Corporate Marketers: Are Your Individual Locations Ad-Ready?
Often, our agency finds itself in the paradoxical position of recommending to our clients that they not place advertising, even though they had allocated budget dollars.
While this initially seems like marketing blasphemy, once the existential crisis passes, we realize it is actually a good refresher on the importance of laying the foundation needed to maximize local marketing ROI.
Let’s back up a bit. For many of our clients, we are dually responsible for both brand messaging and creating the smaller budget, local marketing programs for individual locations or regional marketing groups.
Developing these programs can be challenging as budgets are often limited while the need to drive sales conversions quickly is high. With this goal in mind, we have developed a strategic checklist we review before investing in any local advertising. Here are the first four tips:
- Claim Local Business Listings – When a consumer absorbs your marketing message and wants to take the next step, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find correct, consistent information about your business no matter how they search. Make sure that your business listings are claimed on all major search engines and online directories including Google My Business, Yahoo!, Bing, Foursquare, Yelp, yp.com, superpages.com, dexknows.com etc.
- Maps – The #1 use of voice search such as Siri is to find directions and phone numbers. It is essential that your location be easily found and mapped. Listing claiming will be helpful to making sure your location info is correct and integrated into the maps apps. However, take the extra step by verifying your information directly on Apple Maps & Google Maps.
- Signage - Rule number one in location based marketing is that signage & word of mouth are your most important forms of advertising. A simple search on Google Earth of the location might reveal little or no visible signage, or worse that a direct competitor nearby has 10X the signage. Consumers don’t always remember your exact name/location. Imagine spending valuable marketing dollars and driving customers to a rival who has more visible signage? In a recent real life example, we recommended not placing advertising and explained to a client that their advertising would likely benefit their competitor who had better “curb appeal”
- Customer Experience – Are your employees aware of the current marketing initiatives and ready to leverage them? Do they know the brand message being communicated to the marketplace and does their interaction with live customers echo that? Are they prepared to seamlessly discuss any special incentives or sales in place that customers see in advertising? You would be amazed at how often there is a disconnect here that stymies conversions!
Interested in other tactics to help your local marketing efforts achieve maximum velocity? Click here to get started.