Zoom and pan using controls at the right, or download graphic here

How to Use The Above Graphic to Inform Your Decisions

The Local Marketing Stack is intended to serve as a rough order-of-operations as you think about engaging with new tactics, and help you decide if you’re ready to move on to the next stage.

Generally speaking, you should read the graphic from left-to-right and bottom-to-top. Points lower and to the left are more fundamental to the overall success of your business than points higher and to the right in the sequence.

We’ve identified close to 60 of the most popular digital products, services, and tactics in the market today; each is called out by a circle. Some stops are particularly key integration points that contribute to the success of multiple marketing avenues.

For example, Reviews & Testimonials are particularly important for organic marketing (especially SEO and customer conversion), but they also represent an important endpoint/outcome of customer service.

Similarly, Social Media activity clearly lies on the presence line, but that activity will not be seen by many customers (especially on Facebook) without some form of paid marketing to accompany it.

We’ve categorized each of the stops into one (or two; see integrations above) of five major buckets: Operations & Customer Service, Presence, Organic Marketing, Paid Marketing, and Attribution.

Most stops lie on the same straight line, but you’ll note there are some spurs. This is because not every stop on these lines is essential to every local business. For example, some local business websites may not need Ecommerce capabilities (or the SSL certificates required to implement them). Community can be an incredibly powerful driver of business for private schools and personal care providers, but probably doesn’t make as much sense for plumbers or locksmiths.

We’ve also marked six major zones from left to right. For the most part, you should complete each stop that lies to the left of a given zone boundary (for example Website CMS and Web Analytics are just inside of Zone 2) before moving onto stops in zones that are further out (such as SEO or Blogs & Columns).


The whole reason we started Tidings is to help small businesses like yours make the most of the time, effort and money you spend on digital media. From that standpoint, we hope you find the Local Marketing Stack a useful decision-making framework to help evaluate your options in 2017!