Marketers are honing in on Social, Mobile, Local — or SoMoLo — as a must-have strategy to better connect with consumers. By tapping social media, mobility and localized marketing tactics, organizations such as dealerships, branch offices and service outlets can identify the unique needs of specific audiences and in turn, deliver more relevant messages and offers.
However, most marketers reported that they are falling short of their full local marketing potential: Only 7% of respondents said they have highly-evolved campaigns and measures in place to activate consumers at the local level, according to a new study from the CMO Council and Balihoo. Conversely, 59% of national marketers acknowledged that local demand generation is essential business growth.
The report, titled: Brand Automation for Local Activation, examined the overall satisfaction that brands have with partner marketing efforts. Based on a survey of 296 brand marketing executives, only 8% said they were “extremely satisfied” in how a new product, pricing or promotional campaign was executed by local field sales reps, resellers, or franchise/partner networks.
Most organizations are leveraging digital channels such as corporate web sites and social media accounts to better connect with local audiences, along with traditional print assets and events. However, the “mobile” piece of the SoMoLo puzzle still is being called into question, the CMO Council study revealed.
Only 10% of marketers said mobile will become as relevant as search and social in driving local experiences during 2013. Furthermore, while 12% reported seeing mobile as a “successful local advertising channel,” another 33% are “still investigating the opportunity.”
Making The Case For Local Marketing Automation
A leading cause of the severe marketing disconnect, according to survey results, is the large gap between national brand campaigns and more locally focused campaigns.
While 30% of organizations implement local campaigns within eight to 20 days of a national launch, 31% waited 30 days or more to distribute local marketing materials. Nearly one-third of surveyed marketers believed this delay was caused by a lack of resources and bandwidth necessary to simultaneously execute global/national and local campaigns.
“According to the U.S. State Department, American businesses lose $50 billion annually in potential sales because of problems with localization,” stated Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. “So it is clear that this localization gap has a significant lost opportunity cost to any business willing to allow 30 days to pass before driving relevant content into a local marketplace.”
Marketing automation tools were spotlighted as potential solutions to the local marketing gap, largely because these tools help increase availability of campaigns and promotions and decrease overall time to market. In fact, 52% of marketers said they believe brand campaign automation is necessary to improve integration between head offices and their local counterparts.
“There’s an over-reliance on people and not enough focus on cloud-based platforms that bring process, discipline and timeliness to local market provisioning,” Neale-May said. “If you look at market leaders, they are the ones extracting the most performance from their networks by providing timely access to relevant and targeted content without breaking the bank or the backs of their internal teams.”
Further supporting the case for local marketing automation, 88% of respondents who execute local and national campaigns simultaneously confirmed that this strategy provided them with a competitive advantage.
In addition to the survey findings, detailed interviews with marketing executives from Arby’s Restaurant Group, Dell, Farmers Insurance, FedEx, Red Robin, Sears Hometown Stores, The North Face and Wells Fargo Advisors, are included in the 75-page report.
Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.