For distributed brands, maintaining a deep, intimate understanding of customers is key. However, conducting regular research about customers is becoming increasingly challenging for corporate marketers to do. With so many locations, marketing segments, and online platforms and outlets, audiences are extremely fragmented. There's simply too much data, and too many places to find it.
Additionally, corporate marketers often don't have the time, resources, or background to execute such sophisticated analysis and research. As a result, a lot significant information about customers is never put to use. Significant insights about customer preferences and data that could easily inform more compelling, effective local marketing initiatives are buried.
This is why many distributed brand marketers invest in local market research. By obtaining more in-depth, actionable information from trusted market research firms, brand marketers can optimize brand strategies, and gain a better understanding of all of their target markets. For distributed brands that need to improve local performance, these insights can be a game changer.
Why Brands Need to Invest in Local Market Research
Given that distributed brands can have more than 50+ locations across very diverse regions, local market research is the key to extracting actionable insights. Without that market research, it's incredibly challenging to pinpoint important preferences or behaviors of customers. As a result, corporate marketers rely on insufficient or outdated information, make assumptions, or even fail to adopt new marketing trends.
For many distributed brands, this is no longer acceptable. With customers desiring more personalized and curated experiences, corporate marketers must go beyond the status quo. So many partner with reputable market research firms to get this data, taking some of the legwork out of data acquisition and organization. With this information, corporate teams can tailor marketing initiatives to create experiences that will truly resonates with their customers.
How to Use Local Market Research to Create More Impactful Marketing
Once corporate teams have local market research at their disposal, there's a lot of ways to incorporate it into local marketing strategies. From creating more relevant content to evaluating the preferences of geographic areas, local market research provides a ton of opportunities for more targeted initiatives, such as:
More Relevant Offers
When corporate marketers are equipped with research about lesser known segments, they can create extremely strong and specific messaging and promotions. Marriott International is one example of a brand that's finding niche segments and audiences to target with more relevant offerings. The brand now markets to youth sports, which have become a $15.3 billion market.
The right local market research helped inform their strategies, rationalizing the expansion of sport team accommodation marketing beyond the professional leagues. Using local market research, brand marketers can mimic this tactic and find new, more niche segments to target.
Local market research can help inform budgeting and spend, helping corporate marketers allocate budget based on traits such as the time of day, or even the time of year a customer prefers to make purchases. So if Volkswagen customers mostly shop during the fall, for instance, the corporate marketers at Volkswagen would not spend a significant portion of their marketing budget in the spring or winter.
This can help marketers spend smarter, cutting back on inefficient spend during periods that customers aren't as as likely to buy. Brand marketers should also regularly check in on the performance of marketing initiatives, and assess how much ROI they're gaining from time-consuming or costly campaigns.
Monitor Data Trends
One of the most benefits of having local market research is tapping into data trends. In 2018, there will be various types of data trends that marketers should assess, such as real-time analytics and predictive analytics. Using this information, corporate marketers can identify new types of customers, markets, or behaviors that could inspire more engaging ads or promotions.
If Liberty Tax or another financial firm started to see a significant amount of entrepreneurs needing help in a specific market, for example, this information could be used to create an ad campaign targeting those individuals. The sooner that marketers can identify these trends, the sooner they can use them to plan more effective local marketing initiatives.
Find New Store Locations
For distributed brands, determining which locations to open new franchises in is crucial. A franchise won't want to build in areas with a low performing local market, or a market where they won't be well received. In certain geographic areas, even top franchise brands such as Dunkin' Donuts fail in favor of mom and pop or local coffee shops.
Distributed brands want to prioritize areas that they're likely to immediately attract customers and be profitable. That's why franchises such as Chick-fil-A base their locations on the performance of the local market. The corporate teams of fast food franchises often select sites from location data, to guarantee they have customers in an area before making an investment.
Speak The Customer's Language
When deciding on messaging for local marketing collateral, it's best to keep it simple. The use of fancy or overly complicated messaging may actually deter customers from a brand. So when it comes to language, brand marketers must develop a tone that speaks to customers in a clear, concise way. That's why the use of local market research can really help improve messaging.
For example, a brand like WellCare Health Plans shouldn't necessarily speak or message to their customers in the same way that a lifestyle or fitness brand could. While a marketer could assume the tone was similar, additional local market research may show clear differences in how their customers prefer to communicate. The insights regarding age, education level, region, and industry can all help brand marketers speak the customer's language.
Making Local Market Research Actionable
Once brand marketers have local market research, there's a lot they can do with it. However, local market research is only one piece of the local marketing puzzle. In order to deploy extremely effective local marketing promotions, local and corporate brand marketers must work in unison. Given the nature of distributed brands, this can be a significant challenge.
That's why many brands adapt lightweight marketing tools. With a local marketing automation tool, corporate marketers can still work closely with local marketers, while streamlining the production and delivery of exceptional local marketing promotions. Once this tool is in place, marketers can bring the focus back to conceptualizing innovative, exciting ways to engage with customers.
To learn more about engaging local marketing strategies, check out The Local Marketing Playbook. In this playbook, corporate marketers can gain insight into ideas and tactics for improving their local marketing initiatives.