Multi-local marketing: winning strategies

Digital has changed the way brands communicate, allowing a more personalised approach to advertising and media planning. But for several years now, the notion of campaign geography has become a central element in advertisers' strategies, driven by consumer aspirations. Local digital communication is becoming a fundamental focus for boosting awareness and driving point-of-sale traffic. How can network and franchise brands communicate effectively using multi-local marketing? DeepReach deciphers the subject.

Multi-local marketing: winning strategies
Multi-local marketing: winning strategies

What is multi-local marketing? 

In order to better understand the subject of multi-local marketing, it is important to consider some of the basic concepts of local marketing.

Local marketing is generally used by brands to reach a local population within a geographical area. Because the messages are delivered in a specific area, they are more adapted to the context of the market and its consumers.

But when there are multiple sales outlets, scattered across the territory, it is difficult to keep control of one's global communication while creating proximity with one's customers while optimising budgets for each area. This is the role of multi-local marketing, which makes it possible to launch highly local advertising campaigns for a multitude of sales outlets.

Multi-local marketing mainly addresses the objective of driving POS traffic, but it also provides the opportunity to improve brand visibility. By precisely defining a catchment area and correctly allocating the advertising budget for each outlet, advertising pressure is applied where it is needed, with full investment control.

What are the benefits of multi-local marketing? 

Let's imagine a brand that has 50 outlets, scattered all over the country. The classic method for a digital agency is to create a campaign using Google (mainly) with acomplement in social ads (Meta for Facebook and Instagram, also often Snapchat and TikTok) and through programmatic display (banner and other formats on web and mobile publishers). In the majority of cases, one will choose to pilot one's campaign according to clicks, i.e. the advertising platform will optimise the display of the advertisement for the users who have the strongest propensity to click.

Using this method, the ads will be displayed in the zones defined in the campaign, with varying degrees of precision. On the other hand, certain zones will be favoured over others, because their CPC (cost per click) will be better.

Here lies the main problem: ads are displayed according to click performance, but not according to real business needs. For example, a shop in London that needs more marketing support will end up with a lower budget, because its CTR is lower. Whereas in Manchester, a shop that is performing well may see its marketing budget increased.

Multi-local advertising, by precisely adapting each budget to each area ("geo-budgeting"), makes it possible to reconcile the business needs of a sales outlet network with its advertising investments. Advertisers become more in touch with the needs of franchisees, and can then deploy advertisements that are closer to the field and to consumers.

Consumers are also looking for this proximity to their shops. According to a study, in 2021, 77% of consumers will complete their purchases in a shop and 91% will have done research on the Internet before visiting a local store. Hence the importance for each POS to improve its online visibility and to establish a close relationship with its customers.

Contrary to popular belief, the fact that multi-local marketing is controlled by the network head office leaves a fairly wide field of freedom to the outlets. Tools are made available to support the POS while maintaining consistency in the overall strategy. Unlike mass communication, the strategy is national, but the objectives and actions are local!

What are the challenges of multi-local marketing?

Communicating effectively by simplifying campaign control is not always easy. Multi-local marketing addresses several challenges for networked and franchised brands. These include:

  • The operating margin  

Allocating multiple individual budgets across many geographic areas can be very time consuming. Having a centralised tool to launch all the campaigns simultaneously, and to distribute these budgets (notably via geo budgeting) is a must.

  • The relevance of the message

Localised communication, unlike global communication, makes it possible to be anchored in the physical reality of the market (availability of products, opening hours, etc., shop launches). Personalising your ad will thus have a decisive impact for nearly one Internet user out of two. Customer proximity is proving to be a key factor in the success of a business.

  • The media mix

Traditionally, there are two types of regularity in local digital communication. The first is primarily based on a "push" method, which consists of pushing the product towards the consumer. It is continuous and often long-lasting, which is why it is called a "red thread" campaign, often addressed via social ads or programmatic display. Conversely, the "pull" campaign consists of attracting the consumer to the product, with a more intense but shorter impact. This is what will be used during peak periods, such as the opening of a shop or the release of a new product. Google Ads remains the key medium for this local strategy. Waze can also play an interesting role during these peak periods.

Being able to mix advertising platforms to find the best performance at a given time, in a given area, is therefore essential, but complicated from an operational point of view.

  • Each entity must play its role

Multi-local is also an opportunity to give power back to the outlets by decentralising communication. Thus, each outlet should have access to a catalogue of ready-to-activate campaigns, already configured for their catchment area and local needs. For their part, marketing departments and their media agencies will be able to retain control over the designs used, aggregate reporting for individual outlets, and the ability to create the best campaign strategies for their network.

Overall, the challenge for brands with networks and franchises is to maintain a certain homogeneity between the head office and the different outlets. By managing campaigns simultaneously, consistency is maintained and communication is made easier. Marketing agencies use technical platforms, such as DeepReach, to simplify the deployment of these multi-local advertising campaigns.

