When it comes to digital marketing, local companies need to break out of their comfort zone. Passive banner ads and billboards aren’t going to get customers, especially the younger demographic, stirred up and engaged.
“Not a lot of local brands are really willing to roll with what’s going to be relevant and disruptive enough on the Internet,” says CMO Steve Brauntuch at Misfits Gaming. “The smaller the company, the harder it is for them to give up creative control. They’d rather repurpose existing traditional creative assets digitally.”
Misfits Gaming is a global esports and entertainment company with teams that play in local markets. Brauntuch works with local sponsors to build excitement among fans 14-to-30 years old. This fan base will skip digital ads if they’re not creative and interactive, Brauntuch says.
To be fair, many local companies feel overwhelmed by digital marketing, especially over social media. Trying to stand out in a noisy digital world full of great creatives and state-of-the-art analytics, automation and targeting tools is cause for trepidation.
“It’s daunting for local brands facing mass communication possibilities, competing with the likes of Nike and Red Bull, and wanting to reach a tiny fraction of 1,000 people in their specific region,” Brauntuch says. “So they’re coming to us to help them be hyper-relevant, and we know how to get engagement—video views, shares, likes, comments, retweets.”
In traditional marketing, brands controlled the messaging and owned the conversation. This isn’t the case with digital marketing. Brands should be treating customers as peers, encouraging discourse and idea exchange, and accepting negative responses. Local companies need to understand this before wading into digital marketing’s wild waters.
“What it comes down to is, do you want to be relevant to this audience or not?” Brauntuch says. “I respect the ones that don’t want to do digital marketing, but eventually they’ll come around and get on board. Digital isn’t going anywhere.”
“Not a lot of local brands are really willing to roll with what’s going to be relevant and disruptive enough on the Internet.”
Steve Brauntuch, CMO, Misfits Gaming
Access more insights in the CMO Council Report: National Brands Kickstart Local Demand
We surveyed over 140 marketing leaders and conducted in-depth interviews with executives at SHARP Home Appliances, Caterpillar, Gap, Invesco, Nationwide, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, KloudGin and MisfitsGaming to reveal best practices for your channel marketing strategy.