The Local Marketing Dos and Don’ts for Retail Brands

Posted by Amber Kazalbash on Apr 23, 2015 9:39:00 AM

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For our third week of Local Marketing Dos and Dont's, we have shifted our focus on the retail industry. Past the issue of having a bad location database we dove deeper into the struggles and opportunities this industry faces.

Retailers are unique because they are one of the primary verticals that must simultaneously be proactive and reactive to consumer trends. with the arrival of Mobile, we see that smart phones act as in-store retail shopping assistants to users. Retail marketers need to realize the potential impact of this channel on the consumer decision making process, and plan ahead to keep their chain on top.

With mobile in mind, here are some crucial dos and dont’s to consider when targeting your mobile searchers for their next retail experience.

Real-Time Data Analysis

DO understand the changing ecosystem

Regardless of the industry your retail brand caters to, one thing’s for certain: mobile is enabling customers to engage with brands more than ever before. You can no longer afford to ignore the data these channels produce real time, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Working in the retail space,  it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of hitting numbers and ignoring mobile data optimization. But it’s time to take a step back because this data is very telling. Without consistent analysis of local consumer habits, search terms and location information, you won’t have an in-depth understanding of how to adjust and enhance your existing marketing strategies. We recommend you use a tool to look closely at your local page and listings analytics to understand how social and mobile are contributing to the search/social referral and engagement on your local properties.

DON’T underestimate wearable adoption

Not to say that Apple Watch was the first product exposed to the retail-friendly consumer, but it does bridge the gap for plenty of consumers who never before considered themselves to be early adopters of technological trends. When taking wearable technology into consideration for your brand, remember that at some point, personalized technology will become the standard.The earlier you begin to strategize and execute engaging ways to connect with the early adopters of wearable devices, the earlier you can strategize how to use their data. After all, these tools are being worn by consumers voluntarily. Your job is to make your brand as relevant as possible to the devices that customers have begun to trust.

Proximity Advertising

DO Geo-target At The Bare Minimum

As we learned at LSA15 this week, Geotargeting isn’t everything you need in your advertising campaigns---but it’s the foundation. In comparison to generic location targeting methods, geotargeting gives advertisers the ability to customize or "geo-fence" boundaries of your campaigns for a tailored, contextual and personalized message.

This is especially helpful when a retail brand is looking to directly drive in-store traffic with special sales, promotions, community events and even situational instances like changes in the weather. When you’re in a heated retail space, putting geo-targeting in place is the bare minimum to keep up with mobile consumers who, at a moment’s notice, could choose to visit a competitor  targeting in a more personalized way.

DON’T Shy Away From Beaconing

There is definitely a mixed opinion on beaconing and its impact on the retail space. Some believe the adoption rate will continue to increase while others don’t see the effort worth pursuing. But we know one thing to be true: if you have consumers who are already interacting and visiting your mobile app, beaconing could be the next step for your brand to win Local. As a multi-location brand with a mobile app in place, you have the obligation to constantly stay relevant to the consumer, or get deleted. By integrating beaconing into your strategy, you are validating your location data while grabbing more customer data at the same time. This is the first step to effectively advertising and servicing them, so brand managers who are ready to leverage their existing mobile apps should consider and explore the benefits of beaconing.

 Customer Feedback

DO use conversation as an opportunity to transform retail culture

Search Engine Land reported that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The reason for this is simple: in a local-social world, peer referrals and real-time commentary is what distinguishes good brands from great brands. To be great, you need to be able to moderate and use social and reviews to enhance your company. Use a review management dashboard to create internal campaigns that help retail managers understand the importance of responding to and integrating customer feedback into the everyday ongoings of your business. When it seems like your local retail location is stuck in a rut with its connection to consumers, taking this step can drastically change the way your customers see you both online and offline.

DON’T let your locations social presence die out

Retail is an active space regardless of the vertical your brand resides in. At the local level, customers want to be able to see that the brand is just as active at the local level. Social as it is at the corporate level. Don’t let your locations’ local presence die out or remain imbalanced. Develop more personalized connections with consumers on high-traffic networks like Facebook. Are you as visible as you could be? Are you providing value that can only be applied at the local level? If your answer is no, then its time to take the next step in your customer relationship management strategy and bring in a tool that will help to publish and schedule relevant social posts that local customers will find value in.

Conclusion:

In retail, there’s no point in continuing to go through the motions. Every day is a chance get transform your image and get the love you deserve through proactively strategizing your analysis, advertising and social tactics. Learn our simple formula on how use your customer data to create a brand people love in this infographic:

Loyal Local Love Infographic

Topics: Local Marketing