Local Marketing is an Integral Part of any Successful Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

Enabling your customers’ journey is all the rage. The “modern customer journey” has been the topic of multiple conferences, articles, and blog posts over the past several years. Most of those discussions center on using email and mobile to drive the journey. However, what is not getting discussed is the “last mile of modern marketing”: local marketing.

 

Local marketing is critical because it is enabling all the effort that has been placed into the front half of the customer journey and shaping the experience to a local point of purchase. Think about it for a minute. All the strategy, tactical effort, and content can go into your national branding but if you do not drive the customer to a local point of purchase for a transaction, what is the point?  This is where local marketing comes in, especially in the area of discovery.

 

At Balihoo, we define local marketing as the ability for the national enterprise to be able to create scalable multi-channel marketing tactics to drive consumers to a preferred location for purchase. This location can be a company owned location or to a specific local partner. Using solutions such as local listings, local websites, local paid search, direct mail and email, and local social allows the customer to discover your local point of purchase closest to them.

 

Balihoo believes that the foundation to local marketing is “discovery”. Whether you’re a company with locally owned stores or you have local channel partners, you first have to ensure that these locations are discovered during the customer journey. This includes using tactics that enable easy discovery via both desktop and mobile devices. As mobile search has exceed desktop-based search, we know that searching on a mobile device is an indication of intent to purchase locally. In fact, recent Google stats show that 56% of all mobile searches have local intent. According to the same Google study, 50% of local searches made on a mobile device led to an in-store visit within 8 hours of the search.

 

Based upon our customers’ successes, we know that best practices for local discovery involved three functionalities: Local Websites, Local Paid Search, and Local Listings.

 

  • Local Websites: Specific local websites for a company owned location or channel partner location that can be updated with customize information, such as special offers, unique services offered, hours and location.
  • Local Paid Search: Using geo-modified search terms, you can drive traffic to a local partner or location based upon search terms specific to a location within a zip code. Platforms like Balihoo allow you to also setup business rules to auto-execute on unique search terms related to specific location trends or occurrences such as weather.
  • Local Listings: Local listings are integral to discovery. A successful Platform will ensure that all of your brand’s local listings are correct, consistent, and visible across the web, ensuring that consumers find your local store at the first point of search.

 

In marketing, we like to segment different aspects of marketing strategy and tactics. For the past 10 years, many marketers have attempted to segment national marketing from local marketing. But that is not how your customers see it. They do not care what is considered a “national” marketing tactic or a “local” tactic. They just want a seamless, efficient experience with your brand and the closest point of purchase. This is why local marketing should be considered another “channel” within multi-channel marketing.  By separating out local marketing, you are creating a broken experience. And, more often than not, a broken marketing experience leads to a broken customer experience. According to an Accenture Study, 78% of consumers have experienced a broken customer experience from inconsistent transitions from different marketing channels during their customer journey with brands.

 

By solving for the “last mile of marketing”, you can ensure that consumers reach your company’s and local partner’s locations quickly and directly without being distracted by a competitor attempting to do the same. To get started, visit Balihoo and request a risk-free demo today.

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