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The past six months have taken businesses and consumers in a direction we will never forget. Franchises have had to go through a lot of changes in order to adjust to the ever-changing circumstances this pandemic has caused.  

Does your franchise have the necessary tools it needs to focus on localized marketing tactics that have the biggest impact on your business? Research found in Forrester’s new study, The Localized Marketing Imperative, reveals that a localized digital presence is now critical to compete in today’s marketplace. 

Throughout this blog, we’ll take you through the key findings of the study, and provide tangible examples of how you can use the data to improve your business’s localized marketing efforts. The study found that decision-makers appreciate localized marketing’s value, but few have realized its full potential. 

Obstacles that Stifle Localized Marketing Ambitions

There are a lot of obstacles that can prevent franchises from getting their localized marketing efforts up to standard, or beyond. If you’re aware of the obstacles that your business could face when it comes to localized marketing, the more likely you are to be able to overcome them. 

  • Some of the most common obstacles multi-location marketers encounter include: A lack of location-specific insightDifficulty balancing local and national needs Organizational silosInsufficient resources to scale localized marketing
  • If your franchise business is facing any of these struggles, you’re not the only one.  If you are recognizing and aware of the areas that need to be improved, you are already headed in the right direction. In fact, data from the study found that improving marketing effectiveness at the local store level is a high or critical priority for 61 percent of multi-location leaders over the next 12 months. 

How to Attain Success Through Localized Marketing 

While there isn’t a one size fits all outline for achieving success, data from the study found that there were specific tactics that helped improve localized marketing for multi-location marketers across the board. The survey asked respondents what actions they could take to improve their localized marketing efforts, and the single most impactful tactic listed was to clearly define localized marketing responsibilities for corporate/national and local teams. 

To achieve organization at both the corporate and local level, multi-location businesses must choose from three different organizational models outlined in the study: 

  1. Primarily centralized: In this model, corporate marketing owns all or most of both local and national marketing including the planning, creation, execution, measurement, and optimization efforts. 
  2. Primarily decentralized: In this model, individual locations own all or most of the local marketing strategy. While this approach is likely to result in a strong local presence, there is a greater chance for misalignment with the corporate marketing strategy and overarching business goals.
  3. Hybrid: The hybrid model is as you would expect, a combination of the two mentioned above. It requires seamless coordination and sharing across corporate and local owners made possible with the right technology. Respondents agree: The hybrid model is ideal for optimizing local content while preserving company-wide consistency.

Is your franchise business currently utilizing the hybrid model, or are you leaning more towards the centralized or decentralized model? It is worth taking an in-depth look at how the hybrid model could further propel your localized marketing strategy to the next level. 

How Comprehensive Technology Platforms Can Help

If your franchise business is not yet using the hybrid model mentioned above, it’s time to consider a comprehensive technology platform for your marketing efforts. Technology platforms have proven to be effective when it comes to localized marketing. In fact, 71percent of those who have a solution that can aggregate and manage all localized content across locations and sites report a positive impact on their localized marketing efforts as a result. 

When asking respondents what mattered most when looking for a comprehensive technology platform, the following areas were mentioned most frequently: 

  • Set and manage service-level agreements (SLAs) around response times and post frequency.
  • Claim and manage local (non-owned) search pages.
  • Measure local marketing effectiveness.

While these capabilities are useful in their own right, their value is enhanced when they live under the hood of one solution. This is something to keep in mind when your franchise business begins to look for a platform if you are not utilizing one already. 

How to Get Started Improving Your Localized Marketing Strategy 

Now that you are all caught up with the everyday struggles of localized marketing and how to overcome them, it is time to put what you learn into gear. Having a resilient localized marketing strategy will improve your franchise and your customer experience. It is time to accelerate localized marketing success, and that starts here. 

For more information on the importance of localized marketing and how it can take your franchise business to the next level, download the full study today. If you’re looking for ways to improve your localized marketing efforts, SOCi is here to help! SOCi is the central command for multi-location marketers and the all-in-one platform for your localized marketing needs. Request a demo today, and get additional insight into how SOCi can boost your franchise’s localized marketing strategy!