Frederic Douchement, DeepReach's Media Trader & Customer Success Manager testifies :

The media do not know how to distribute the budget equitably across a network of shops and multi-local advertising allows for a dedicated budget for each point of sale.
As a result, each shop has dedicated advertising pressure in its catchment area. At DeepReach we are able to launch, monitor local campaigns en masse, and display real-time reporting for each outlet.

The best multi-local marketing strategies

Local referencing and SEO

Local SEO is an important variable to consider when establishing a multi-local strategy. Local SEO takes into account not only the user's location, but also the local intent of their query. Today, almost half (46%) of all Google searches are made to find a nearby business.

Managing your online reputation, for each shop

According to Arobasenet, 86% of Internet users search for a business's location on Google Maps, so it is important to create a good business listing. To maintain your e-reputation, good management of your reviews is essential. Being well referenced and correctly rated has a direct impact on POS traffic. Note the presence of major players such as Partoo, which helps to develop one's e-reputation, and Yext, a specialist in online brand management.

Setting up local advertising

Local advertising is essential to establish a solid multi-local marketing strategy.

Digital media such as Google or Facebook have their own characteristics and respond to distinct local issues. Mixing spending allows to take into account local specificities according to the objectives and characteristics of each outlet (demographics, catchment area, consumption habits...).

When developing a local strategy, it is therefore important to define your objectives beforehand in order to correctly identify the media you wish to use.

  • Awareness objective:

When you want to develop your notoriety and improve your visibility, it is wise to turn to social media (Facebook, Instagram), programmatic display, Maps, or even Waze. Each of them has its own specificities, notably that of targeting different profiles. Using them in a complementary way is all the more efficient to have a complete local digital communication.

  • Traffic boosting objective:

The objective of online traffic is often based on a longer term strategy. Its preferred medium is Google Ads, which, thanks to its bidding system on competitive keywords for the company, will be able to position and reference the company in the first search results. Thus exposed, the establishment will be much more likely to receive intentional or even spontaneous visits. This strategy can also be used in conjunction with social networks, which are once again complementary, helped by an appropriate call to action to the local store's website.

  • Lead generation objective:

In order to attract prospects to the POS, Maps and Waze are strongallies. Indeed, they have the characteristic of proposing itineraries when a prospect is close to the store, and therefore act ideally on impulse. Social networks can also be part of this logic, and reinforce the dynamism in shop through localised information on local brand pages.

In addition, it is important to note the expansion of video and segmented audio in the world of communication, especially local communication.  

  • Video is already popular on the market thanks to the various media that use this format in their communication such as Facebook, Snapchat or even Google with DV 360.
  • With podcasts becoming increasingly popular in recent months, making audio is becoming more and more essential, especially for driving listeners to buy and gaining brand awareness. According to a study, 78% of listeners are likely to decide to buy products recommended in audio content - a new opportunity for advertisers.

However, it is complicated to synchronise everything, especially for local campaigns. Agencies can therefore call on specialised companies such as DeepReach, which offer packaged and customisable offers, depending on the media and the desired objectives.

Optimising your community management strategy

Encouraging local customers and transmitting a personalised message effectively generates traffic at the POS and establishes a close relationship.

This also involves social network content, which is very popular, especially with the so-called "ultra-connected" generation. Establishing a privileged and close relationship with the consumer will significantly increase the appeal of the brand.

Refining SMS marketing and optimising the emailing strategy

The sending of SMS campaigns, which has been forgotten in recent years, is making a comeback. Attracting local customers through geo-localised campaigns also involves using telephones. Often used to reach all generations, this strategy is sometimes more effective especially for promotional marketing messages, provided that it is done with the explicit consent of consumers. Another example is WhatsApp, which has the potential to be used for local advertising campaigns through direct messaging.  

Emailing is a similar strategy to SMS campaigns, targeted mailings create a close relationship and make the customer feel valued. Be careful to update your CRM data to avoid any redundancy and to respect all RGPD laws.  

Implementing offline actions

Non-media advertising at the local level provides an opportunity to increase brand awareness and to contribute to the development of the local community, particularly through events or the use of billboards. In truth, offline practices are just as essential and it is even more effective to reinforce them with digital actions, particularly via street marketing actions which are a good awareness vector to boost POS traffic.

In short: multi-local marketing must ensure proximity between a brand, its outlets and its customers. The multi-local strategy is full of opportunities and is a real challenge for companies with networks and franchises. The aim is to adapt each advertising campaign to the location and the catchment area in order to create a solid local strategy. The media has an important role to play whatever the key objective. Simplifying the local digital communication of advertising campaigns is what multi-local marketing is all about. Planning and launching campaigns simultaneously requires the right tools and the correct adoption of national strategies at a local level to create your own identity.