From today's Marketing Charts and the CMO Council; a new survey shows nearly half of the 300 marketing and communications executives polled said they thought local marketing efforts were an important part of their growth strategy.
"Clearly, localized marketing is becoming a critical area of strategic focus and competitive advantage for brands. "Localize to Optimize Sales Channel Effectiveness" reveals that the majority of national marketers surveyed intend to look for ways to better modify, adapt, and localize their marketing content, messaging, and prospect engagement practices, as very few feel their campaigns are highly evolved on a local level."
You can read the entire story and see the survey results by clicking here.
COMMENT: So, just exactly where DID these company execs think their customers come from anyway? EVERYBODY lives in a LOCAL market! This is simply a recognition of the obvious; national marketing campaigns are becoming increasingly less effective as markets become more segmented. Better targeting, more sophistacated demographic analysis and increased competition all lead (or force) marketers to dig deeper to find new customers--and that means going local.
It is interesting to note that more than a third of those surveyed believe the best local marketing investment is to have personnel in the field. That sounds like a euphemism for--a SALES FORCE! Well, in Peter Drucker's book, selling is not the same as marketing. Effective marketing is supposed to make your sales force obsolete, because it should create enough demand to have customers call on you, not the other way around.
Real local marketing--the kind that involves media utilization, promotional activities, community involvement, etc. requires more than just "field personnel." National companies avoid true local marketing effforts because they're hard work. Media buyers don't know the local market as well as they should. Company representatives often lack crticial marketing and promotional skills to properly support local campaigns and many times there is a savvy locally-based competitor more than happy to not only challenge the big guy, but beat his brains in by leveraging his local market knowledge, contacts, reputation and operating strength to create campaigns and promotions that effectively reposition the national company as an out-of-touch interloper. Like shooting fish in a barrell.
National companies have to do more than simply covet local. They have to BE local. Representatives must have real authority and they must become involved in the community beyond joining the Chamber of Commerce. Wal-Mart makes a big deal about how they "help" the communities they serve, but, in reality, their donations to local charities are meager at best, especially in comparison to the many local business owners who dig deep into their own pockets every year to provide real support to many worthy local projects and causes.
Yes, indeed, "local" is still the hot new buzz word. Too bad most national marketing execs still don't get what it really means.