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Study Shows Consolidating Technology Platforms Increases Localized Marketing Success of Multi-Location Businesses

70% of multi-location marketers show increased performance from consolidation

Today, SOCi, the leading all-in-one platform for “next-level” multi-location marketers, released a new commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting outlining the critical importance a localized marketing strategy has on the success and health of a multi-location business, and the best practices that multi-location marketers have implemented to increase their success.

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“Multi-location marketers looking to achieve localized marketing success won’t find it by continuing to piece together partial solutions – too many disparate workflows and a lack of unified data and insights”

The study, titled “The Localized Marketing Imperative: Why Multilocation Marketers Must Harness Their Localized Presence to Compete in a New Marketplace”, found that while 60% of marketers agree that what customers see on local search, review, and social sites has a direct impact on their customers’ decisions to visit a store and make a purchase, most marketers’ localized marketing ambitions are stifled by significant obstacles – namely, insufficient resources, disjointed toolsets, and a lack of location-specific insights.

For many multi-location marketers, executing on a localized marketing strategy across all locations has been a challenging endeavor more critical to the health and survival of these businesses than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to cause unprecedented operational disruption for many multi-location businesses, has made developing local marketing competence a critical priority. In fact, 61% of marketers surveyed in the study stated that improving marketing effectiveness at the local store level is a high or critical priority over the next year.

Not surprisingly, the study found that companies adept at delivering fast and ongoing communication about operations specific to each of their locations are better positioned to flex in today’s new and shifting landscape. They’re also more likely to develop trusted local customer relationships, which are vital not only for driving local engagement, traffic and sales, but also for shaping the national brand and informing product and service design for emerging customer needs.

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According to the study, one of the main sources of frustration and lack of performance is in the fragmentation of the technology tools being utilized. Many firms are stringing together multiple point solutions into a disjointed toolset that makes it difficult to ensure seamless coordination across local and corporate teams. The study shows that one quarter (25%) struggles specifically with overseeing the brand’s overall localized marketing efforts while providing individual locations with the ability to participate and be engaged where needed. The study’s findings also uncovered that localized marketing success is attainable by leveraging the right governance processes and tools.

While clear governance and coordination of localized marketing activities across locations and sites seemed challenging for most marketers, 71% of those who leveraged a technology solution that could aggregate and manage all marketing needs across locations and sites reported a positive impact on their localized marketing efforts as a result.

“Multi-location marketers looking to achieve localized marketing success won’t find it by continuing to piece together partial solutions – too many disparate workflows and a lack of unified data and insights,” said Monica Ho, SOCi’s Chief Marketing Officer. “What they need is an easy-to-use, centralized platform that aggregates everything into a single login. This unified approach can significantly lower the barriers to scale many have historically struggled with when it comes to executing a localized marketing strategy.”

More findings from the survey of more than 150 multi-location marketers across a number of industries in the US, including retail, entertainment, hospitality, and restaurant, include:

  • 61% of multi-location marketers say that a localized strategy is a largely untapped opportunity for their business.
  • Marketing leaders associate an optimized localized marketing strategy with greater brand alignment (38%), increased foot traffic (34%), improved marketing efficiencies at the local level (34%), and better brand trust on a local level (34%).
  • Only 40% of multi-location businesses have defined localized responsibilities for local and national teams, despite 75% of marketers believing doing so would significantly impact abilities and results.
  • 65% of marketers agreed that having one technology solution that could manage all of their localized marketing needs would meaningfully improve their ability to achieve their marketing goals.

Additionally, and further emphasizing the importance and growth of the localized marketing space, SOCi has been honored by Inc. Magazine as one of the 1,000 fastest-growing companies in America for the third consecutive year, landing at #964. The company also made the 2019 and 2018 lists for stellar revenue growth as the demand for localized marketing solutions continues to surge. In April, the company was also included on the inaugural list The FT Americas’ Fastest Growing Companies, ranking #82 out of the “500 companies in the Americas that have achieved the highest growth in revenues between 2015 and 2018.”

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