Editor's note: The following information is part of a countdown recap from the inaugural Top 100 Movers and Shakers publication. It was published in the spring of 2012. Some of the information may now be different.
Local marketing is more than passing out discount coupons to regular customers. By forging strong relationships with local schools, non-profit organizations and community groups, many concepts are improving sales and brand awareness. One example is Pittsburgh-based Vocelli Pizza, which has 100-plus East Coast locations and recently posted 16 consecutive months of same-store sales growth – a direct result of stronger community relationships, according to Jim Powers, the company's vice president of marketing. Brands are hosting talent shows for local youth, sponsoring sports teams, participating in community events and coming up with other inexpensive ways to put their name in front of more eyes. Innovative technology is also making it easier for brands to customize marketing materials to local audiences
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