Does Your Localized Marketing Strategy Have These 3 Essential Qualities?

Advertising that features local content drives consumers into stores – whether they’re shopping with a national retailer or at a mom and pop business.

While brands have traditionally defined “local” as a physical location, “local” and “location” are not the same thing. Advertisers need to expand their definition to include people – taking into account how, when and what people buy in their typical or immediate surroundings. The IAB’s Local Buyer’s Guide explores how this consumer-centric view of local allows brands to execute campaigns that get results.

The IAB defines three essential qualities of successful local campaigns:
  • Presence refers to an advertiser’s need to not only show up throughout the consumer’s multitude of digital touch points, but to optimize those digital points of presence with local information and reasons to connect.
  • Discovery refers to search and listings, and using search engine optimization/search engine marketing (SEO/SEM) techniques to be found when consumers are looking for local solutions.
  • Engagement refers to the actual connections marketers make with locally targeted consumers.

Below are the questions brand marketers might ask themselves when evaluating their localized marketing strategies and some contextualized examples of what drives consumers into a physical store.

Establish Great Presence

Ask yourself: Is your content where your consumers are? Does it show up in their preferred channels and on their preferred devices?

While Snapchat has become the “it” platform for reaching younger audiences, the WSJ reports the instant messaging tool is just as important to teens as Twitter is. Knowing teens love social media, AMC Theatres recently ran a mobile-social campaign focused on reaching that audience using concessions coupons.

Localized Marketing Strategy AMC Theatre

Mobile Commerce Daily breaks down the details, but the essential lesson is this: AMC knows teens are glued to their phones, browsing Twitter and Snapchat without a lot of extra cash to spend. By offering up an easily redeemable mobile coupon via their preferred social channel, AMC reached teenagers where they were spending their time with something they (and their parents) wanted.

How could it have been even better?

The end goal of this campaign is clearly to drive young consumers to a movie theatre. And it does that well. However, in a fully realized localized marketing strategy, these offers would’ve been for specific theatre locations – coupons redeemable at the user’s neighborhood AMC Theatre. Scaling the offers to that level would have allowed AMC to take an ad with great presence and direct the consumers to exactly where they need to be in order to complete the next step in the purchase path.

Make Content Discoverable

Ask yourself: Can consumers easily find you and your message?

A great localized marketing strategy includes a strong search engine marketing approach because when people ask themselves: “Where can I get what I need?” that inquiry inevitably ends up in a search engine.

Home Depot has always made sure that when their customers’ needs arise, their offers return on search. They buy product and category level terms like “mulch” and “garden hoses,” but they also invest in broader phrases like “how to repair a gutter” and their brands like BEHR paint.

Localized Marketing Strategy Hoses Localized Marketing Strategy BEHR


They think about every angle their consumers may consider when they have home goods needs – how, what, where – and they invest in an SEM approach to support it.

How does Home Depot go the extra mile?

Being truly “discoverable” in a successful cross-channel campaign involves more than just an effective search though.

Home Depot succeeds here as well.

The retailer puts a great deal of effort behind getting their messages out and in front of consumers wherever they go to look for a home goods-related need.

Most recently, for their busy spring construction/gardening season they ran a “Spring Black Friday” campaign, recreating the sense of urgency and great in-store savings consumers associate with “traditional” Black Friday.

Localized Marketing Strategy Home Depot Social Localized Marketing Strategy Spring Black Friday

This campaign included a variety of tactics to reach consumers beyond SEM – including a micro-site, mobile campaigns (in and out of app), and social ads. But more importantly, the consumers knew exactly what they could get and where and when they could get it regardless of how they encountered the campaign.

Drive Quality Engagement

Ask yourself: Are my content experiences personally relevant to my consumers and are they driving these customers to act?

At its core, the desire consumers have for “personalized” content is a desire for something more relevant. This is how a broader understanding of local can help here as well. Local content is some of the most relevant content a brand can share because it is immediately actionable; a consumer can jump in a car, walk down the street, or, in some cases, just move to the next aisle and grab the product they encountered in a localized digital ad experience.

Localized content is highly engaging because it grabs attention by connecting to a space and a sense of immediate availability.

Meijer is one example of a retailer that realized its existing localized assets could be optimized to do more. By inserting a dynamic page into an eCircular experience, the company introduced dynamic content into a traditionally static, but familiar and trusted, browsing experience.

In the example below, Meijer highlights spring fashion trends, encouraging shoppers to browse the tips and latest styles on the Meijer website.

Localized Marketing Strategy Meijer

Learn more about this Meijer example »

The “interstitial” page allows the mass retailer to insert anything from last-minute special events to seasonal inventory – whatever gives browsers a reason to act on the featured offers available at their local Meijer store.

How will Meijer push it further?

Future iterations will include content like videos and recipes – all pre-existing content assets that when integrated can create a more compelling and seamless digital experience.

The Bottom Line

A localized marketing strategy works because it speaks directly to consumers’ needs and wants. It can speak powerfully and actionably to consumers as people with known behaviors, not just potential buyers in a given location.

If advertisers want to build experiences that have a strong presence, empower the consumer to “discover” what he or she wants and compel engagement that ends in an in-store purchase, they have to make sure they take a multichannel approach that includes localized content.

You can learn more about the power of local in the IAB Local’s Buyer Guide by downloading it here.

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