New Street Fight Report: Benchmarking and Best Practices in Enterprise Local Marketing

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 Local marketers at big brands and multi-location retailers and services companies are coming around on digital marketing. While the biggest companies still depend on traditional media, and often rate it more effective than digital tactics, those attitudes are shifting. Most enterprise local marketers spend less than a third of their digital budgets on local campaigns and programs, but 40% say they are increasing that mix. 

Based on Street Fight’s latest survey of multi-location brands, the report Enterprise Local Marketers 2017: Benchmarking and Best Practices examines current trends in their local marketing tactics, channels, and operations. By analyzing the survey data and correlating digital marketing effectiveness with spending, tactics, and management, Street Fight has identified key enterprise local marketing best practices.

Executives at large companies can use this report to compare their own company’s tactics and operations with their peers, and with those which are most effective through a self-test and scoring system. And suppliers of local marketing tech and services can better understand and match the needs of their customers.

Spending and Digital Effectiveness
The survey respondents who were the leaders in effectiveness were more than two to three times more likely to say they were increasing the local mix of their digital marketing budgets significantly — that is, over 15%. Spending one-third to one-half of a digital marketing budget on local programs and campaigns appears to be a best practice.

As shown above, over half of all the survey respondents say they are increasing their spending on local social media marketing, and nearly as many are doing so on local sites and presence management, on paid search, and on mobile marketing. However, departmental stratification and lagging use of common management tools may be limiting their local marketing effectiveness.

Three out of four enterprises that were very effective at awareness, conversion, and upselling were increasing their paid search spending, compared with less than half of overall respondents. Over half of companies good at new customer acquisition or customer service and support were boosting mobile budgets. And two thirds of the marketers most effective at conversion or upselling said they’d increase local site spending.

Overall, enterprise local marketers rate email, paid social media, and online display as their most effective tactics, just ahead of television. About one-fifth rate paid search and explicit mobile tactics among their top five — about the same as print. The attitudes toward digital tactics are quite different from last year’s survey respondents. Last year’s respondents ranked email highest, but had direct mail, print, TV, and radio above any other digital tactic. 

For those companies that were very effective at their objectives, social media and display were usually on their list. But while email marketing rated very well for retention and customer service – and about a third of the most effective marketers had it in their top five — it usually didn’t crack the top three. Streaming video also appears to be an emerging best practice for local marketing effectiveness.

Management and Data
As shown below, over a third of companies manage local marketing in a centralized fashion, but a similar number do so locally or regionally, and some split the task. Local sites and email are the tactics most often de-centralized; mobile and paid search the most often centralized. The bigger enterprises are generally more centralized, and the biggest even more so.

The very effective companies overall tend to distribute digital decision-making equally between headquarters and regional or local offices more often than the others. Those good at conversion pushed more tactics towards local control, and those good at raising brand awareness tended to manage social media at the local or regional offices. The best companies at retention and support managed a little more at headquarters than the others.

The survey analysis also found that the use of reputation management systems, third-party DMPs, and lead qualification and nurturing marketing automation along with social media management tools correlated with digital effectiveness. Likewise, the effective enterprise local marketers collected point of sale purchase data, and social media and search behavior regularly, and often used them in campaigns. And they were far more likely to deploy online purchase behavior data across multiple campaigns than their peers.

These are some of the key findings of Street Fight’s analysis. Check out the report to dig deeper into how big brands and retailers use digital marketing to support their local branches, franchises, and distributors.

David Card is Street Fight’s director of research.

Click here for more on the Street Fight Insights report, Enterprise Local Marketers 2017: Benchmarking and Best Practices.