By Ashley Furness, guest blogger and market analyst for Software Advice
Localized messaging can be one of the best strategies for making a national brand immediately relevant. After all, a place says a lot about the customer--what language they speak, holidays they celebrate or sports teams they follow.
Unfortunately, localized marketing is also among the most time-consuming and expensive. Thankfully, new technologies are making the practice more automated and manageable. Below are four cutting-edge technologies every CMO should know about.
Meet Your Local Content Creators
Personal stories and recommendations are extremely powerful in today’s Yelp-ified world. Compendium provides tools for brands to creatively encourage, curate and promote customer-created content. Patrons are invited to contribute their story in-person, through email marketing or “tell us about your experience” forms, among other avenues.
The platform provides creative methods for inviting customers to write about their experiences. Users can also submit photos for a specific to that location that marketers can leverage in other ways. The contributor is then served tools to instantly share those posts with their own social networks. These stories then appear in branded blogs.
The best part for national marketers is they don’t have to create unique content for every location. They also maintain control with tools to monitor and publish posts as they are submitted. Tracking codes on each article reveal successes that can then be used in other marketing materials. A pet relocation client, for example, might automatically send a story about moving a Golden Retriever from Dallas to London to a potential customer that requests an online quote for a similar move.
Manage Local Search Listings
Companies such as Yext PowerListings and SIM Partners let companies control their local search listings across search platforms such as Yahoo!, Yelp and Foursquare. The technology makes sure the correct address, website and phone numbers are listed. These portals track how many times a listing showed up, where, and whether it was clicked.
Marketers can also add custom promotions, descriptions and photos to search listings based on the location. These appear adjacent to the name of the company and address on the local search results page and are specific to that location. This saves marketers from needing to individually contact and negotiate with each search platform. Users can also instantly make changes to listings using a account dashboard.
Provide Customizable Marketing Assets to Local Affiliates
Digital asset management systems have long been used to make branded materials available to local marketers. But they aren’t specific to a location, nor do they track the promotion’s execution. New localized marketing automation platforms overcome this challenge by streamlining fulfillment and providing materials that are customizable. The technology delivers national-quality marketing assets to local marketers who can add in their own addresses, logos, social media buttons and other localized content. These assets include microsites, email templates, direct mail ads, in-store materials, online displays, social media messages, radio spots, outdoor displays and more. Users also receive timely, aggregated results from local marketing efforts. These can identify in-market trends and improve overall national campaign efforts.
Leverage On-Location Displays and Shopping Apps
Companies such as Adcentricity operate a network of in-store television screens, location-based shopping apps, in-window displays, digital projectors, radio partners and interactive gaming stations. Marketers can target segments by choosing geographically relevant settings. For example, if a company wanted to target young people, it might choose screens in trendy downtown bars. The technology can also auto-personalizes the message for the store, day or time.