7 Tips for Big Brands That Want to Reach Local Consumers

National brands that add local context to their mobile campaigns can expect to see click-through ratesthat are 4% to 7% higher than typical mobile display ads, while adding something as simple as a local phone number to an ad can increase response rates by 40%. While there’s little doubt that local marketing helps big brands get noticed, many national companies have been slow to get onboard with these types of advertising tactics thus far. (Thirty-three percent of the top 100 U.S. brands don’t have mobile-optimized websites, and 16% have no mobile strategy.)

For tips on how national brands can create tailored local campaigns, we spoke with Jamie Olson, vice president of shopper marketing for Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide and the executive responsible for Vicks’ successful mobile campaign in 2011, and Ron Blevins, vice president of digital strategy for Novus, an ad agency focused solely on the local space. Here is their advice for brands thinking of taking the leap into local.

1) Start by asking why local is attractive. Olson recommends that national brands start by pinpointing why it is they want to go local with their marketing. Is it to reach a new demographic? Overcome a particular obstacle to reaching that demographic? Or maybe to try out a new mobile platform that customers are using? The answers to these questions will guide which tools Olson recommends companies use to achieve their advertising goals.

2) Keep audience size in mind. The more criteria that a brand uses when deciding which customers should receive its targeted messages, the higher the click-through rates and redemption stats will be. The flip-side to this, however, is that brands can expect to hit fewer people through their local campaigns than they would with national outreach efforts. For these reasons, Olson says local marketing is best for brands that are comfortable focusing on the quality of leads that come in, versus the quantity of click-throughs and coupon redemptions.

3) Think outside the box. To get the most benefit out of local investment, Blevins says brands need to find out how they can customize their ads. Rather than taking the easy way out by using local inventory aggregators or geo-targeted display ads, companies should opt for custom executions such as sponsorships, unique ad units, and content integration with local publishers. Brands that engage in these types of programs at Novus have seen dramatic increases in their marketing performance, and Blevins says the impact these ad runs have on consumers can’t be understated. Read More

Posted on April 5, 2012 and filed under Best Practices.