brandmuscle-at-hyperlocal-marketing-conferenceJenn DePiero from our digital marketing team debriefs an industry conference of media companies and tech providers in the hyperlocal marketing space.

Late last month, I was one of three Brandmusclers who attended the 2016 Street Fight Summit in New York City. In its sixth year, the conference celebrates success and innovation in hyperlocal and location-based marketing by featuring some of the technology and media companies in the space including Google, Lyft, The Weather Company, Foursquare and more. Throughout the day, we listened to several presentations about what’s new in the local marketing space and confirmed many of the approaches Brandmuscle takes with our clients every day.

As more tech providers and media companies approach national brands about the importance of marketing at the hyperlocal level, we watch closely to determine how various approaches (and potential partners) might benefit our clients. Below is a recap of our favorite sessions and the main takeaways from each one to help you stay on top of the latest in local and hyperlocal. Enjoy!

How Google approaches the challenges of creating and accepting change

Tim Reis (Director, Performance Agencies, Google)
“Creative Destruction: Embracing Change to Thrive”

  1. In general, people resist friction and will not tolerate it. For example, if a user experiences too long of load time on your app, they will go elsewhere where there is less friction. People want things quick and easy—more so now than ever before. As local marketing leaders and technologists, we (and Google) are in the business of removing friction. What frictions are we able to remove? This is where we should focus our attention.
  2. Most people perceive change as linear but it is really exponential. Change breeds more change. In order to make room for something new, we must not be afraid to be disruptors while changing the game. Find that Achilles heel in your industry and go for it!
  3. You must allow people to fail; but to fail well. For example, be open to trying local paid search but always be testing new tactics if your first go at it does not perform. ABT (Always Be Testing) is a mantra our team has inherited as a Google Premier Partner—try it!

Where are SMBs focusing their hyperlocal marketing efforts?

David Card (Research Director, Street Fight)
“The State of Hyperlocal”

Editor’s Note: Street Fight’s research looks to answer a similar question to Brandmuscle’s State of Local Marketing Report from a different angle. It interviewed 80 industry executives of agencies, tech, publishers and data companies. Brandmuscle’s research draws from more than 2,000 local affiliates as well as in-depth input from corporate-side local marketing leaders.

  1. According to Street Fight research, three major areas of interest and focus for local media spending are: social marketing, mobile marketing and local websites. Social continues to outpace mobile spend and geo-targeting is two-times (2x) as popular this year compared to 2015.
  2. One of the largest challenges for the local marketing industry continues to be online–to-offline attribution, or click-to-brick metrics, such as measuring in store conversions and behaviors that initiated online. As technology evolves, this gap continues to close. Marketers are getting smarter and the ideal goal of closed loop attribution is attainable in the right circumstances.
  3. According to Street Fight, the four tactics that local media executives think are most effective include: social media, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), email marketing and review sites.

Download Street Fight’s State of Hyperlocal here.

Download Brandmuscle’s State of Local Marketing Report here.

The evolution of technology and marketing

Nada Stirratt (CEO, Verve Mobile)
“One on One”

  • Data continues to move out of the hands of IT and into the hands of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). We are beginning to see the value this data has and how it can help drive local marketing decisions—including personalization.
  • It is imperative to understand the significant role that advertising creative plays in a local marketing campaign’s success. Ideally, all creative needs to take into account a person’s mindset in a specific moment. Creative engagement helps to build a brand relationship at the personal level—scaling that localization and personalization is the inherent challenge.

How national brands are prioritizing the need for hyper local marketing

Panel Discussion
“How National Brands Localize their Messaging,” a discussion about the importance of personalized and timely creative

  • Corporate and local marketing goals are different. As corporate brand marketers, we need to consider the needs of agents but never lose sight of the end consumer. Corporate’s goal is to build broad awareness of its product/service, while agents need to sell the brand.
  • National brands are comfortable, if not too comfortable, with traditional marketing tactics since they have seen success. While social and digital may be scary to these brands, they must evolve in order to succeed at the local level. Scaling social and digital is key.
  • Dynamic and programmatic creative materials are the way of the future. Creative needs to be relevant on many different levels including personalization, location, messaging, etc. If you’re not using dynamic local marketing content, start to. If you are, take it a step further by introducing personalized or timely elements to your templates.

 

The Street Fight Summit reaffirmed our stance that local marketing is essential for brands to be successful and showed us how media companies and potential tech partners are keeping pace. As the local marketing industry continues to evolve, Brandmuscle will continue to function as a leader in this space and examine other players in the industry to help our clients innovate and develop new ways of reaching their customers at the local and hyperlocal levels.

What do you think? Must national brands embrace hyperlocal marketing to see real success? Is your brand positioned to take advantage of this new wave of local marketing technology? Let us know in the comments below.