September 1, 2015

Local marketing made easier with automation

Local marketing made easier with automation

Brands are becoming more focused on local marketing efforts, and I’ve been reading some great articles about the topic. One area of particular interest is the online search – offline purchase connection. Keeping brand messages consistent in the online and physical world is a challenge many companies face with their local marketing.

Marketing done at the local level by retailers, franchisees, etc. often relies on social media, digital, PPC, email, and display, since these lower cost local marketing tactics are measurable, effective, and easy to change. Unfortunately, brand consistency takes a hit when local marketing doesn’t mirror national marketing or when a local commercial looks less professional than an elementary school play.

Updating local marketing in the digital world is fast and easy compared to the physical world. The complexity and cost of rebranding or changing out exterior signs, interior signs, vehicles, kiosks, and other physical touchpoints may stall at the local level for national brands, especially when francishees are involved. The challenge is even greater when departments other than brand management or channel marketing “own” the brand touchpoints.

Automation tools allow brands to more effectively manage local marketing by streamlining the process. There is a need for brands to collect data on all touchpoints used to send brand messages – from websites to service vehicles. The mix of touchpoints depends on the industry and channels. For example, channels that include retailers, dealers and distributors, or national lodging and restaurant chains, have complex local marketing needs.

To maintain brand compliance and leverage local marketing opportunities, brands must track all brand touchpoints (physical and digital) by automating the entire system. The following are a few tips on how to do this:

  1. Identify and track everything featuring a brand message or campaign. We developed apps to collect brand touchpoint data to make it easier for our clients to gather and update information.
  2. Engage all parties across the organization and channels that manage brand touchpoints at the national, regional and local marketing level. By building relationships with touchpoint owners, you open up opportunities for data mining and organizational support for brand management initiatives.
  3. Provide brand touchpoint owners with methodologies and tools to use for local marketing efforts, including automation systems. Ask for feedback and build buy-in when creating project plans for new brand campaigns to speed up implementation.
  4. After a campaign rollout is complete, collect data and visual records of brand touchpoints in the automation system, which will set the stage for better local marketing in the future.

National brands that automate make it easier for local marketing efforts to remain brand compliant and have a distinct advantage over those that force brand touchpoint owners at the local level to figure it out for themselves. Just how many different logo colors and shapes, building signs and bad commercials can one brand have?