As a result, national brands have often looked to channel partners and franchise owners to handle location-specific marketing. But this can wreak havoc on brand consistency and is in many cases impossible to track.
Thankfully, new technology is allowing corporations to take stronger control of localized marketing. The below strategies can make the process less expensive, more automated and easier to tackle.
Leverage Local Content Creators
Personal stories and recommendations are extremely powerful in today’s Yelp-ified world. Tools such as those offered by Compendium provide brands the ability to creatively encourage, curate and promote customer-created content. Patrons are invited to contribute their story in-person, through email marketing or “tell us about your experience” forms, among other avenues.
Such tools also encourage guest bloggers to write about their experiences, submit photos and instantly share their content with their own social networks. These stories appear in branded, location-specific blogs. This saves national marketers don’t have to create unique content for every location and maintain control with tools to monitor and publish posts as they are submitted.
Deliver Customizable Marketing Assets to Local Affiliates
Digital asset management systems have long been used to make branded materials available to local marketers. But they aren’t specific to a location, nor do they track the promotion’s execution.
Products such as Balihoo and Saepio, overcome this challenge by automating fulfillment and delivering assets that are customizable. Both tools deliver national-quality marketing assets to local marketers who can add in their own addresses, logos, social media buttons and other localized content. These assets include microsites, email templates, direct mail ads, in-store materials, online displays, social media messages, radio spots, outdoor displays and more.
At the same time, the national team can at once make updates to every microsite, for example. Or, if the corporation wants local marketers to execute the campaign, they can set tasks and alerts to indicate action is needed. All materials are pre-approved so the message stays consistent.
Use On-Location Displays and Shopping Apps
Companies such as Adcentricity (formerly Bee Media) allow national brands to grab customer attention on location. Clients can choose from the agency’s network of in-store television screens, location-based shopping apps, in-window displays, digital projectors, radio partners and interactive gaming stations.
This strategy isn’t just about catching the customer on location. Marketers can target segments by choosing geographically relevant settings. For example, if a company wants to target younger buyers, Adcentricity might suggest media channels in and around colleges. This saves marketers from having to individually contact each screen, radio channel or app owner. With one contact, they can spread campaigns across multiple media channels in locations ranging from airports to gas pumps.
Take Control of Local Search Listings
Companies such as Yext PowerListings and SIM Partners let companies control their local search listings across hundreds of search platforms, directories and sources online including Yahoo!, Yelp and Foursquare. The technology makes sure the correct address, website and phone numbers are listed. Marketers can also add images and timely promotions to those listings.
Marketers can use these tools to add custom promotions, descriptions and photos to search listings based on the location. These appear adjacent to the name of the company and address on the local search results page and are specific to that location. This saves them from having to individually contact and negotiate with each search platform. Users can also instantly make changes to listings using a account dashboard. These portals track how many times a listing showed up, where, and whether it was clicked.
Ashley Furness is a market analyst and blogger for research firm Software Advice.