The world’s most successful enterprises invest valuable time, energy and capital to construct out-of-this-world and highly engaging marketing campaigns. For multi-location businesses, implementing a successful marketing campaign begins with careful planning. How are the brand’s values being represented through the campaign? What should consumers feel when they see those marketing messages? Most importantly, how is the enterprise empowering its local affiliates in each market to make each marketing campaign their own? The largest and most successful multi-location businesses have answers to all of these questions.
Why does alignment between the enterprise and local affiliates even matter? For these brands, one of the biggest threats to business growth is inconsistency in the customer experience across all its locations. Customers expect the brand to look, feel and deliver the same promises from one location to the next. To maximize the value of that customer experience, the best-performing brands know what they stand for as an organization, know who they’re marketing to, create specially tailored messaging, conduct routine campaign analysis and reconfigure their approach to maximize engagement.
So what does truly effective local marketing look like? What brands are really nailing it? More importantly, what can we learn from these marketing leaders? You’re in luck because in this article we’re going to break it down to see how some of those great companies get it done.
The Melting Pot is the original fondue restaurant. Featuring several styles and varieties of unique fondue entrees, salads and desserts, The Melting Pot offers a dining experience unlike any other. Much like other distributed brands who manage a large network of franchisees, The Melting Pot faces unique challenges when it comes to getting local marketing customized vs. maintaining brand consistency.
Capturing the individuality of each location while maintaining a consistent brand voice is no easy feat. However, local flair is one of the special characteristics that make this casual dining brand so beloved. Special promotions, discounts and offers can be fully customized to each franchise location. To make this work, the brand management team gives those franchisees marketing assets which they can configure to their unique needs. Why does this approach to local marketing work so well?
According to Forbes’ Michah Solomon, “Today’s customers have a well-developed sense of what is and isn’t genuine and have an advanced ability to spot corporate hogwash. To win customers over today, a business — its leaders, frontline workers, marketers and behind-the-scenes operators — need to behave in a way that is genuine and is perceived by customers to be authentic.”
By granting local affiliates the ability to create customized marketing collateral that tailors the message to local preferences, culture or regional identities, The Melting Pot creates more authentic connections with consumers. Of course, it’s not all just thrown at the franchisees helter-skelter. To support the local marketing teams in their quest to create customized marketing material and help them comply with brand standards, The Melting Pot invested in a Local Marketing Automation (LMA) platform that makes all of this marketing work really easy for franchisees.
To learn how The Melting Pot captures the individuality of each local restaurant with LMA get the full case study.
With more than 1,000 locations across the United States, Planet Fitness is one of the fastest-growing franchises in the world. Planet Fitness has built their brand on creating a workout space that really works for the average consumer. In fact, the company boasts a “judgement free” philosophy in their gyms and even sounds a “lunk alarm” if a member exerts themselves a little too loudly.
“Other brands look at working out as a hobby,” says Planet Fitness CEO, Chris Rondeau. “And I think personally that working out is a chore, and I believe most of America thinks of it the same way, they know they have to but they’d rather go to Chili’s and have a beer and have some chips and salsa, but you know, you have to, you don’t want to, so you kind of wince your way throughout.”
To capture this unique audience, the organization’s marketing messaging often pokes fun at gym rats. In fact, Planet Fitness recently unveiled a Judgement Free Zone campaign featuring a variety of television spots, social media activity, and even a branded judgement free marching band. Regional brand management teams source these digital and print materials from the corporate office and provide direction and coaching to local gym managers on how and where promotional materials should be used.
Why does this type of marketing work? For many consumers, good experiences are more valuable than products. At Planet Fitness, the consumer knows that they’re going to get an experience free of big egos and Schwarzenegger-sized muscle-heads. When the brand executes a marketing campaign that helps to pay off this type of experience, the target consumer is excited and engaged.
