A Resurgence In Direct Mail

“If we look back to when Local Fare launched in 2010, there was very much this view that there wouldn't be magazines anymore and we'd be in a world where everyone wore Google Glasses. Yet, here we are 14 years later and as a publisher, we're considering adding more homes to our mailing based on ROI for our clients.” Juan Bustamante, VP of Local Fare Marketing Group


As digital advertising costs are on the rise and the digital market is on the brink of over saturation, there has been a resurgence in print advertising. Unlike digital advertising, where multiple interactions are required to convert a customer, which leads to increased advertising costs, print advertising offers a potentially more cost-effective approach.

As stated by Polly Wong, president of Belardi Wong

 “If you look at CPMs and CPCs, they’re up double digits. With the increase in the cost of digital marketing, somehow we landed where you can send four direct mail pieces to a targeted audience for the cost of one click.”

Retailers are reverting back to the more traditional form of advertising through direct mail. 

“Print offers a break in terms of people's media habits. When everyone has screen fatigue, we realize that value.” notes Juan Bustamante

With direct mail, there is less competition in mailboxes and offers a more direct route to customers.  Because our world is so commoditised by screens, direct mail allows your product to stand out.  Printed mail pieces such as Local Fare Magazine, provides opportunity for companies to create their brand awareness in a high-quality marketing product with plenty of real estate for shaping consumers’ perceptions of their products. 

“There are so many players involved in getting a magazine into somebody’s hands. At Local Fare, we are fully committed to paper. And it’s because we see the demand.” Juan Bustamante

From the quality of paper and printer to the carefully curated contents, these higher end direct mail pieces are not viewed as junk mail, rather coffee table products which offer advertising staying power. 


Don’t get me wrong, digital has its place in the Consumer Journey, however, we’ve found that direct mail advertising is the only tactic that excels in every category of the Consumer Journey - Awareness, Research / Consideration and Conversion.

Several studies have found, consumers find physical print advertisements more credible than their digital counterparts. To put it very simply, providing a strong awareness of a product in an unsaturated platform such as a high quality direct mail piece, like Local Fare Magazine, directly leads to consumer research through online platforms, consideration of product follows and ultimately, achieves the main goal, conversion of sale! 

Are you interested in learning more about direct mail advertising? We would love to plan a time to talk with you about what our direct mail advertising options can do to help support the success of your business! Let’s talk! 

A Look Back, A Leap Forward

As the close of 2023 quickly approaches, we are taking this opportunity to take a look back at what we have learned over the past year in the world of direct mail and digital marketing and advertising and what we project to be valuable marketing avenues as we look forward to building successful campaigns for our clients in 2024.


OTT (over-the-top) is the umbrella term which covers the delivery of video content via the internet with any device (cell phone, lap top, ipad or computer). CTV (connected TV) refers to the physical device that delivers the video content, otherwise known as Streaming TV.

Local TV and cable spending is on the decline, while OTT’s share of local advertising spend is on the rise. After growing by 57% to reach $2B in 2022, OTT spend is expected to reach $3.5B by 2026 — and it currently holds the title of fastest-growing local media segment making it a valuable resource for advertising dollars.

Remarkably, more radio buyers are moving to OTT while existing broadcast buyers are using a combination of both broadcast and OTT.


All of our clients are using Geography and Demographics to drive their marketing decisions. Here are the top 4 products our clients used in 2023 - Social, SEM, GeoFence (including Display, Video, and OTT/CTV) and Direct Mail.


Most people agree, brand marketing is the most obvious and most important place to invest marketing dollars. Brand awareness serves several purposes, including boosting your brand’s reputation and inspiring consumers’ trust and loyalty. We’ve found Direct Mail gives the consumer the idea and is the catalyst which drives consumers to go online to research more. If you’re not showing up on the first page of a search engine then your competitors are benefiting from your direct mail campaign. This is where SEM, otherwise known as Google ads or PPC,  comes into play.



As technology advances, so do geofencing tactics. Partnering with an agency like Local Fare who buys over one million impressions a month towards geofencing in Chattanooga ensures you have access to those new tools. We’re seeing clients benefit from bundling OTT (streaming TV), Video and Display Ads to a specific audience whether at home or where they shop and play. Simply put, the right person at the right place and time.



Delivering high quality, relevant content to the consumer is a great way to improve your search engine ranking as well as drive traffic to your website. With our direct mail Local Fare Magazine, we take great pride in producing unique content for each of our clients which is delivered to the consumer from the voice of a trusted friend. Our content is specially designed to connect to your target audience and serve as a way to entertain, inspire and educate


Almost every business is performing some type of digital advertising with global digital marketing dollars at an estimated $350 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $786.2 billion by 2026.

