For multi-location businesses—from franchises to retail chains to banks and healthcare organizations with branches across the country—marketing requires a two-pronged approach: both national campaigns and localized initiatives designed to capture the attention of customers in different geographic markets.
The local marketing initiatives add an extra challenge for both national marketing leaders who don’t have the time or resources to manage every local market and local leaders who may not be (or want to be) marketing experts, themselves.
At OneTouchPoint, we’re sensitive to these challenges, and alongside the local marketing support we offer our clients, we’ve shared several resources to help brands learn how they can streamline these processes and ease the burden of local outreach. (Try this one, this one, and this one, for starters.)
Here, we’re sharing three strategies brand leaders can adopt to empower local marketers to more effectively reach their unique groups of customers through localized outreach designed with their specific needs in mind.
Make Multichannel Marketing Easy for Franchisees
One of the most important steps national marketing leaders can take in enhancing local marketing is empowering local reps—who are often franchisees or local retail managers rather than true marketing experts—to create and deliver effective marketing campaigns. These local leaders were often selected for their general business acumen and not necessarily their marketing expertise, and that’s okay. Still, though, national marketing leaders don’t have the bandwidth to handle local campaigns themselves, so it’s critical to establish the support systems and processes they need function as the local CMOs even if they’re not.
Here’s a look at what these systems and processes might include:
- Centralized digital asset management: When local marketers have easy access to the latest materials, corporate brand leaders no longer have to manage constant requests for up-to-date files, and there’s no more risk of local leaders publishing outdated messaging or jeopardizing brand integrity with DIY collateral.
- Customizable templates and modular content: When local marketers need to update collateral for their own audiences modular content enables them to do so easily and quickly, ensuring key corporate-approved messaging and design remains intact.
- Automated approval workflows: When local collateral needs a sign-off from the higher-ups, lengthy approval processes can cause serious logjams. An automated system (integrated into the asset manager) makes it much more efficient.
- Easy access to self-service print ordering: Asking local reps to source vendors and manage orders only adds to their already full plates and prohibits corporate leaders from controlling cost and quality. Providing access to the preferred vendor, however, makes it easy for reps to order what they need and assures national leaders that both brand standards and budgets are intact.
At OneTouchPoint, we pride ourselves on offering a suite of end-to-end services that make omnichannel marketing a breeze for busy franchisors and local brand managers. From digital asset management and modular content to automated sprawling, high-quality printing and distribution offerings. All of these together make through-channel marketing a breeze—and equip every local brand rep to function as a CMO.
Allow Customized Messaging for Every Market
When a business has a presence all over the country, marketers have to keep in mind that the messaging that works for one market may not work for another, so national messaging has to be adaptable at the local level, for a couple different reasons:
Shifting Customer Personas
We know the foundation of any branding efforts is knowing your audience. Who they are, what their biggest challenges are, and how your products and services make their lives easier, for starters. To establish this, most brand leaders create customer personas to focus their messaging and communication efforts. As you do this, it’s important to keep one caveat in mind: customer personas must be adaptable at the local level.
Customers in Texas have different interests and priorities than customers in California, and customers in California have different values and concerns than customers in New York. So, suppose one of your customer personas is “Go-Getter Greg.” He may exist—and love your offerings—in every market your brand serves, but your brand leaders are likely going to have to communicate a little differently with that same “archetype” to connect with his unique attitudes in each market.
Differing Regional Requirements
For many industries, local marketing has to adapt to state- and city-level regulations. For example, alcohol and beverage marketers have to keep in mind that the rules for alcohol sales and promotions vary from state to state. Other local differences are less regulated but equally important—product specials may also vary from state to state, and so might the extent of virtual offerings lingering after the pandemic shutdowns. Certainly, local contact information and store hours will vary.
Because of the need for adjusted messaging from market to market, national leaders must devise strategies—like digital asset management and modular content—to enable local leaders to quickly and easily customize materials for their own audiences without undermining core corporate branding. And with systems in place, corporate marketing teams can place automated controls to ensure legal compliance – and brand standards – are in place, and kept.
Market to Attract Employees as Well as Customers
When we think of marketing, reaching potential and existing customers is, naturally, the first goal that comes to mind. However, marketing in today’s job climate isn’t just about attracting customers—it’s very much about attracting staff as well. In this employee-centric job market, the standard job postings are no longer enough to attract top talent. Rather, smart companies are working to build “employee branding” highlighting the company culture and intangible benefits of signing on. They’re also following a similar funnel for recruits as they do for customers, building awareness through multichannel outreach so that, by the time that job posting comes along, the prospective employee is already familiar with the brand and eager to come aboard.
Marketing to employees at the local level involves the same challenges and priorities as marketing to customers, including customizing communication to resonate in local markets (without straying from corporate-approved messaging) and designing and implementing the multichannel campaigns that enable local marketers to reach their ideal team members across a variety of channels. Yes, this additional marketing goal is yet another plate to spin, but with the right customer-focused systems and processes in place, recruitment-oriented marketing can be a breeze.
Let OneTouchPoint Support Your Local Marketing Efforts
Implementing all of these strategies in order to build and implement robust local marketing initiatives may sound like a tall order, but you don’t have to do it alone. The right through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) platform is the perfect partner to centralize and automate local marketing efforts. At OneTouchPoint, our U.Connect platform provides our partners with a centralized marketing hub and full-service support that empowers brand reps at every level to create and launch powerful marketing campaigns that build brand awareness and drive growth at every turn. Browse our website to learn more, and when you’re ready, contact us to discover whether OneTouchPoint is the right marketing execution partner for your organization.