Website analytics are the most popular means of evaluating local marketing for multi-location brands. While that’s a logical tactic for analyzing digital marketing and advertising effectiveness, it hardly presents the full picture of multichannel marketing or online-to-offline attribution.
Street Fight’s latest survey of big brands’ and retailers’ local marketing and advertising strategies and tactics showed that over half of them use site analytics, while over one-third used point-of-sale data or promotion codes, as shown in the figure below. Tools like marketing mix modeling and multi-touch attribution that potentially map a customer’s multichannel decision process are less prominent, used by one-fifth or fewer of the local marketing decision-makers we surveyed.
Our analysis of the survey showed a correlation between local marketing effectiveness and the use of a broader variety of tactics. We asked the survey respondents how effective they were at typical marketing objectives on a scale of “very effective” to “ineffective.” Then we compared the responses of those that used each of the measurement tactics above against each other and the overall group. The net result was that companies whose marketing was very effective used the popular tactics, but they also used less widespread ones. Codes, dedicated phone numbers, and the two modeling techniques appear to relate to success across multiple objectives. The figure below illustrates how the multi-touch attribution (MTA) users compared with the average enterprise local marketer. More of the MTA users — admittedly a fairly small group — said they were very effective at all of the objectives. That was particularly notable for conversion and upselling, where twice as many MTA users said they were very effective.
Google is building out its capabilities to match various marketing tactics to actual store visits, but it’s focused primarily on digital marketing and, of course, Google is an example of a media seller that’s grading its own homework. Facebook is similar and, in addition to modeling and extrapolation, has shifted some of its focus toward re-targeting actual store visitors as well as lookalike customers. Recently, companies that aren’t in the ad-selling business have zeroed in on multi-touch attribution. Nielsen, the big measurement and ratings provider, just acquired multi-touch specialist Visual IQ. And the Mobile Marketing Association released guidebooks and strategy outlines for data management in support of multi-touch attribution.
Meanwhile, Street Fight took a look at some of the other characteristics of enterprise local marketers using multi-touch attribution. Compared with the other survey respondents, they represent a similar mix in size, revenue, and number of locations. They tended to come from industries like technology/telecommunications, retail, and professional services. Other characteristics include:
- More of them than average are significantly increasing the local proportion of their overall digital advertising and marketing budget. The top digital tactics they’re increasing spending on include social media marketing, local branch websites, and mobile marketing. They’re interested in the same new technologies as their peers, with location data, mobile push marketing, and addressable TV targeting at the top of their list.
- Their most effective marketing tactics include their local branch sites, SEO, email marketing, and, perhaps surprisingly, streaming video. They deem most digital and traditional advertising effective in a similar fashion to other big brands, though they rate paid search and company pages on social media lower.
- They rate customer data security and privacy, and understanding data from multiple sources as more difficult challenges than proving ROI or attribution.
- Their digital marketing decision-making is just a little more localized – compared with company headquarters control – than that of their peers. A variety of different departments at these companies play the most important role in data ownership and management. There wasn’t really a pattern among them, compared with other big brands where marketing or customer service most often take the lead.
- Half of them used local ad agencies, and over 40% collect customer location data. That’s higher than the average enterprise local marketer. They’re also more likely to use data management platforms and digital dashboards.
In sum, the big brands that use multi-touch attribution are among the more sophisticated local marketers. They use a broad variety of marketing, advertising, and measurement tactics, and they’re increasing their digital spending aggressively.
We can do snapshots like this on a variety of different types of company in the Street Fight survey, based on characteristics such as industry, tactics , and spending. That analysis should be useful for brands in identifying best practices, and for marketing providers trying to meet their needs. Based on Street Fight’s latest survey of 250 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.
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.