The best way to stand out from your competition, who is an all or nothing digital advertiser, is by appearing where they are not - traditional media. We believe a strong marketing strategy includes a healthy balance of digital and traditional media; our preference is direct mail.

Local Fare Marketing Group is a full service Marketing and Advertising agency capable of executing all tactics mentioned above in helping all types and sizes of businesses. Whether you're an existing client, previous or prospective client, let's have a conversation to evaluate your plan in 2024. Contact us today for a consultation!

Your Customer's Journey

Effective advertising requires collaboration across traditional media, social media, and digital marketing. Before deciding where to spend your marketing budget, it is important to consider the consumer’s journey. From the first time a consumer learns about your brand to the day they employ your services, there are many steps and each requires a different marketing tactic. 

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is the first step in the consumer journey. When trying to create brand awareness, remember the Marketing Rule of 7’s. It can take the consumer seeing your message up to 7 times before they are provoked to take action. Through traditional media like billboards, broadcast tv, radio, and direct mail brands can create consumer trust with brand recognition. Your name and messaging will be at the forefront of the customer’s mind when they consider who to retain for services.


Once a potential customer has identified a need, they’ll begin looking for services through social media and google. While they narrow their options they’ll check out your company’s Facebook, Instagram, google reviews, and website. A study found that 97% of consumers are influenced by websites in their decision to purchase. Additionally,  92% won’t purchase the first time they land on your site. As customers gather information about where to shop and find services, programmatic marketing can track and retarget them later when they’re ready to identify their preferences. But don’t forget the importance of direct mail in the consideration phase. Studies have found that consumers find physical advertisements more credible than their digital counterparts. 


Customers will develop their preferences based on google reviews, reading advertorials, looking closely at your website, and scrolling through your social media accounts. Now is the moment to hook potential customers with your “why.” Why should they choose you? Savvy companies know the power of an emotional connection. Your online presence allows you to share your unique story, show your expertise, and create an emotional connection. Have a clear-cut message that stems across all forms of media about who you are, and why you’re the brand to choose. 


Congratulations, you’ve made the sale! But there’s still more work to be done! Creating a positive customer experience is key. From beginning to end, their experience with purchasing through your company should be professional and smooth. Excellent service yields happy customers, positive reviews, and data future customers will use during the consideration and preference phases.


Dealing with unhappy customers can be a tricky, but necessary step for reputation management. A study showed that 70% of customers reported having their perception of the company influenced by how a business responds to reviews. That includes the management of negative reviews. Address any complaints head-on, take ownership of mistakes, and offer solutions. Your customers should consider you their best option for future services. Their reviews, word of mouth, and continued patronage are important marketing tools. Create loyalty programs, offer free videos and blogs with useful information, and thank them for choosing you. A happy customer is the best advertising money can’t buy. 

Let Local Fare Marketing Group help you hone your message, identify your audience, create compelling content, share your advertisements, fine-tune your website and social media presence, and much more! 


Custom vs. Stock Photography: The Impact of Authenticity

Photography is an important tool for small businesses. Using custom photos communicates professionalism, while creating a personal connection to the customer. Here are a few ways custom photography uses real people and real products to make a real impact. 

Real People: The Battle of Stock vs Custom

When comparing the use of stock photos vs using real people, a study found potential customers were 35% more likely to respond to advertisements using custom photography. While the stock photos might feel more cost-effective, they can come across as cheap and fake. You also run the risk of using the same images as other companies. Custom photography uses real people to create a sense of authenticity, building a connection with potential customers. Making your face and personal story part of your branding gives them another reason to choose you over the competition. 

Real Products Create Real Demand

For retailers, professional photography is essential. Nearly 75% of shoppers surveyed said they make decisions on what to purchase based on product photos. Providing beautiful product advertising serves the dual purpose of showing off your stock, and sparking a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out). Highlight the best of your inventory, give customers ideas of how to style, and tap into that insatiable “oooh, I need that” feeling. 

The Real Impact of Custom Photography

In selecting which product to purchase 67% of consumers rated the quality of a product image as very important. Consumers are significantly more likely to engage with advertisements featuring high-quality custom photography than those with just text. Custom photography is an opportunity to share what sets you apart from your competitors, to demonstrate your professionalism, and share your vision.

Let Local Fare help you create custom photography that makes an impact through advertising campaigns and giving new life to your website

How to Get, Improve, and Respond to Online Reviews

You’ve updated your Google My Business profile, now it’s time to move to the top of the listings. Our SEO expert Libby Adams explains how to use Reputation Management to improve your company’s Google ranking. 

