Your products or services may have broad appeal, but you must choose whether to market nationally or regionally. Even if your products or services can sell nationally, you may be able to market to a region and sell more by focusing your advertising expenditures on that market. When deciding whether to create a national marketing strategy or a regional one, consider your budget and your ability to reach your target audience effectively.

National Marketing Advantages

The internet gives your small business relatively easy access to the national marketplace. You can reach a national audience by advertising on websites that have national appeal and by promoting your own website nationally. In addition, you can combine your internet marketing with national magazine ads and television spots. In this way, your small business can effectively compete with established national brands in the national marketplace, even if you do not have a physical presence in multiple states and regions.

National Marketing Disadvantages

The cost of acquiring a new customer can be high for national marketing campaigns. Because the market is so large, you have to repeat your message extensively to become memorable to consumers, and this can cost much more money than regional advertising costs. You pay for advertising according to how many people are in any given media outlet’s audience, so national outlets tend to be the most expensive. In addition, your message can get lost among numerous competing messages.

Regional Marketing Advantages

Regional marketing can be less expensive than national marketing. You can buy time on local radio, regional papers and local television to support your internet marketing. You can choose the region you focus on by finding one that has distinct differences from other parts of the country, especially if those differences give you an advantage with your product or service. For example, if you sell software that allows parents to filter what their children see on the internet, your focus on a region where parents actively participate in school and community events may pay off. If you effectively target your most likely customers in your chosen region, your cost for acquiring a new customer can be much lower than that of national campaigns.

Regional Marketing Disadvantages

Your target regional audience may not be large enough to sustain sales for your product or service. Even if you effectively identify your ideal customer in a region, that customer may not be easy to persuade. You may have to saturate the regional market with repeated marketing messages so you can capture market share. This repetition can become expensive to the point that you spend nearly as much as you would on a national campaign. In addition, once you saturate a region, you have to add other regions to grow sales. You could end up paying for a national campaign one region at a time.