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Deciding how to resource your digital advertising is one of the key, upstream decisions that will make or break revenue goals for a multi-location business. Can your internal team handle it? Is an agency the obvious answer? How personalized should your ads be for each market? Should you be using a technology tool to scale at the location level?

There are so many channels, so many potential strategies, and so many providers, that the task can feel overwhelming.

And that’s what creates such a dilemma for marketers – how do you know who to trust? Is your current provider keeping up with changing market dynamics, or are they flailing behind the scenes? Multi-location businesses that need to run campaigns for multiple locations on multiple channels require a far more systematic approach and a unique combination of experience, capabilities, and technology to handle the complexity.

To help your decision-making, Netsertive has 10 questions for you to consider during the critical provider diligence process. These questions will help you gauge the capabilities, experience, and skill set of any agency or provider.

Ultimately, if you choose the right partner, you’ll have a team you can trust to give you and your location stakeholders a competitive advantage.

1. “How do you set-up and manage my campaigns?”

For a multi-location business, campaign structure is a key decision that will impact your strategy and optimization plan. If your enterprise depends on the success of individual locations, it’s crucial that your digital advertising partner’s strategies and tactics provide the data and outcomes that support these locations.

As an example, if you’re a services oriented business, relevant leads generated from form fills and phone calls may be your objective. You’ll want to confirm that you can discreetly tie your location budgets and digital advertising tactics to your locations and these associated objectives.

While this may sound like common sense, most agencies and internal teams run overly generic campaigns, adding location keywords and watering down your analytics. The right approach is far from commonplace, requiring significant set-up time, or a technology platform to automate the process of scaling campaigns to the location level.

2. “How will the campaigns perform?”

The provider or agency should always be able to provide you with outcome estimates based on channel data, similar businesses, and case studies that are relevant for your business profile.

Just as your customers have specific expectations of you – and won’t think twice about holding your feet to the fire through their buying decisions – so should you with any provider or agency. When you enter into the relationship knowing how they’ve performed in similar circumstances, you’ll have an extremely useful gauge to project your performance.

3. “Do you localize campaigns and ads down to the location level?”

Should you use the same campaigns and ads for your Buffalo and San Diego locations? That decision will set your strategy and determine your success. Your locations are like snowflakes – no two are alike. A localized approach to your campaigns based on location and target market dynamics delivers the highest conversion rates for less ad spend.

When done right, localized advertising applies brand-compliant messaging and creative to inform everything about the campaign – from ad content and budgeting to channel allocation, bidding strategies, and audience targeting. Thus, if an agency isn’t optimizing your campaigns down to the location level, you’re wasting budget that could otherwise go toward far more targeted campaigns.

4. “Can you provide me with performance reporting and ROI reporting at both the location and network level?"

If an agency isn’t reporting at both the location and network levels – with your key conversions and return on ad spend front and center for each – then you’ll perpetually be asking yourself if you’re getting the impact you’re paying for.

Ultimately, your provider must be able to demonstrate how its performance helps drive your bottom line and how they’re efficiently using your ad spend. From our own experience, many businesses do not have a clear understanding of their advertising ROI, usually due to limitations in their campaign strategy and technology. The proof is in the ROI pudding, though, so unless your agency can identify, analyze, and convey your return by location, you won’t have the data to grow your business.

5. “How many in-market shoppers are my competitors capturing compared to me?”

The data available to answer this question will change with your industry. If you’re in the automotive vertical, for instance, your agency should be able to track how many units your competition moves in a month based on DMV registration data.

For a chain of dealerships, this data is critical in revealing how your locations are capturing market share. If you find that some locations are falling behind, then it’s time to revisit those local campaigns and see where you’re missing the mark. Oftentimes, there is a metric equivalent to competitor intelligence for other industries as well, even if it’s simply based on the Auction Insights report in Google Ads.

Unlock the Full Evaluation Strategy Today

Is your business getting the results it requires in our constantly evolving digital world? While these first five questions are a great jumping off point for getting to know your digital ad provider, our full eBook has a more in-depth strategy for evaluating your providers! Download our free eBook today to learn more and unlock a guaranteed strategy for evaluating your digital advertising provider.

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