Getting Reviews Gets you Customers

Before the internet, businesses depended on word of mouth to build community trust. These days 65% of consumers are reading Google reviews to help them decide whose services to enlist. So how do you get those reviews? 

“It might sound simple, but the best way [to get reviews] is to ask.” A text message with a direct link to your google listing, a QR code at the register or on receipts, or including a link with an invoice will greatly increase your chances of getting a response. Also, timing is key. “Customers are more likely to give a review if you ask on the same day as their service.” If you want to tip the odds in your favor, try offering a discount code or adding their name to a raffle of prizes. When they leave a review, remember to thank customers with a brief, but personal response. 

Deal with Negative Reviews Professionally and Proactively

In a recent study 70% of customers reported that the way a business responds to reviews has influenced their perception of that company. That includes managing negative reviews. “The best way to deal with a negative review is to reply.” Start by asking the reviewer to take the conversation offline, providing a phone number or email where they can contact you directly. “If you’re able to resolve their issue, ask if they will [update or change their original review.]” If you can’t resolve the issue to their satisfaction, potential customers will see the lengths you will go to provide top notch service.

Start Moving up the Google Listings

When creating their rankings, Google trusts your customers' reviews much more than your carefully curated profile. The more reviews and responses you create, the higher Google will push your listing. And since the algorithm is king, keywords in the reviews will help Google better understand the services you provide, and more accurately direct potential customers your direction. 

Of course Google Reviews are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online reputation management. Let our SEO expert Libby Adams help you put your best foot forward and help improve your online reputation. Learn more about how we can help!


Are you Getting the Most out of Google My Business?

More than 80% of customers looking for information about your business will start with Google. Whether you want to interact with customers directly, promote special services and sales, or simply rise to the top of the Google Search List, using the free Google My Business tool is a great place to start. Here are some tips from our SEO expert Libby Adams

Take ownership of your online identity

Use Google Maps to locate your company, and click on the “own this business” link. As Libby explains, “One of the [biggest mistakes companies make] is leaving information blank.” Include your address, website, contact information, customer reviews, commonly asked questions, and connection to your social media accounts. Every piece of information you provide will improve your overall google rating and help you rise to the top of the ranks. 

Regularly update your Google My Business Profile

Remember, content is king in google rankings. “Going [jnto your account] once a week and putting up new posts or new pictures and getting at least one review a week [will improve your] overall rank.” The more information the better. Let social media pull double duty, by including posts from facebook and instagram, updating frequently. Put your most professional foot forward by using high quality photographs. “Photos of the products you offer, [should be] updated on a regular basis. For service based businesses, anytime you do work for a client showcase that work [in a photo gallery].”

Increase credibility with reviews 

Positive reviews and good communication will make your company stand out when stacked against local competitors. “The more reviews a business has, the better. They are seen as more trustworthy. You don’t want to go to a plumber who has 10 terrible reviews, because you’re probably not going to get your problem solved.” Google reviews are crucial to a small business, and require a lot more information than we can cram into this small paragraph. The next newsletter will be a deep dive on reputation management, and best practices for getting regular reviews. 

How can we help? 

Let our SEO expert Libby Adams do the heavy lifting. Libby uses her expertise in building online profiles to create a strategy as unique as your small business. “Filling out the Google My Business [account] is fairly simple for most clients to be able to do. But continuing to add information can be somewhat time consuming to a business owner. [We provide] what’s called citation building. Where you put your business information on other websites that google crawls. When google sees your business listed on other websites…it increases [your visibility].” By increasing your visibility Google will see you as an expert in your field, and push you to the top of the listings.

Marketing to Your 3 Client Bases

Some business owners make the mistake of focusing their attention only on prospecting for new customers. While prospecting for new clients is important, it’s not the only way for your company to get business. In fact, some argue it might not even be the best way for you to get and maintain business.

Read on to learn about your three client bases and how to make them work for you:

1. Nurture Past Clients

Let’s start by taking the words “past client” out of your vocabulary! If you treat previous clients like they’re never coming back for your services, that’s exactly what will happen. But if you shift this thinking and begin nurturing those contacts as if they’re your current clients again? Revolutionary. Regardless of whether a past client will ever need your service or product again, the odds are very good they know someone else who will. If you did your job right and provided them with quality product/services, they can be an incredible referral source to give you business in the future. Some effective ways to market to this client base is to reach out with personalized touches through email campaigns, birthday/anniversary cards or client appreciation events.

