So now you can you can buy "hyper localized" ads on the Weather Channel's web site.
None of these are Web 2.0 strategies. They are basically old-style advertising adapted to the Internet. They are paid advertising. But more local, more contextual and more targeted than anything that was easily accessible 10 years ago.
Sure, in the past we could target. We could hire sign-wavers (you don't get much more geographically-specific than that). Or sponsor a local golf tournament. Or hide business cards in the relevant books at the library.
But those strategies all took tremendous amount of time, effort and man-power...and still were not as effective as these.
Thing is, the right way to treat these strategies--to test and measure these strategies--is to take a lesson from the techniques they are replacing. They need to be worked on every day. Tracked. Tweaked. EVERY DAY! When the guy on corner A wasn't producing, we moved him to corner B. When the golf tournament sponsorship yielded few sales, we tweaked our approach. When the business-card-in-the-book-thing yielded nothing, we stopped (dear God, I hope you stopped).
Approach these Internet-based tactics the same way. Work on them every day. Tweak your language, your placement, your media. Your ROI will improve. I promise.
A side note: don't game the system. It ruins it for all of us. Laughing Squid recently temporarily stopped using all adwords because the JackAsses promoting Yes on Measure 8 (in California) were buying AdWords on sites that promoted No on Measure 8. Nobody wins. Don't do that. It makes you look like an idiot and is tandamount to putting business cards in books at the library.