LOMA Wants to Fund Hyperlocal Marketing

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Alex Nocifera is the founder and CEO of LOMA, which launched in market this past July. Backed by top Los Angeles-based venture funds, Wavemaker, Slauson, and Impulsum, LOMA stands for “local marketing” and is an always-on, data-driven platform that has raised more than $2 million in a pre-seed venture-capital round.

LOMA’s equity dollars help businesses automate and analyze hyperlocal marketing for multi-unit brands, which the company felt was the core problem of the industry, which he thinks lost sight of the importance of local awareness in today’s competitive consumer landscape. So far, LOMA is working with Dunn Brothers Coffee (57 locations), based in St. Paul Minnesota and owned by Gala Capital Partners; Cookie Plug, which has multiple locations west of the Mississippi; and Blaze Pizza, another private-equity owned, fast-casual chain based in Pasadena.

LOMA’s brand partners pay a predictable monthly fee to automate hyper-local marketing, which is mandated for most multi-unit companies, to help ensure their brand is maintaining awareness and compliance within each local area they serve.  The company has a roster of curated marketing partners to assure they are reaching and engaging with local consumers across a diverse spectrum of channels.  Nocifera said that curating and controlling the last-mile of tactics helps both sides create a sustainable, winning formula for success.

LOMA fronts the needed marketing dollars, provides data analytics to demonstrate and attribute unit-level performance, while handling the local marketing tactics with its third-party vendors.  LOMA’s always-on, handsfree solution is a first for the multi-unit industry, which the co-founding team felt was needed to truly solve the systemic problem.

LOMA is Nocifera’s fourth venture-backed company as the CEO and founder. He has spent 20 years working with multi-unit and franchise brands to acquire and retain the best local customer relationships.

Nocifera talked to StreetFight for a deeper dive.

How does LOMA help multi-unit brands build awareness?

Like a utility, we are an “always-on” machine that circulates awareness in a multi-location brand’s three-to-five-mile trade area, which most people don’t realize is a mandated component of being a franchise owner per their franchise agreement.  Local channels include everything from the tried-and-true shared mail and out-of-home efforts to community-related efforts, such as handing out materials to local businesses, and paid social media like Next Door and Snap. One of our differentiated weapons is human outreach, which the company, Field Day, has developed into a scalable, streamlined execution capability.  LOMA’s mission is to amalgamate all the hyper-local tactics. It’s no different from a wealth manager aggregating equities and indexes to grow your wealth, in an always-on, ongoing capacity.

What differentiates LOMA’s approach to activating hyperlocal marketing?

Most brands test local marketing channels with a single pilot to see if it immediately rains redemptions and store-level traffic and sales, which to me is the center of the problem.  Brands don’t realize that’s simply not enough to move the needle in today’s hyper-distracted consumer landscape. In addition, it’s not often enough.  Brands need continuous awareness to stay top-of-mind for purchasing decisions.  LOMA’s platform, which comprehensively attacks the problem from all angles, really unlocks frequency, transparency, and attribution with an always-on investment to drive acute traffic and sales.

To further the differentiation, LOMA’s platform incorporates AI, predictive analytics, and 24/7 monitoring of performance across the curated channels to adjust and adapt.  All of this is combined with some creative financing to keep the payments predictable for simple budgeting.

Can multi-location brands do this type of work in-house?

You’ll hear them say, “We’ve got a field team,” and they think that’s enough. What LOMA exposes pretty quickly is that they don’t have the systems and technology to do this both comprehensively at scale, nor in a sustainable manner.

I do believe brands could do this themselves if they had unit scale, AUV’s above $2 million, and a discipline to invest and instill this at the corporate or franchisor level.

Do I believe brands could do it as well as LOMA? No. We are building a machine they just won’t have the resources to devote to go all-in on this massive opportunity to grow sales from the ground up.

What is the greatest value of LOMA to these brands?

Centralization through our technology and platform, which provides visibility, measurability and efficiency to go into one place and be able to see all these disparate worlds and how they are behaving. By simply leveraging our compliance capability, brands can immediately set the tone for unit-level discipline to turn on their local voice.

I’d say the most disruptive and timely value LOMA brings to the market is turning on the local marketing discipline brands have mistakenly pulled back on.  Again, just using the money management world as the prime example.  Would you ever consider taking over your 401k?  Let professionals obsess 24/7 over growing your wealth – as brands should let LOMA help run your local awareness presence in each market you serve.

Kathleen Sampey