players told their friends, and word of mouth spread that chocolate milk isn’t just for kids. In fact, so many teenagers were buying chocolate milk that store owners were suspicious that it might have some hidden illicit use.

The lesson: Who do your customers trust? How can you give them a great message to share?

Learn more: Ask Spike

4. Check it out: How many people are in space right now?

Let’s go from local to universal. This site will show you how many people are in space and where they are right now.

Check it out: How Many People Are in Space Right Now?

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  1. Ted Wright December 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Andy –

    Thanks for including our work on chocolate milk in your latest newsletter. The office was so excited to see their work show up in something that they read every issue of. If your readers want even more details than Spike included in his piece on our work, send them over to and click on the chocolate milk icon.

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