We're currently collecting responses from local dealers, agents and franchisees about their marketing behaviors for this year’s State of Local Marketing Report -- an annual endeavor to learn more about distributed marketing. While we do the research, we’re also revisiting some findings from last year that weren't included in our final report. Still valuable insights, these findings "hit the cutting room floor," so we wanted to share them with you now before the next report publishes.
Measuring Agent, Dealer and Franchisee Marketing Helps Corporate Brand Marketers Plan Distributed Marketing
Marketers at all levels struggle to prove exactly which tactics provide a return on investment, so it was no surprise that only 20 percent of local affiliates surveyed for our State of Local Marketing track all their local marketing efforts. Of those who claim to track ROI at least some of the time, verbatim feedback showed that local affiliates often rely on informal metrics.
Data like estimated foot traffic and asking customers “how’d you hear about us?” should indicate to brand marketers that more formal measurement processes would not only benefit the local affiliate, but also give national brands better insight into local marketing performance. Consider the current state:
For those who said they can measure ROI "Always" or "Sometimes," we then asked to explain how they measure ROI. We got a mixed response of informal and sophisticated techniques. A word cloud from the 400+ text responses is below, but we've captured a representative sample here as well:
- "When we ask what brought them in and our team writes it down for every sale"
- "(Typically) within two weeks we should have a least closed 3-5 sales"
- "Our SEM (Search Engine Marketing) activity can be directly measured for effectiveness"
- "I look at what I spend and compare to products sold and profit earned."
- "Ask customers and prospects how they heard about us and track leads"
- "ROI varies based on recruiting sources."
Local Marketing Measurement is Key to Co-op and Shared Funding Programs
Brands offering co-op investments for local affiliates have even more to gain by enhancing local marketing measurement. But surprisingly, that is only done 17 percent of the time according to Gelanster's State of Co-op and MDF Report.
The complexity of measuring in a distributed marketing environment is one understandable obstacle, but it shouldn't keep national brand marketers from trying. Ultimately, improving the effectiveness of co-op and shared funding programs relies on having accurate information. For many brands, this means implementing metrics as part of their shared marketing funds or co-op marketing process at the tactical level. It means going beyond sales performance and rewarding the specific marketing programs that worked with an increase in co-op and channel incentives. This detailed level of measurement can be daunting -- and often impossible to implement immediately -- but a concentrated effort on measuring distributed marketing can enable a national brand to intelligently and efficiently use their co-op budgets.
We've asked a bit more about measuring ROI for this year's Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report, but if you're interested in more, check out the full report available for free here.
Is there a trick you use to measure distributed marketing efforts? Have you experienced these same challenges? Let us know in the comments below.