In my role as Chief Evangelist for Pica9, I encounter hundreds of companies every year that are intent on improving their brand-to-local support and execution. At industry conferences, roundtables, and in one-on-one consulting sessions, I've watched several common frustrations emerge, as brand managers can clearly see the path to success—but find themselves road-blocked along the way.
1. Leadership Doesn't Prioritize the Brand-to-Local Problem
Feeding leadership credible research on the importance of brand-to-local marketing.
Check out our Brand-to-Local Marketing Reading List. You'll find a list of brand-to-local research articles from respected sources like The Harvard Business Review.
Dramatize your organization's challenges by conducting interviews with a few of your largest local marketing partners.
According to MediaPost, for more than 61% of local marketing partners, local marketing support is one of their top priorities. They'll be able to tell you what they need, what your brand provides, and how large the gap is between the two. Make a habit of doing this annually, and track your results over time so you can assess progress.
All this really takes is a little bit of mystery shopping. Look for examples of off-brand executions in store. Sign up for communications at the local level and see how consistent brand delivery is in that channel. Examine your competitor's local store websites to see if they truly create a presence unique to the community. If your brand is falling behind, it will be clear—to you and to leadership both!
2. Resistance From Creative Teams Regarding Local Marketing
- Put the newspaper under their nose. Literally. If you've got an example in local print of off-brand executions, show it to your creative team and leverage the ensuing outrage to create some passion for preventing future "creative crimes." As with senior leadership, it can sometimes be that an anecdotal example is a lot more persuasive than realms of statistical data. So, find those off-brand executions and file them in your top desk drawer, so you can pull them out and light a fire whenever you need.
- Ask your local marketing vendor to install some templates for you. You'd be amazed how quickly your creative partners will recognize that template composition is a "need to have", once they see how powerful and flexible today's templating systems can be.
- Identify a member of your creative team who's eager to learn the art of template composition. When you find that intrepid teammate, make sure to put them in touch directly with the team on the vendor side of your brand-to-local platform. They will learn quickly and your vendor should be motivated to help them develop these skills.