What makes a local marketing campaign truly effective? The most successful campaigns require careful planning and organization. And while no two successful marketing campaigns are alike, most contain a few key characteristics. Some campaigns excite and engage; others inform and inspire. All successful marketing campaigns drive consumer engagement and create powerful conversions.
But how do the world’s top brands support the marketing campaign efforts of their local affiliates or franchisees? Industry-leading brand managers know the importance of maintaining campaign effectiveness at the local level. They equip their affiliates with the tools, resources and know-how to deliver exceptional marketing results. The reason for this investment? Brands understand that local marketing activities have a direct impact on the customer’s experience. From Facebook and Instagram to in-store, brands are helping local affiliates optimize how they use marketing channels to enhance the customer experience and boost brand equity. Together, these channels can be combined to create a beautiful symphony of coordinated marketing. But first, how do marketers know which platforms will be the best for carrying out an effective campaign?
Typically, enterprise brands will survey local consumers to identify areas of direct impact. Often, brands employ blind surveys, focus groups and other data gathering techniques to analyze consumer behavior and determine which marketing channels really resonate with them. What media outlets or platforms do consumers hang out with and why? Does it change based on location? By leveraging this data, brands are able to reconfigure their strategy to align with the local customer’s preferences.
Next, it’s important to understand what local affiliates are interested in doing. In all likelihood, as a distributed brand, local marketers are already doing some kind of marketing – even if you didn’t authorize it! What types of channels do they prefer? Is there a specific channel that’s really been working for them lately? What data can we find to support these claims? Many local marketers are happy to share their thoughts and experiences with the field marketing team, so check with yours to see what they’re hearing!
Finally, brands need to keep in mind that there are probably channels which local marketers may not be using but which they could really benefit from. There are a number of ways to figure this out including benchmarking against relevant competitors, running market-specific testing and looking at historical patterns of channel usage. Use this information to determine which areas garner a high return and consider applying additional investment to those channels that yield highly favorable results. Once you’ve determined which channels work, you can find ways to combine these media in your campaign planning process to set yourself up for really effective local marketing campaigns.
Enable local marketers to deliver effective marketing campaigns. Download The Local Marketing Playbook: The Templates, Campaigns, and Tools That Help Multi-Location Brands Become Local Marketing Champions.
Most brands already have well-defined brand standards and guidelines. However, many design and marketing teams fail to share this document with their local affiliates because they feel it will overwhelm them with detail. The savviest enterprise brands know that to support local marketing execution they need to provide local affiliates with actionable and accessible guides. That means giving them the brand standards, but doing it in a way that is easy for them to understand and use. You should always try to frame brand standards and guidelines in a way that local affiliates actually understand. For example, give them a checklist of five things they must absolutely do when using the logo in their marketing material.
This type of documentation will make the lives of your local affiliates much easier. You won’t end up in that typical situation where they look at you funny any time you mention the brand standards. Plus you’ll empower them to make decisions about their marketing within a solid framework that everyone else shares. Over time, the design consistency that comes out of this will help to build a strong brand voice that resonates with local audiences, builds brand awareness and, in the long run, boosts brand equity.
Don’t just enforce brand guidelines — activate them. Share brand assets with local affiliates and create templates for all kinds of marketing collateral like web banners, print advertisements and other types of marketing materials in Microsoft Word or InDesign. Many brand marketers make the mistake of thinking that they can’t let the local affiliates touch the actual creative files because they might make mistakes. But if you can give them templates, you’ll find that they’re actually able to be much more compliant with your brand standards and guidelines. Templates allow local affiliates to configure marketing materials in a way that supports their local marketing objectives while simultaneously staying compliant with many of the brand’s most important rules (like don’t mess with the logo). Many of the world’s top distributed brands also leverage the power of Local Marketing Automation tools which also help to make compliance a breeze.
For more insight, we recommend The Franchise Brand Manager’s Guide to Marketing Compliance.
Over 80 percent of CMOs cited a lack of marketing experience at the local level as a barrier to sales growth. Headquarters must support local affiliates with best-practice strategies to deliver powerful marketing campaigns. It’s these types of proven resources and strategies that provide real contextual value for local marketers. For example, consider implementing a marketing boot camp of quick tips and tricks to get local marketers up-to-speed on the basic tactics, trends and best-case strategies that will help them succeed. Make it relevant and timely, too. Starting a print advertising campaign in a few weeks? Talk to local affiliates about the benefits of print and walk them through the tools and templates you’ll be sharing with them. They’ll be more excited to use the resources you provide and they’ll do a better job once they actually get them in their hands.
Brand managers who conduct routine audits of asset and campaign usage in the field to determine marketing effectiveness tend to outperform their peers. Frequent assessments like these help marketers to identify campaign strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for the future. Brand managers can translate this data into insights that will improve local marketing campaigns. Local marketers haven’t got the time to pick out these insights on their own, so having a partner at HQ who does it for them and delivers actionable intel is invaluable.
Global brands that support local affiliates by supplying brand guidelines, streamlining compliance, educating them on marketing best practices and delivering actionable insights for how to improve end up in the top tier of companies. By sticking to these guidelines, brand managers empower local marketers to deliver the exceptional results their brands deserve. Many also use the power of Local Marketing Automation tools to guarantee local campaign compliance and ensure global access to relevant campaign assets.
While systems like these can’t solve every challenge that distributed brand managers face, they can certainly help your organization take meaningful steps towards running local marketing campaigns that are beautiful and drive real results.
Did you know that enterprise brands like Marriott, Melting Pot, and Polaris utilize local marketing automation software? Discover their winning marketing strategies with our free eBook: The Local Marketing Playbook.