FAYETTEVILLE, AR—Mitchell Communications has released a report that offers new insights to marketers on how consumers are redefining local brand engagement. The goal was to better understand how purchasing habits in the digital age are shaping the future of local marketing. “The OmniLocal Consumer Report” shows that any brand, including large national brands, can be local, and local can be anywhere in the minds of millennial and Gen Z consumers.
OmniLocal consumers increasingly define “community” by shared interests and mindset, instead of geography or proximity. At the core of the OmniLocal consumer is the fundamentally distinct way they perceive the concepts of “community” and “local.”
- 74% of millennial and Gen Z consumers don’t define “community” by specific geographic location.
- 55% of these consumers define community by shared interests and mindset, without regard to shared geography.
- 51% of OmniLocal consumers find that digitally connecting with people of shared interests makes them feel that “local can be anywhere.”
“As an agency that has been a leader in hyperlocal PR for more than 20 years, we wanted to take a fresh look at local through the eyes of consumers,” said Sarah Clark, CEO of Mitchell. “The data indicates that the brands that are going to win in this new age of OmniLocal marketing are the ones that understand how to be local at all times—whether a consumer engages that brand online with their phone or in a store, whether they are buying from the boutique down the street or the website on their mobile device.”
Building on Mitchell’s experience in connecting brands and consumers at the local level, the agency conducted an in-depth analysis of younger consumers—millennials and Gen Z. Findings demonstrate that audiences want the expansive access and connections that only digital can deliver, as well as the geographically driven local experiences defined by what they can see, hear, taste or touch. The data showed that consumers are increasingly seeking an OmniLocal brand experience that blends the digital with the geographic.
- Local knowledge matters: 63% of respondents agree that brands demonstrating local knowledge of their community are appealing.
- Local brand interest matters: By more than two to one, respondents agreed that a blogger/influencer who shares their interest for a local brand is a local influencer even if they don’t live in their community.
- Local news matters: The top three most trusted sources of local news for OmniLocal consumers are local newspapers (mobile/digital), local newspapers (print) and local TV news.