For more than 60 years, Polaris has manufactured high-quality and breakthrough powersports vehicles. Featuring a diverse product line of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, mid-size and heavyweight motorcycles and more, Polaris’ portfolio of best-in-class brands is unmatched. Polaris’ marketing team is responsible for liaising with the dealership community for each of these brands, as well as advancing the company’s corporate-wide efforts to cement Polaris as an industry leader. To further complicate things, each of these brands has its own set of creative agencies, each with their own unique workflows and toolsets that they use to build the brand that they work on. Each of these brand teams wants to deepen their engagement with dealers and win “share of retail” over their competitors on the showroom floor.
The key challenge for Polaris’ marketing execution is to get high-quality imagery into the marketplace after model year launch, and monthly, to get financing deals into the marketplace. Just like the rest of the automotive industry, the powersports segment is driven by seasonality and model year promotions. Why does this type of local marketing work? Consumers appreciate and take advantage of model year end clearance, special financing, and other sales-driven incentives.
To solve these unique challenges, Polaris introduced a results-driven Local Marketing Automation tool. By using a mechanism where new model year images can be pre-loaded by the brand’s creative agencies but suppressed from view to the dealerships, the corporate marketing team can now decide when the right time is to unveil particular models. With ready-access to branded templates, dealerships can initiate campaigns that promote corporate-approved financing or other offers that Polaris has come up with.
Interested in learning more about Polaris’ use of CampaignDrive? For more, download the Polaris case study.
With more than 7,400 independently owned and operated brokerage offices in 78 countries, Century 21 is a recognized world leader in residential real estate. To help their franchisees generate more qualified leads, Century 21 has developed an extensive marketing program that includes a variety of offline and online channels such as advertising, social media, search engine optimization and more. In all marketing materials, the organization showcases their commitment to delivering best-in-class brokerage services to buyers and sellers worldwide.
Why does this type of marketing work? The real estate business is by its nature all about the local market. When purchasing a home or selling a home, consumers want to know that they’ll have a trusted and professional partner who knows the local market and will work to get the best deal possible just for them. Century 21 agents have a wide array of marketing materials at their disposal which helps them to prove their local knowledge and experience, while also taking advantage of one of the most trusted names in real estate. The brand marketing team helps this by continuing to invest in this brand identity and helping agents to use those marketing pieces they create. By positioning themselves as a market leader and translating those values within their marketing materials, the brand deepens the trust the consumer has for the brand, which the agents then benefit from when it comes to getting a new listing.
With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and serves nearly 140,000 consumers worldwide. This multinational corporation is one of the oldest financial institutions in the world today. Featuring a diverse marketing mix of television ads, print media, social media and an official website, the brand provides informative and exciting information to new and current customers alike. The brand has also undertaken a number of sponsorships in recent years including an exclusive sponsorship of the English Premier League and the Brooklyn Nets’ Barclays Center. How does this type of big-impact global marketing work for the local consumer?
In 2013, Barclays Center launched a $1 million dollar advertising campaign to support the borough’s first major playoff run in any sport since 1956. Featuring a charcoal black billboard hanging above the Manhattan Bridge and other advertisements across New York metropolitan area, Nets fans were encouraged to wear black to the team’s home games. Additionally, local musicians were invited to play underneath the stadium’s oculus.
This marketing move by Barclay’s in conjunction with their partners at the Nets was designed to build trust between the brand and local consumer. The Barclay’s ads and use of the borough’s rich sports heritage shows consumers that a global banking leader is invested in their community and their team.
We’ve highlighted a few recognized leaders in local marketing. Each of these brands initiate local marketing campaigns to excite, engage and inform their target audiences. Their goal with local marketing is to give their local affiliates or franchisees a boost for their own bottom-lines that helps to propel each location forward. Many of these brands use some type of Local Marketing Automation to help their franchisees and dealers keep up with the high standards of excellence that they all have.
How does this type of software help brands achieve these results? The best Local Marketing Automation software solutions allow your brand to activate customized and personalized print and digital templates. Introduce special integrations and customized workflows to compliment the unique way your team works. Protect your brand with an LMA solution that guarantees marketing compliance from your local affiliates.
Help your local affiliates drive marketing excellence. Download The Local Marketing Playbook: The Templates, Campaigns, and Tools That Help Multi-Location Brands Become Local Marketing Champions.