4 Marketing Problems Multilocation Retail Brands Face ... And How to Solve Them
The questions that keep multilocation retail marketing executives up at night have evolved alongside the number of new technologies and marketing channels used to reach consumers. One of the biggest struggles is how to best execute highly targeted marketing campaigns to customers across hundreds or thousands of very unique communities where the brand’s retail locations exist. Across the multilocation franchise brands I’ve worked at, including 10 years at national retailer Batteries Plus Bulbs, it’s an issue our marketing teams and ad agencies grappled with.
In this article I’ll identify four marketing problems I believe all multilocation retail marketers face when building digital marketing campaigns, as well as how to go about solving them.
1. Single Big Budget Restraints
To get the biggest bang for their marketing buck, most retail brands build national digital marketing campaigns that are geo-targeted to local markets around their retail stores. Broad programmatic optimizations guide the spend, eventually steering most, if not all, dollars towards geographies that generate the most clicks, conversions, or other key performance indicators (KPIs). While good for some retail locations, the problem is all retail locations in a system won’t benefit equally. In retail, there are also scenarios where individual store budget flexibility is needed, but it’s only beneficial when the brand’s national buying power can be leveraged. One example is when higher performing retail stores in a system need to have larger local marketing budgets commensurate with their revenue. Similarly, corporate may want to infuse additional advertising dollars into individual poor-performing retail stores to boost sales. Setting up individual local budgets reflecting prioritization by market or media spend objectives is critical to local retail market success.
2. Failing to Leverage Local Market Knowledge
Corporate marketing teams have limited, if any, knowledge of the local communities where they’re running ads. Maybe they visited some markets once or did some brief research online, but they don’t live there. They don’t interact daily with the local customers their retail locations serve. Therefore, it’s impossible to truly understand the specific needs and preferences of customers from afar. Or is it? Leveraging the community knowledge and expertise of local retail store managers who know their local customers, what products sell the most, the best price points, and current product inventory levels could be a game changer. The problem is most corporate marketing teams never seek their input.
3. Lack of Individual Location Reports
When you build national campaigns geo-targeted around retail locations, the inability to see the performance of individual stores is problematic. Broad programmatic optimizations aren’t ideal to maximize the impact of marketing budget at all retail locations. To help guide optimization and additional funding at the individual store level — and drive sales at a specific store — you need reports per location.
4. Executing Multichannel Campaigns on Multiple Platforms
In today’s marketing world, it’s a must for retail businesses to engage their customers across display, mobile, video, email and social channels using multiple touchpoints. However, with so many platforms providing access to digital audiences, problems arise. Hyperlocal audiences become fragmented, data can become siloed, a multitude of platforms means a multitude of logins to remember, and trying to market with local budgets in all necessary channels can be a non-starter with minimum budget threshold requirements.
The Solution: Multilocation Retail Marketing Automation SaaS Platforms
For a hyperlocal digital marketing program to be feasible cost-wise and operationally to remedy the four problems above, it needs to be powered by technology. The most successful retail franchises and multilocation brands are now utilizing sophisticated, enterprise multilocation software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketing automation platform solutions to bring big-brand capabilities to their individual retail locations in a unified way. Retail corporate marketing teams need the ability to customize, analyze and optimize hundreds and thousands of individual local campaigns with ease. They can now leverage the spending power of the national brand and use one marketing automation platform to help all retail locations benefit from cutting-edge marketing technology both simply and cost effectively.
Most importantly, providing a more personalized, relevant experience will help retail locations build relationships and brand loyalty with their local customers. What was once a distant dream for many brands and retail marketers has now become a reality. Every retail location can be more successful while helping build the brand from the community up.
Jeffrey Lentz is president and CEO of Elevated Franchise Marketing, which provides consulting and marketing services to franchisees, franchisors, and franchise suppliers.
Jeffrey Lentz is President & CEO of Elevated Franchise Marketing, which provides consulting and marketing services to franchisees, franchisors, and franchise suppliers. A franchise marketing executive, consultant, and business owner with 20 years of experience across retail, quick-service restaurant, fintech and automotive industries, he has held marketing leadership roles across five franchise organizations with a focus on franchise development, consumer, b2b, product, field, CRM, and local store marketing. During his 10 years at national retailer Batteries Plus Bulbs, he led franchise development marketing efforts over a period of rapid growth that saw the company open 250 retail stores in 5 years while also managing marketing vendor programs. He has made multiple appearances on national TV show Fox & Friends and is a contributor to industry trade publications and media outlets. He holds a B.A. Degree in Communications and Marketing from Marquette University. Connect with him on LinkedIn.