Using Local Location and Consumer Data To Drive Marketing & Business Decisions, Part 2
1) Use local data and martech for new customer acquisition
As noted in Part 1, customer buying patterns and expectations have changed. According to Google, 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information and want ads customized with locally relevant information based on their city, ZIP Code, or immediate surroundings. Customers now prefer to support local businesses by buying local more than ever. They search online with a local intent (e.g., dentist near me, or pizza in [local city]), read local online reviews, conduct research online before purchasing at a local store, and opt-in to receive special deals from their local fast-food chains, retail shops, or supermarkets.
When strategizing and budgeting how much to spend to create new customers versus retaining current customers across your brand’s locations, it’s important to consider your customer’s lifetime value (CLV), when measuring ROI. To do this you must leverage local data. Localized marketing, done right, can help national brands with brand positioning among local community audiences and stand out from competitors in a cluttered field. Local insights are also crucial to avoid mistargeting, wasting budget, and keeping your brand’s reputation looking pristine.
Buying media with ad fund budgets to support each brand location equally has not been a reality at scale. This could, in fact, be the biggest franchise marketing problem. And now, with Covid-19, it’s been exacerbated with fewer marketing resources and shrinking national ad fund budgets. To be efficient, most brands build national digital marketing campaigns that are geo-targeted to regions or DMAs around their stores. Don’t fall into this trap where broad programmatic optimizations will guide the spend. All locations in a chain will not benefit equally.
By leveraging a sophisticated technology-based multi-location marketing platform you can take advantage of your brand’s big-budget national buying power and cost-effectively execute hundreds and thousands of marketing campaigns using individual location budgets with efficacy. Brands are able to centrally deliver custom landing page experiences for each location with DevHub, manage location listings in search with Yext, and manage digital advertising across all channels on behalf of all locations using martech from companies like Hyperlocology, among others. Depending on the needs of your brand, any of these solutions can be a great fit for you.
From an acquisition standpoint, rather than try experimental or broad-brush brand awareness marketing tactics, you can use local consumer data to build lookalike audiences based on your best or most engaged customers. You can then use this modeling to target similar prospects and potential new customers across all channels they use: Google, Bing, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, and more. Gone are the days of having to rely on overly broad national data. With limited marketing budgets, this type of data and martech will allow you to build strategies and campaigns with greater efficacy, focus only on where your dollars will have the biggest impact, and ultimately give your brand and its locations the best chance for ROI success.
2) Use local data to guide where new locations are being opened
Local consumer data should be a key factor in determining where to open new locations in markets across the country. Also gone are the days of putting up the old pin map and having customers tell you where they visited your store from. Leveraging local consumer data and past purchase history at the audience and attribution levels allows you to know exactly how customers are getting to your stores, where they’re traveling from, and what’s driving them there. This type of martech and data is how companies like FourSquare have thrived.
From a development standpoint, you may have a single store in one market that is overwhelmed operationally and has a hard time fulfilling customer demands. Audience and attribution insights may surface, giving you data-driven information suggesting that the market can support an additional location. In another scenario, perhaps you have a high-volume sales store in a market, but find that over one-third of its customers are coming from a neighboring city or county where you don’t have a location. Could it be time to expand and open up a new service area or franchise territory you previously hadn’t considered?
If you’re targeting franchise development in specific local markets, being able to use local data from consumers in those markets can help you use digital marketing campaigns to target and attract the right potential entrepreneurs/investors in those areas based on net worth, interests, job titles, and other demographic factors.
The ability for local data and martech to have an impact on all levels of franchise and multi-location brand marketing and business decision-making is nearly endless. If your brand isn’t using these to their fullest potential, you’re doing yourself, your brand, and your locations a great disservice that could be affecting your potential for growth during these increasingly turbulent times.
Jeffrey Lentz is owner & CEO of Elevated Franchise Marketing, which provides consulting and marketing services to franchisees, franchisors, and franchise suppliers. A franchise marketing executive, consultant, and business owner with 20 years of experience across the retail, QSR, fintech, and automotive industries, he has held marketing leadership roles across 5 franchise organizations with a focus on franchise development, consumer, B2B, product, field, CRM, and local store marketing. Connect with him on LinkedIn or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-383-8352.
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