When it comes to digital marketing, SMBs may not always be as active, wide-ranging and state-of-the-art as their national brand and franchise counterparts. But they can learn a lot by watching what brands and franchises are doing, especially when it comes to targeting locally.
In Streetfight's new survey of 207 brands, franchisees (and their agencies), it is clear that these national players are increasingly focused on using digital tools and channels to target locally. Nearly half of the survey's respondents spent over 30% of their digital budget locally; nearly four of ten expect to boost their local spending in 2016.
According to the survey, the largest companies tend to experiment with the largest number of solutions, including such emerging tools and channels as wireless beacons, real time location data, mobile wallets, and "wearables" (digital watches etc). The most heavily-used applications, however, are email, social media and paid search. Relatively few are using more complex solutions, such as data management platforms, ratings services or data aggregators.
Like independent SMBs, brands and franchises tend to express frustration with technology integration and data analytics tools. While they use social media management tools, less than 4 of 10 go the next step and use a digital dashboard to manage their local marketing budgets.
The bottom line: most national brands and franchises that target locally are, in fact, engaging with digital media. Moreover, a high percentage plan to add to their digital solutions and current spending in 2016.
SMBs may not be able to match the resources of the national players, dollar for dollar. But most of the tools that the national players use for local marketing are, in fact, readily available. The lesson here is that all of us are still learning to use these valuable tools. It's never too late to engage.
The results of the Streetfight survey are available here as a free download.
About the Author
Peter Krasilovsky runs Local Onliner, a consulting firm that focuses on how digital channels target local consumers. “Local” has been a focus for him since 1995-96, and the firm's practice now includes search, marketplaces, geotargeting, vertical media and loyalty and promotion services. Peter was Chief Analyst and Vice President for BIA/Kelsey from 2006-2015. He holds an MA from The Annenberg School of Communications at The University of Southern California and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. He currently resides with his wife Sharon in Ashland, Oregon.Follow on Twitter More Content by Peter Krasilovsky