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There’s always a trade-off for the road not traveled – a series of what-ifs and coulda, woulda, shouldas that leave business leaders second-guessing their decisions. But assuming you don’t have a crystal ball lying around somewhere, that’s exactly why you forecast, A/B test, and strategize for the unknown road ahead.

The problem, of course, is that the consequences of those roads not traveled – opportunity costs – only become evident in hindsight. From a multi-location advertising perspective, those costs can wreak havoc on your brand, local stakeholders, market share, and any number of critical metrics.

To put it mildly, localization is essential in this hyper-competitive marketplace. And we want you to come out on top.

Therefore, to prevent you from second-guessing your decision-making, I want to take a closer look at some of the opportunity costs of not localizing your digital advertising.

Missing the Personalized Touch

We hear so much about the importance of personalized marketing today. And for good reason. 89% of businesses are already investing in personalization strategies because, in a surprise to no one, two-thirds of customers have already been tuning out generic, traditional ads for years.

Your customers want to feel special. Recognized. They want you and your messaging to speak their language, appeal to their interests, and show that you genuinely understand them and what they need from you and your products and services.

A customized, localized message is instrumental in providing relevant information that people can relate to, identify with, and rely on to help solve their specific problem. Your customers, for instance, want you to help them find the nearest store to their home or work, not one that’s across town and requires an hour’s drive each way on the freeway. Put another way, localization lets you deliver highly relevant and useful experiences to your customers.

Ultimately, we’re talking about relevancy.

Now, we’ll be the first to admit that designing, implementing, and maintaining such personalized creative for each of your locations can be a monumental effort. However, that’s why technology and expertise are so vital to your digital advertising.

By using the right tools and partners, each of your local customer segments can feel as if you’re the neighborhood solution they’ve been looking for, even if you have hundreds of locations spread out from sea to shining sea.

Diluting Your Brand Presence

Multi-location businesses and their local stakeholders can get stuck in a perpetual tug-of-war if you don’t have a cohesive, overarching localization strategy in place. Going back to the previous points I made on personalization, if you’re not providing that essential local relevance to your customers, then your stakeholders might try to do it themselves. And that’s when bad things happen.

As a result, you end up with a segmented brand that lacks consistency from location to location. And since there’s no cohesive strategy in place, you also can’t compare performance metrics across your retail sites.

In this case, the opportunity cost of not localizing your digital advertising from the brand level down is a diluted, inconsistent brand identity. Your metrics are all over the place, making ROI – along with the best path forward – about as clear as a muddy windshield.

However, the flipside to that equation is a highly targeted message that hits the bullseye and drives ROI, no matter how many locations you might operate. In 2019, Netsertive optimized a suite of ads for America’s Mattress, using our Digital Advertising Platform to deploy hyper-targeted campaigns across all 153 of the company’s locations.

The results of that 21-day campaign – almost 3,000 store visits and a 12:1 ROI on ad spend – tell you everything you need to know about the importance of a localized strategy that stays consistent with brand guidelines and goals.

Losing In-Market Shoppers

The local digital landscape is crucial for your brick and mortar success as well. Local search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) strategies are critical in engaging your target customer segments, improving brand recognition and identity, and providing your audience with the information they need to inform their buying decisions.

That represents the opportunity cost of not investing in local SEO and SEM – you’re essentially sending customers to the competition without them.

The customer journey now begins online, even for physical locations. Thus, if you aren’t providing roadmaps for users – hence, the importance of SEO and SEM – for traversing the search engine badlands and finding your company, products, or services, then they’re never going to find your doorstep, a fact backed by research:

  • 80% of shoppers research a product, service, or company before making a purchase
  • Four out of five consumers use search engines for local information
  • Businesses make $2 for every $1 they spend on localized Google Ads

According to Google, companies average 77% more website traffic when they invest in both SEO and SEM – paid search. Further, three out of four customers are more likely to visit your physical store when you provide them with the relevant local information they want. For example, if someone searched “pediatric doctor near me,” a paid search ad for a doctor actually near the person is more relevant than an ad accidentally served for a primary care doctor that is 2 hours away.

To that point, “near me” purchase-driven searches have grown by over 500% in recent years. Even better, 76% of those near me searches now result in a same-day, in-store visit from the searching customer, with 28% of the local searches resulting in a sale. And what fuels the results for those local searches? You guessed it – SEO and SEM.

In other words, SEO and SEM – two key components of an effective localized digital strategy – drive more website traffic, which, in turn, drives foot traffic. When your customers sit down at their keyboard or pick up their phone to research you or your product, they don’t want to invest hours of time and effort.

When Netsertive used these localization tools for all 27 locations within the Faulkner Automotive Group, digital reach increased by 22% and leads grew by 30%. But perhaps most telling, thanks to the targeted, high-quality search queries we delivered through SEO, SEM, and other tactics, less than 1% of the ad spend went toward campaign waste.

I could go on for days about the overwhelming need to localize your digital advertising, but you get my drift. Multi-location businesses simply require a different approach than their single-site brethren, but that doesn’t have to be as complicated or demanding as it might sound. Once again, that’s where technology and experience make all the difference. And that, not coincidentally, is precisely what Netsertive brings to the digital advertising table.

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