Advertising, General

Mighty, metropolitan Adland insists that only they can ever herd the ‘6,000 cats’ of local. Well, have me and James got news for you…

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on here about the difficulty ‘top down’ ad networks had in delivering national ‘brand’ into those prized, local spaces.

They were, they insisted, the only way that this could be done; they just needed a few ‘locals’ to give them the appropriate ‘keywords’, and they were away…

‘National to local only works in a top-down model…’ was the claim.

‘AdMarketplaces’ Adam Epstein used the upcoming presidential election to illustrate this challenge. A national campaign headquarters might not understand all the local keywords they should be buying to tap into what motivates voters…’

More tellingly, Epstein delivered the traditional rallying cry of all things ‘top down…’ That you, little local folk have to buy into what we clever, clever metropolitan people are doing…

‘Local has to buy in to what you are doing…’ he said. Only they have the way to deliver national brand into local spaces.

‘You can’t herd 6,000 cats and come up with a digital strategy…’

Rather you can’t…

But I now can.

For the last few weeks we have been ‘collaborating’ - in the best traditions of @DigiDave – with James Rudd and his AboutMyArea platform.

All 2,700-odd of them. One for nigh-on every postcode district in the UK.

Wire our new Addiply baby into the back of his new baby and map the resulting ‘pins’ in his own, branded ‘blue’ look… and together we can now offer national brands an advertising opportunity in every postcode district in the UK. We can bring a little order to the challenge of herding the ‘6,000 cats’ that inhabit this hyper-local world of ours.

We can build a new, open and collaborative network model. From the bottom up… Click onto our ‘Network’ page and pick a postcode, any postcode…

Well, almost. One of our Ian’s jobs today is to round up one or two ’strays’; one of which – for reasons best-known to Google, long/lat codes and a possible input error – now sits in Northern Iraq.

But whilst we can now offer TescoExtra the chance to ‘find’ the nearest neighbourhood blog to their store in NR14 or wherever, for me I’d like to think that we can now set out with a rather higher social intention.

We can now deliver appropriate HM Government and regional health authority ‘messaging’ into those postcodes that matter; into estates of genuine need and want… not shower the posh people of Ponteland with teenage pregnancy ads; save those for the rougher ends of Britain’s troubled cities.

Equally, we can now offer the regional health authorities the chance to ‘map’ the progress of the Blood Transfusion Service through the postcodes of NR12, NR13, NR14 and NR15 over the next four weeks… a tenner for a £10 CPM banner ad in each of those postcodes.

And repeat for the Breast Cancer Screening Clinic as it winds its way through SL4, SL5, SL6 and SL7.

We can find – and the regional health observatories already have (Jan 09) – postcode ‘clusters’ of cancers, of heart disease of industrial legacy issues. All of which can now be targetted – simply.

There is no need for an algorithm; nor to wine and dine the London ad agencies with all their clever kit in the hope they can somehow get your message off a lunch table in Charlotte Street and ‘down’ to an estate in Sunderland, SR2.

Now you, the Department of Health, can place that ad yourself…. and take both cost and middle man out of the loop.

Because the other side to this particular coin is that if – at last – we can enpower national brand to drill into local and we’ve always had locals finding locals on the Addiply platform, now – possibly – we are starting to see where a sweet spot of at least a part-time hyper-local living could be found…

…where TescoExtra/Bootle and DrugAwareness/Bootle meets the Bootle butcher, baker and candlestick maker.

In between sits the local publisher; BootleNews. Taking home 90% of any advertising income that we can now punt his way – now that both Tesco and HM Government know where to find him.

I was re-reading a piece that quoted Claire Enders the other day in which she looked around the world of ‘Local TV’… and took Jeremy Hunt and Co to task:

“He is not understanding that there will be a deficit [in content] at a regional level that cannot be filled by his local plans as they don’t deliver ubiquitous coverage…” she rightly proclaimed (Jan ‘11).

And that’s the phrase that haunts so many in this brave, new world of ours – particularly for the embattled regional newspaper groups stuck fast in their provincial silos of content and commerce.

They can’t deliver ‘ubiquitous coverage’ for a national brand seeking nation-wide local advertising space.

We can.

The challenge for existing hyper-local publishers is very simple – own your postcode. Own it audience and engagement-wise and if this Government has even half a brain, they can now come and find you…

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