National retailers have access to expertise, money, and boatloads of data-driven marketing tools, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve got it all figured out when it comes to local marketing. One-quarter of national brands say they’re unable to track ROI at the local level, and 33.8% aren’t even investing in local marketing, according to a survey by Balihoo.
When it comes to managing digital marketing for their local stores, many national retailers are still in need of guidance from experts. Here are six strategies that national brands should consider.
1. Implement brand standards. “National chains should have brand standards and guidelines for local stores to follow, which include how often to post, tweet, etc. These standards should also explain what is allowed and what is not allowed, what to re-tweet, and what other companies they can re-post or re-tweet from. This would be a very comprehensive plan.” (Doug Dwyre, Mocapay)
2. Use accurate location data. “Our recommended approach to local marketing for national brands starts with complete and accurate location data. Studies have found that online listings frequently have missing or incorrect phones numbers and hours, and that the pin placements in Google Maps and other sites are wrong or inconsistent. We suggest that national brands use an automated, centralized tool to verify, standardize, geocode and manage the data associated with their hundreds or thousands of locations.” (Michael Bevan, Placeable)
3. Optimize for mobile discovery. “How does a national pizza brand become the local pizza place? With Google+, it’s really simple. Local links + local content + local engagement = local pizza place. National brands that embrace the Google+ local pages for their stores will win big in mobile discovery, as consumers are looking for a particular category of stores or restaurants.” (Rob Reed, MomentFeed)
4. Deploy indexable locators. “After creating a foundation of accurate data, the next step is to deploy indexable locators (mobile and desktop) and publish authoritative local landing pages for each location to maximize traffic and provide a customer experience that’s enriched with content, like local offers, reviews, menus, product listings, photos and videos. This approach also supports the use of ad technology like mobile advertising and location-based messaging.” (Michael Bevan, Placeable)
5. Keep local, local. “Don’t send out messages to a national list for something local. [National retailers should] only allow posting about specific local events, sales, etc. — and only to their local followers. There should be a specific team of people trained to do this, and not just anyone.” (Doug Dwyre, Mocapay)
6. Just get going. “The most important tip is to get started now. Beacon marketing provides a fundamentally new form of customer engagement that will need to be refined and optimized over time. Retailers need to get started now in order to begin generating learning that can be applied to broader scale roll-outs. Beacon marketing platform providers like Swirl make it easy for retailers by providing everything they need to get started while also providing the foundation to support long-term scale.” (Rob Murphy, Swirl)
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.