A recent study commissioned by Balihoo of 384 brand marketing executives in North America has shown how national brands will be prioritising their local marketing in 2013 with Digital tactics playing an increasingly important role.
“Balihoo’s survey results are in line with other industry research showing the growing importance of local marketing for national brands,” said Pete Gombert, Balihoo’s CEO. But why is this?
One answer could be that the emergence of tools such as Google + Local means that local customers are now more inclined to leave reviews, search for local alternatives and expect more from a business they intend to spend their money with.
The strength of the Internet and Social Media now means that Local Marketing has gone global. A customer with a national base, for example a law firm with sites in several different cities, has good reason to focus their marketing in each local area as customers from Manchester will want to know what other Manchester customers think, not necessarily what a customers in Bristol found. Likewise, a bad review in one area could damage a reputation nationally and businesses need to be aware of how to best manage this.
With 91% of the businesses surveyed expecting to spend the same or more on local marketing in 2013 as they did in 2012, local reputation, localised blogs and mobile sites are only going to become more relevant.
In fact, the top three areas earmarked for additional spending in 2013 were
- Local Blogs,
- Online Customer Reviews.
*Images via Balihoo Research Micro Study: National Brand Use of Digital in Local Marketing
Interestingly, these are also the only three areas where 2013 spend is predicted to be higher than 2012 spending.
So where does this heightened interest in Local Marketing leave the existing Digital Marketing spend? Perhaps only time will tell, but companies that expect to spend more on local marketing in 2013, are currently using less digital tactics than ones not planning to spend more, and two of the biggest spending drops predicted for 2013 are Facebook and other Social Media sites.
At the moment, it has been the businesses with the largest turnovers that have placed the highest importance on Digital Marketing, perhaps because they have the biggest budgets to invest in what has been seen as emerging technology. This may all be set to change, as less than 5% of businesses ranking Digital Marketing as “Pointless” or “Unimportant” to their National Marketing success.
One thing that is usually certain though, where big businesses spend successfully, smaller businesses are generally quick to follow so it seems that 2013 will be the year of Digital Local Marketing!
Do you think 2013 will be the year of Digital Local Marketing? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.