After spending years developing a global presence, many companies are narrowing their focus and looking to better engage local consumers. While many businesses are happy with their ability to engage their broader target audiences, the majority also think they could do a better job when it comes to reaching regional prospects in a meaningful way.

According to a recent report from the CMO Council, upward of eight in 10 brands (86 percent) of national marketers plan to explore new ways to modify, create, adapt and localize their initiatives to better engage prospects on a local level. This highlights the increased importance that marketers have placed on relevance over the past few years, especially when only half (52 percent) of respondents are satisfied with their ability to engage regional prospects.

It isn’t unusual to see a significant gap in the local and global understanding of target audiences. After all, the people developing brands at the global level seldom deal with prospects on a regional level, that is the job of the regional branches. Because of this a local branch typically understands their audience better than high-level chief marketing officers.

Deploying Marketing Automation to Improve Prospects

Over the next few years, you’ll see many companies respond to this knowledge gap by deploying strategies such as distributed marketing automation platforms. The CMO Council report notes that 50 percent of marketing executives feel as if they are under-performing with their local marketing efforts, and a new strategy involving distributed marketing could be just the solution they need.

As of right now, however, few have made that jump. While 30 percent of respondents are using some type of local marketing automation, as many as 62 percent either don’t use them or are still in the process of evaluating how they could integrate these solutions into their operations.

According to the CMO Council report, brand marketers have a slew of improvements they want to make to their local marketing initiatives. First and foremost, they want to automate the development and delivery of local marketing materials and content. They also want to test localized marketing approaches and strategies. Finally, they are looking into new region-specific marketing channels to exploit. Marketing automation could prove to be a pivotal part of these improvement initiatives.

Considering the benefits that marketing automation can have on local promotional efforts, you can expect to see more brands making the jump to these solutions. Distributed marketing automation obviously allows companies to expedite the creation and execution of campaigns, which is a huge boost to any initiative. However, it can also be leveraged to give local branches and offices the ability to create their own content that is specifically relevant to regional customers, thereby improving engagement. Local marketing campaigns can be a challenge, but brands can use distributed marketing automation to overcome this problem.