How to do "regional" right

Regional advertising is the go-to method for brands that want to support their retailers. A brand would turn to national advertising for branding, online, and national sales. Knowing how to play the two together will serve a brand marketer well. But the approach and specific tactics of a great regional execution are what truly make or break a brand striving to achieve scalable sales volume. Let's start there and take a look at the mechanics of doing "regional" right. 

How to do "regional" right

Regional advertising works great for tests and to boost new retailers. To launch a new brand that would have regional distribution in 75 stores, we decided to implement hyper-local marketing to drive sales in a very concentrated, high-volume way and give the retailer justification to take the distribution national the following season.

Specifically, for regional marketing, digital advertising and out-of-home are a powerful combination. Ads can run near the retailers you want to support, on billboards, taxi tops, and in the form of erasable graffiti on walls and sidewalks. Audiences can be targeted digitally by IP address, ZIP code, or in local publications relevant to the brand and market. Events that combine the virtual with the real -- such as in-store appearances, parties with local bloggers, contests, and scavenger hunts -- get the word out virally via social media. You are only as limited as your imagination given the abundance of integration options.

To craft your regional retail strategy, consider these four factors:

Distribution

When you consider where your brand is sold, the world gets smaller and you can focus your budget.

Budget

The size of your budget and your strategy will help shape your approach and media mix, such as whether to do television versus radio or billboards versus buses.

Objectives

If you're trying to influence shoppers at a particular store, consider buying bus routes that go by it. It's much less expensive than billboards. On the other hand, if you are promoting a celebrity brand with regional distribution, you might buy one billboard in Times Square and target the rest of your spend locally.

Media consumption in the markets

Each regional area has its own variations and demands its own strategy. For example, it doesn't make sense to buy billboards in sprawling Los Angeles because so many would be required to make an impact, but geo-digital is a good tactic. New York might be less of a radio town than, say, Baltimore and D.C. because most people take the subway rather than drive to work. Take time to consider each market for its consumption realities.

We walked through these factors as a team when helping Danish jewelry maker Trollbeads make the most of its advertising budget for a recent campaign. Trollbeads is a national brand, but it has strong regional followings in areas of the country where its products are distributed.

The company has a following among a wide range of women age 18 years old and up. Internal research revealed its advertising was most effective when targeting women 35 years and older with a household income of $75,000 and up. The product is sold and purchased through independent jewelers and gift shops.

So, the company decided to combine national and regional campaigns for maximum effect -- and then it decided to integrate tactics within the regional execution. It ran a print campaign in national fashion and lifestyle titles read by its customers, such as O, Glamour, More, InStyle, Redbook, and Lucky.

At the same time, Trollbeads ran an out-of-home campaign in local areas where it has wide distribution and loyal customers. This included billboards, malls, and transit media in the markets they wanted to strategically target. It also ran some print ads in regional magazines such as Texas Monthly and Columbus Monthly.

Digital was another component. Trollbeads ran display ads and banners on Twelvefold Media, the Sugar Network, and Elle.com. It also distributed pre-roll video and video banner ads through the Tremor Network.

The Trollbeads campaign supported its retail partners on the local level while also building its brand nationally. Our measurements showed a good response and reach.

"Trollbeads is committed to an integrated marketing campaign," said Trollbeads' chief executive officer Michael J. Belleveau. "This strategy leverages the reach and flexibility of digital media with the image-building power of upscale national print, combined with call-to-action advertising through our large dealer network and to the trade. Using these tools, we support our existing network of retailers and enlarge our distribution network as well as increase brand awareness and consumer pull-through. As consumer demand increases with an ever-strengthening brand, the selling job of the retailer becomes easier."

In your own campaigns, the power of concentration and repetition in a variety of channels will reinforce your marketing message and drive the point home. The consumer will take notice, you will increase your reach, and your voice will be amplified, as it was for Trollbeads. This ultimately amounts to greater mindshare -- the aspiration of most emerging brands.

Bonnie Kintzer is CEO of Women's Marketing Inc.

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"Marketing strategy" image via Shutterstock.

 

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