Retailers, franchise organizations, and multi-location brand advertisers continue to struggle with the multitude of online marketing options, keeping their location data accurate, and understanding what online media elements drive their customers from looking online to purchasing in their stores. A recent survey from Streetfight and Thrive Analytics showed the key issues impacting the use of customer and marketing data include, “not enough knowledge or expertise, not enough resources, or not enough time.” The complication stems from advertisers employing separate strategies and platforms for buying media, creating digital media, and measurement approaches to understanding what specifically drove consumers to contact or purchase from the brand.
While online media buying platforms offer advantages such as efficient buying, access to a network of sites and inventory, coupon tracking, or offer to track, the data points media platforms focus on are the awareness and engagement points, but not the last mile, which is the actual purchase. This gap in the purchase path becomes wider when the marketing goal is to drive local traffic and purchases at specific locations.
Franchise and multi-location advertisers often have common local marketing goals which involve multiple campaign elements. On a branding level, the goal is reach and frequency, while locally-focused campaigns have very different objectives. Some of the key local marketing objectives of franchisors and multi-location brands include:
Being found locally – while brand recognition is important, being found in local searches and in a company location finder is of greater importance to drive calls, inquires, and foot traffic
Brand and message consistency – Maintaining the brand is important to the corporation, but there need to be elements on each franchise site with a local flavor that resonates with consumers and appears in local searches
Targeted offers – individual locations often require a variety of offer messages based on seasonality, local needs, and opportunity. Flexibility to test new messages allows campaign managers to see what performs better and adjust
Responsive ads, websites, and landing pages – as mobile search and the use of tablets increases, sites, and pages need to be visible on multiple screens and offer users a good browsing experience
Content updating – to maintain a local feel, franchisees and dealers need to have easy ways to add and update content like events, offers, and local news. Keeping this content on message, targeted to specific locations, and coordinated is the key.
All of these marketing elements generate valuable data which can help inform future marketing messages, website updates and tee up greater insights on conversion metrics by location and category. Feeding this level of data into programmatic media buying strategies as well as having insights into messages that convert, offers that perform, and seasonal response rates all drive key business objectives.
Advertising agencies that serve multi-location brands and franchise organizations benefit from creating a complete path to purchase solutions. While the investment and focus have been on the “pipes” that deliver messages to “the right customers” at “the right time,” there is a definite need to bundle in services that learn and deliver “the right messages” and “the best offers” that convert. Utilizing conversion and location-based data ensures both ads and messages have the ability to convert consumers in local markets. Coordinating offers and content by location, city, or region provides agencies and franchise organizations a more coordinated and successful lead generation approach.
DevHub has developed a seamless approach for agencies and franchise organizations marrying existing programmatic media buying expertise with an online presence platform that learns from multiple campaigns, delivers sites and landing pages that convert, ensures sites get found by location, and gathers data to improve campaign efficiencies. A partnership with DevHub allows agencies and franchisors to extend their online campaign capabilities, with a single platform to coordinate messages and offers all in one place.
This post was originally published on June 24, 2015, and is still relevant today. By: Michael Taylor an international digital marketing and sales strategist, helping companies understand digital transformation and how to build competitive digital portfolios. Michael is a former Sr. Analyst and Business Development Director with BIA/Kelsey on assignment for DevHub.