New Digital Age & Control v Exposed (CvE) have spoken with leaders at brands including Boots, Made.com, RoC Skincare, A-Plan Insurance, Just Eat, Purplebricks, Not on the High Street, Piaggio Group, WW (formerly Weight Watchers UK), John Lewis, and The SkinnyFood Co to find out what the key factors are marketers need to look at when starting on a local campaign.
“With Covid, the need to know what’s open in your locality, what you can access right now, has become more important than ever,” Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer at Boots UK & Ireland.
The past year has changed the way that all brands, whatever their size, have had to conduct their business and interact with customers. In most cases, they have had to shift their focus more heavily toward the digital world – a shift already happening but accelerated by the pandemic. With physical stores closed for much of the past year and, in some cases, closed permanently, the transition has also highlighted the need for brands to find ways to reach consumers at a local level, without having as many opportunities through their in-store or out-of-home activities.
In the past, marketing has tended to be a little too nationally driven for major brands – with corporations choosing to find the most efficient and simple way of doing things, rather than bothering to venture down a potentially more effective route.
Taking an entirely national approach, however, can lead to the possibility of going ‘dark’ in places that could in fact be of value to your brand. And customers in these dark locations may have the potential, with a little nudge, to become high-value customers.
However, Covid has almost given brands permission to reassess the role that local marketing plays and more have begun to see the importance of connecting with consumers both through local and national campaigns. For John Lewis, this has meant “exploring ways that the business can make its already local campaigns even more localised and addressing the ways in which the retailer builds relationships”, according to Holly Heslop, Senior Marketing Director.
So, how do brands ensure that their local advertising is effective and not just a waste of time, resources, and money? “Though attention must be paid to reaching consumers at a more local level than ever before, there’s still a need for brands to make sure they keep a consistent and effective message right across their advertising says Tony Miller, Marketing Director at WW. “It’s about how you manage the local element while laddering back up to a national brand and messaging”
Piaggio’s Luca Messai adds “We used to have national marketing from our brand and then local marketing activities carried out by our network of dealers. The challenge for us was to merge our local network of dealers with our marketing strategy – bring them onboard. We had to integrate our system and train the dealers on how to operate with these new tools.”
In this report, we explore the best approaches to local marketing and what brands can do to make sure they’re not falling short when attempting to form closer relationships with consumers who are increasingly demanding more personalised and localised experiences, just without the intrusiveness.
We spoke to marketers from a variety of national and international brands about how they have reached their consumers on a local level both before and during the pandemic, and how they will continue to do so in the future. Their opinions and insights have helped to shape a special report on the subject which you can download here.