LiveRetail Aims to Build the Canva of Hyperlocal Advertising

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Creating hyperlocal ad content at scale is infamously challenging. It’s hard enough to imagine designing and writing creative for a given franchise location across all its products while bearing in mind branding guidelines, seasonality, and customer profiles, to name a few factors. Add in the difficulty of managing that process across thousands of franchises and locations, and it’s easy to understand why the task is overwhelming. Enter LiveRetail.

LiveRetail is aiming to solve that problem with what co-founder Wayne Reuvers calls the “Canva” of hyperlocal advertising. Corporate marketers, franchisees, and agencies can use LiveRetail to generate localized ad creative for individual locations of their brands. They can also optimize the creative by, for example, substituting one beverage product for another based on human intuition or seasonality.

Not only does LiveRetail come with localized creative assets, but it also offers spending recommendations and targeting parameters. For example, the owner of a Subway franchise in Miami, Florida, might log onto the platform and discover recommendations to buy $40 in Facebook ads targeting men 25 to 45 in a 5-mile radius. 

LiveRetail is free and appears easy to use. The company has already developed localized content for some eight hundred brands. A demo showed how a franchisee, corporate marketer, or agency professional working with any of those brands could log onto the platform and start scheduling localized campaigns for a given location in minutes. The company makes money by taking a 10% cut of ad spend. 

How LiveRetail Emerged and Where It’s Heading

LiveRetail came out of LiveTechnology, a company that leverages superior technology and industry experience to organize information, transform it into business-ready assets, and distribute it. Reuvers, the founder and chief strategy officer of LiveTechnology, founded his first company at 14 years old and has exited eight subsidiaries of LiveTechnology.

Brands and agencies are using the platform to manage creative across 4,500 locations, Reuvers said. But the company hopes to get to 200,000 locations within two years. 

Big Picture: The SaaS-ification of Localized Creative

The old way of creating hyperlocal content at scale goes through agencies and is extremely labor intensive. Marketers need to create content for each region, and that requires understanding the products and cultural dynamics specific to that region. What’s more, because hyperlocalization is so hard, it often doesn’t get done. Marketers settle for DMA-level targeting instead of creating assets tailored to each of their locations.

It’s not surprising, then, that tech companies have figured out how to fill the need for more scalable, efficient, and effective localized creative. Not only that — they’re doing it through a relatively affordable SaaS model. I suspect that what differentiates these companies, some of which include LiveRetail, Hyperlocology, and Constellation, will be both the sophistication of their automated, localized creative and their fees. For example, some will charge a monthly flat fee, while others will take a cut of ad spend.

Another trend to watch is how the SaaS-ification of hyperlocal creative affects agencies. While some companies in this category might aim to replace agencies, LiveRetail wants to work with them to make them more efficient. 

In a sense, then, the automation of localized creative raises questions not so different from the intense debate brewing now over AI content machines like ChatGPT. Are they going to replace skilled human workers, such as agency creatives and content marketers? Are they impressive or too derivative for prime time? How will marketers work with these technologies, or will they eschew them?

What’s clear is that localized creative is likely to outperform regional-level targeting that doesn’t take the nuances of each location into account. And in that respect, LiveRetail and other software companies tackling this problem are ahead of the game.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]