According to Forrester Consulting, an independent and objective research-based consultancy helping leaders succeed in their organizations, “marketers will embrace context as a way to create more effective brand relationships with customers and differentiate from competitors”. In light of this, local search marketing can be a key way for many firms to initiate contextual marketing programs.
In an evaluation of 13 marketing leaders who work for multi-location brands, Forrester found that although a local approach to search marketing is inherent to the nature of these leaders’ businesses, the approaches taken are, more often than not, incomplete or nonexistent.
At Wordplay, we can verify this statement as fact based on our 11 years of work in the local search marketing arena.
There are three key findings from the Forrester study:
- Local search efforts are limited today. Marketers in our study were not experts at local search marketing. They have limited local expertise, consensus around what local search is, and resources to help execute local programs.
- BUT, interviewees understand the importance of a local search strategy. Nearly every one of the 13 marketers spoken to realizes that local search is critical to their ability to stay connected with their customers.
- Those with a local search strategy realize benefits. The marketers we interviewed who have a local search strategy implemented reported various benefits, including improved brand awareness and lead quality.
At Wordplay, our experience leads us to mostly agree with Forrester’s findings.
- Most of the clients we work with lack expertise, knowledge of what local search is, and resources to get the job done. That is why smart brands choose companies like Wordplay to fill in the gap.
- Most of the clients we work with understand that a local search strategy may benefit them, only a handful realize that local search is critical. It could be a Midwest thing. Midwesterners tend to not be early adopters or at the forefront of technology.
- The companies who have a local search strategy developed by us DO realize tremendous benefit. One client generated $400,000 in 5 months. Another client realized 74 new patients over a one year period. We can pull success stories for days.
The moral of this story is if you don’t have a local search strategy you need to get one. Not everyone can go gung ho right out the gate although everyone must. There are 3 ways of going about a local search strategy.
- Be Aggressive. If your company has a large local presence and your audience uses mobile aggressively, then local is critical to your marketing effort. You should make local search a budget priority.
- Be Progressive. If your company has a large local presence OR an active mobile audience, you have a strong local search opportunity but don’t face an immediate demand from customers. Your focus should be to experiment with local search.
- Be Moderate. Local search still matters to companies with a small local presence and a semi active mobile audience. But you should spend your time and budget building a foundation for local search, rather than blindly executing local programs.
Wordplay Integrated Marketing Communications can help you decide whether you need to be aggressive, progressive, or moderate. Once your position is established you can then move forward and start benefiting from local search marketing.