Despite the homogenization of markets, media channels and brand experiences globally, localization of messages, images, creative executions, offers, deals and interactions is still critical to marketing effectiveness and customer relationship building across many business categories. While the Internet may have eclipsed the trusty Yellow Pages book as the primary go-to resource for finding things locally (and providing third-party validation), consumers still desire a very local buying and service experience from a trusted community participant and presence.
The advent of multi-channel, digital marketing is transforming customer engagement, both globally and locally. It is giving local businesses a global presence and global businesses a local face and pipeline into micro-populations, prospects and continuity customers. Local marketing automation platforms and solutions are enabling national or regional marketers to produce, package, distribute and digitally repurpose multiple versions of content, collateral, advertising, direct mail, promotion and in-store merchandising materials very cost-efficiently and effectively. It is enabling them to truly localize and customize campaigns by community, to accommodate factors such as climate, geography, ethnic composition, demographics, shopper-graphics, psychographics, politics, and even neuro-sensory influences.
Media companies in the cable, broadcast, print, mobile, Internet and outdoor display sectors are introducing more targeted zone, zip code and even location-based messaging and media buying capabilities. And the same is true at point-of-sale with behavioral targeting, leveraging the transactional histories of loyalty and reward club members shopping at supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchant outlets. Downsizing the world-wide web to a neighborhood locator network is transforming the classified advertising and local listings business and bringing localized search marketing innovations to the demand generation and traffic building capabilities of field networks, sales channels, service locations and merchant outlets of national brand marketers. These include local agents, dealers, franchisees, branch offices, manufacturers reps, consultants, brokers, restaurants, hotels, and retail stores. Localized social marketing is also harvesting the audience reach and viral value of hundreds of millions of active and addicted social gamers, personal content publishers, brand and personality fans, as well as community networking enthusiasts.
Advances in media, buying, tracking and reporting systems using the Internet are also introducing higher levels of transparency, accountability, reporting and measurement to co-op, localized and network marketing programs on a grassroots level. Centralizing the origination of localized marketing content and programs also delivers significant cost-savings, assures greater brand integrity, reduces errors and improves time-to-market. In addition, localized marketing support drives participation, interest and enthusiasm in the field, boosting sales effectiveness and closure.