Success in hyperlocal marketing has always hinged on the ability to connect with the right consumers at the right time. Now, as more people use mobile devices in their everyday lives, many tried-and-true techniques for marketing to consumers are becoming less effective, and brands are looking closely at how they can use integrated cross-device solutions to develop deeper connections with customers on a one-to-one basis.
According to a new survey conducted by Forrester Consulting, just released this morning, the marriage of ad-tech and mar-tech has widespread support from large companies and organizations across all major verticals. Nearly half of the firms surveyed by Forrester believe convergence will improve customer satisfaction and lead to better personalization, stronger customer insights and improved efficiency around execution. Ninety-three percent of the firms surveyed said they are currently “discussing, planning, or taking action around combining ad-tech and mar-tech,” while 35% of the firms have already taken action to converge technology.
As mobile devices become more commonplace, traditional ways of marketing—like using cookies tied to a single device—are less effective. This has led email to become even more valuable, as marketers rely on the data and combine new ad-tech and mar-tech functions. Eighty-nine percent of firms in Forrester’s survey listed email as the “most important” data, ahead of phone numbers and authenticated sessions on a website.
“Hyperlocal industries have spent years building up their CRM databases and their email lists, because they know more than anyone that email is the single biggest driver of marketing efforts,” says Matt Keiser, CEO of LiveIntent, the marketing solutions vendor that commissioned the report. “The email channel is a crucial connection point for a hyperlocal market that demands more intimacy than others.”
Keiser points to a McKinsey study that showed email performing 40x more effectively than Facebook and Twitter for customer acquisition as further evidence of the channel’s important role. He believes that too many marketers today are targeting devices rather than people, and he says hyperlocal marketers who can bring marketing functions into the open spaces of advertising channels like display, video, and mobile are in the best position to form intimate relationships with their established customers.
“Being able to have 1:1 relationships in advertising channels was built for local markets, since it lets marketers reach known prospects and customers at the right moment, irrespective of device, channel, or platform,” Keiser says.
The biggest challenge for marketers combining ad-tech and mar-tech isn’t technical, it’s internal. According to the survey, 42% of marketers say the biggest hurdle is that their organizations “operate in silos.” Another obstacle is education. More than half of marketers in the survey said 25% or more of their colleagues don’t understand the difference between advertising and marketing technology.
Keiser believes there are a number of factors that make hyperlocal marketers especially well-positioned to be at the forefront of this new wave and bring together marketing and advertising functions. He says that by leveraging email as a proxy for identity—and broadly understanding that email is no longer just about sending mail— hyperlocal marketers should be able to reach customers wherever they are paying attention, irrespective of device.
“Those marketers who can bring the functions together will thrive in this next era. Those marketers who don’t understand how to bring advertising and marketing together are doomed,” he says. “It’s the marketers focused on a hyperlocal audience who may be best equipped out of everyone to succeed in this new era of people-based marketing.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.