Making the Most of “Buy Local” With Smart Technology Choices

Vendini Business Tips, Marketing

[social_warfare]As the “buy local” movement continues to gain traction, more consumers are doing their part to support their communities’ home-grown businesses. In fact, local businesses generate 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big-box chains, a sign that consumers are choosing unique, personalized service and their communities over corporations..

If the “buy local” movement is one you use in your marketing strategy, you need to think long and hard about how the technology choices you make might help or hinder that approach. Your business needs every advantage it can get, so the last thing you want is to use solutions that promote the technology developer’s name over your own brand.

So how do you make smart technology choices that help your business and events run smoothly without compromising your local brand? It’s a little secret called “white label technology.” “White label” refers to a developer that sells a product or service to another company to use as if they developed it themselves.

For example, as a local event manager or theater owner, you can use white label technology to allow for ticket purchases on a site which aligns with your own brand, rather than directing your loyal patron to an outside site with another company’s branding to complete their transaction. With white label behind the scenes, all consumers see is your local brand, rather than a national brand.

Let’s take a look at some other ways that using white label technology can support your “buy local” marketing efforts.

Show your patrons you are keeping their personal data local.

Whether buying a pair of shoes or purchasing a concert ticket, consumers tend to equate buying local with a sense of trust. This sense of trust can be compromised if you use a third-party branded ticketing platform, which will likely collect and use a consumer’s information for marketing purposes of their own. When that happens, your patron’s buy local experience feels a lot like buying from a national brand. White label technology helps your customers feel confident that their information is not being shared with others and that their data resides with the local business they chose to share it with.

Create relationships with your customers.

Customer loyalty is vital for small business owners. Having a foundation of customers who truly care about your success, are eager to provide feedback, and continually come back to you because they feel known and valued can make or break a local operation.

Involving a third-party in the customer experience can disrupt the close relationships you have worked so hard to develop with your patrons. When you use a branded ticketing provider it is usually the third-party brand that appears predominantly on the ticket, essentially reducing your brand name to the location of the event only. Your patron may feel loyalty to the ticketing provider rather than you – which is probably not what you were hoping to achieve.

White label solutions allow you to control the personalized marketing experience you provide to your customers through the ticketing process. You can easily tailor and customize the messages and branding you want your customers to receive, and “speak” to them in your own personal way.

Partner with other local businesses.

“Buy local” is often a community effort. As part of this, you may want to partner with other local companies to cross promote one another’s businesses with joint discounts, referrals, and much more. .

For example, if you are a theater owner, you may want to team up with a nearby restaurant offering a ‘Dinner and a Show’ promotion usually done as part of the ticketing process. Having another brand involved in that promotion makes it very confusing for your patrons. A white label ticketing solution gives you the flexibility you need to cross-promote with local companies while maintaining the buy local experience.

Avoid non-local cross-selling.

Third-party ticketing providers serve a lot of different venues and events, many outside of your local area. As those ticket companies start marketing those events to your customers, not only do they undermine the buy local experience, some of those events may also compete with your own events.

As a local business, it’s important that you have control over what events you promote and what businesses you’re affiliated with in order to maintain your commitment to your community. White label solutions support your local marketing efforts and maintain your authenticity by promoting only the non-competing local events or services you choose.

Be authentic.

“Buy local” isn’t just another slogan, it’s a way to expand your base, as well as rally support for your venue and community. Having a real commitment to your community as a small business is important to your patrons, your success, and your local economy. Using technology that puts your own brand front-and-center, in the way you choose, can help promote your business and successfully reflect your commitment to local customers.