2. Retain Current Clients

Your current client base can also be an invaluable source of business for you! Much like your past clients, satisfied current clients are a quality link to new people. And often the leads you receive through a referral from a past or current client are stronger than new leads because there’s already an established trust. So, what’s the best way to market to your current clients to encourage customer attention, loyalty and those amazing referrals? One way to do this is to maintain a solid social media presence where you interact with clients regularly! Social media is a great way to meet clients where they are and give them those personalized, low-pressure interactions you need to keep them engaged. Post consistent content that shows your business is an expert in your field, and hit the reply button on comments from clients — it’s that simple. Another great customer marketing tactic is to share customer success stories and quality reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask happy customers to share their stories. More than likely, they’ll be happy to share, and these stories are a powerhouse for your marketing strategy!

3. Acquire New Clients

There are several different options for marketing to client prospects, but here are a few that we’ve found to be the most effective:

Programmatic Display Ads - These targeted digital ads are displayed to a specific type of customer in a specific context or location. You can decide on your ideal client, and these ads will be delivered to them through apps and websites, such as when they’re checking the weather or scrolling through a news article.

Traditional Media Ads - Traditional media continues to be the giant of the marketing world — sending more potential clients to your website and digital/social presence than any other method! It’s essential for a business to have a direct mail presence to compete in today’s market and reach new customers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - If a new client searches for your products or services on Google or another search engine, where are you showing up in the rankings? If you’re too low on the list, your business is likely to be missed. SEO improves online visibility to attract new customers to your website.

How are you marketing to your three client groups? Is there room for improvement? We hope this gives you some food for thought as you continue building and adjusting your marketing strategies for 2022!

Postcards, Simplified!

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — traditional media is the dominating force in the marketing world. And one rock star of the traditional media world is postcards! Sending a postcard inside or alongside Local Fare Magazine is an incredible (and affordable!) way to reach your ideal client and create brand awareness.

Here’s how it works:

1. Choose your ideal mailing area

Decide which area you’d like to target most: Zone A, Zone B or both!

Zone A includes 35,000 households in:

  • North Chattanooga
  • Signal Mountain
  • Lookout Mountain TN/GA
  • Elder Mountain
  • Black Creek
  • St. Elmo
  • Southside
  • Hixson
  • Soddy Daisy
  • Missionary Ridge

Zone B includes 35,000 households in:

  • Ooltewah
  • Collegedale
  • Harrison
  • HWY 58
  • McDonald
  • Apison
  • Council Fire
  • Windstone Neighborhood in Georgia
  • East Brainerd

2. Choose Postcard Size and Placement

We offer two postcard mailing options that are delivered with Local Fare Magazine and the wrap.

1. DAL Card — DAL stands for Detached Address Label postcard. This allows for the postcard to be mailed outside of the wrap. This full color glossy card stock option is the stand out choice.
Cost: 10,000 minimum mailing, 9'X6," $0.29 cents each
20,000 mailing, 9"X6," $0.25 cents each

2. Insert Postcard — This type of postcard mails inside Local Fare Magazine.
Cost: 10,000 minimum mailing, 9'X6," $0.23 cents each
20,000 mailing, 9"X6,” $0.18 cents each

With this co-op mailing opportunity with Local Fare, the postage and printing costs to send a postcard are significantly lower than what you would spend to send it yourself alone!

3. We Design and Mail

Work with our talented team of marketing professionals to create your dream postcard! You can have as little or as much involvement in the process as you want, but either way we’ll be there to help from concept to copywriting to design. Once it’s finished, we’ll mail for you — all you have to do is sit back and enjoy as brand awareness for your business grows!

The Marketing Triangle: Small Business Advertising That WORKS

When we talk to local businesses about their advertising strategies, more often than not we hear the same answer — Facebook boosted posts.

What many people don’t know is that with the new restrictions on Facebook and collecting user data, it is almost impossible for a small business owner to target their ideal customer through boosted posts. In addition, almost every business now is on Facebook, so that marketing strategy alone isn’t enough to make your business stand out from the crowd!

In order to be a real competitor in today’s market, your business needs to reach your ideal audience through more than one medium. And if you want to not only be competitive but to dominate the competition, we recommend utilizing our three-pronged approach through The Marketing Triangle.

1. Social Media

Using carefully curated demographic data and working through the backend of Facebook/Instagram to serve social media ads (not ineffective boosted posts!) that pinpointed your target customer

2. Traditional Media

Creating and presenting your print ads in Local Fare Magazine to our deeply loyal direct mail audience of 70,000+ homes to create an awareness for your brand that can only come from this traditional source.

Did you know one of the best drivers for social media search is traditional media? Traditional media is the dominating force in the marketing world — sending more potential clients to your website and digital/social presence than any other method!

3. Digital Media

Leaving your digital footprint through targeted programmatic ads that are sent to a specific type of customer in a specific context or location. This type of marketing leverages the power of the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Is your marketing plan ready for 2022? We can help!