Local Marketing Not So Local

According to the CMO Council and Balihoo, brands still struggle with local marketing. Between keeping control over the brand, compliance with corporate directives and the necessity to adapt their effort to local markets only 7% consider their local marketing effective.

Driving customers into store locations is an essential step in the path to purchase, and local advertising is one of the best ways to reach consumers “on the ground.” A February 2013 report by the CMO Council and Balihoofound that local marketing is increasingly happening at the digital level, with the greatest percentage of respondents (27%) reporting that increasing digital investment was the biggest change in their local marketing strategy in the past year. But the study also found that brands are at very different stages in terms of their integration and execution of local marketing.

Just over one-third of those surveyed thought their local capabilities were growing, while 15% of marketers reported struggling or underperforming in their local efforts. Only 7% considered themselves highly evolved in their local outreach.

As brands make a greater push into local marketing, one of the major difficulties they face is executing at the regional level while keeping a corporate focus and quality control on local efforts.

Half of US brand marketers surveyed managed local sales and engagement efforts at the corporate level. In addition, one-third reported a combination of corporate-level monitoring of local efforts, along with franchise and outside network management. To develop local marketing strategy, three out of five marketers said that the CMO or corporate marketing team set local priorities.

Local marketing not do local

Communicating the message of the brand at all levels remains a top priority: 81% cited uniformity of the brands’ values and promises as a goal for the year, and 64% wanted to eliminate customer confusion that conflicting execution caused. This suggests that brand consistency will continue to be more important than incorporating local-level insights and ideas into marketing efforts.

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