Why Large Retailers and Small Business Owners Struggle Equally with Local Online Marketing
With 7.6 billion local searches being made per month – and with millions of people interacting with brands daily on social media and mobile, giving us a computer in our pocket at all times – no one is discounting the importance of local online marketing. In fact, a recent study by Forrester Research shows that about half of in-store revenue is influenced online. Half!
Most local businesses feel challenged by local online marketing, because it is so fragmented. The need to market online across a website or mobile website, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, directories and more is daunting. A small business owner can take solace in knowing that they are not alone: major retailers struggle equally despite all of their marketing resources and budgets.
A recent local marketing study of the top 150 retailers showed that, on average, most retailers are getting a failing grade in the four pillars of local marketing: local SEO, local social media, mobile marketing and content marketing. The average score was 3.58 out of 10, and the greatest failing grade was around local social media.
The challenges of larger retailers become even more problematic at scale. How do you manage hundreds of Yelp accounts? Who do you empower in the organization to respond to feedback on hundreds, if not thousands, of social media channels? How does local content and messaging get approved at scale? How do you resolve natural conflicts in the P&L of the online team and in-store team? These are big issues that need to be addressed.
Multi-location retailers and franchise marketing professionals need to address the three core gaps in their marketing organizations to fully benefit from new marketing advantages.
• The Organizational Gap – Most notably, creating separate P&Ls for the online group and in-store group creates barriers for them to collaborate in local online marketing.
• The Technology Gap – New marketing platforms that are focused and organized around location are needed so that results can be tracked consistently across all marketing channels, and everyone is empowered in the organization.
• The Budget / Value Gap – Even though local online marketing has been shown to be 16- to 20-times more cost-effective than pay-per-click, marketing talent is heavily over-weighted to pay-per-click advertising and broadcast media.
Gartner predicts that national brands that integrate local marketing processes will increase revenue by 10 to 15 percent by 2015. That’s a billion-dollar opportunity for many of them, and 2014 is likely to be the year that many businesses make huge strides to leapfrog the competition.
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About Trevor Sumner
Trevor Sumner is the founder and president of LocalVox, an integrated local, social and mobile marketing platform that helps to drive online customers into brick-and-mortar sales by pushing brand messaging to every local touch point including social media, mobile, search, a network of publishers and e-mail newsletters.