Working with dozens of multi-location brands and thousands of franchisees here at Goodway Group, we routinely encounter the same three questions regardless of brand.
“How can I deliver media that’s customized to the market but doesn’t take more time and resources than I get in performance improvement?”
“How can I get our corporate marketers to better understand the uniqueness of my local market to deliver better marketing plans?”
“How can I find scale in digital media that’s still hitting my target audience?”
To get corporate marketers, franchisees and regional managers on the same page and aligned, our president Jay Friedman suggests you do this: Pay attention to your individual markets, get a wider view of your customer, know who your customers are and aren’t and automate for results.
Pay attention to your individual markets.
Marketing automation platforms, account-based management platforms (ABMs) and demand-side platforms (DSPs) all perform well, but which is best?
Jay gets asked this all the time. His answer? The tool you use isn’t the differentiator. It’s the people and thinking behind the tool that matter.
With multi-location brands and businesses, this is even more vital. Running a homogenous national campaign for a multi-location brand, of course, takes the least effort, but this won’t generate optimal results. To get those, you really need someone who has the right knowledge and expertise preparing and managing your campaign, especially since each market – and often submarket – needs to be carefully analyzed, set up, and optimized differently.
Get a wider view of your customer.
Working with only average customer personas can limit your success. You can forget edge cases are often the bulk of what makes up a customer base. This can lead to overtargeting, which can eliminate valuable users from your targeting and limit campaign scale.
For instance, say a brand places a conversion tag on a multi-location restaurant’s website order confirmation page and app to discover if its ads are generating conversions on its website. Nationally or globally, the brand sees a blended view of its average customer in aggregate. When it matches back to its platform data, it sees its average consumer has two children, eight devices per household, at least two streaming service subscriptions and so on. But is this accurate? “Likely not,” Jay says. “It’s the “myth of average.”
To avoid falling victim to it, Jay says it’s important to gauge the likelihood that certain characteristics are present among your customers and prospects and see how these characteristics differ from market to market and even submarket to submarket – because they can a lot.
For instance, Austin, Texas, and San Antonio, Texas, are less than an hour’s drive from each other yet are different demographically. San Antonio has a median household income of $49,024 versus Austin’s $71,543. Shopping habits and media consumption in these two markets likely differ too: Customers may drive different cars, subscribe to different streaming services and so on.
When you’re a multi-location brand, drilling down further and learning how to customize your digital advertising efforts by a geographic area, market or submarket can help you achieve a more effective campaign and better results.
Know who your customers are and aren’t.
Sure, you know who your customers are, but do you know who aren’t? This is just as important, especially if you don’t want to sink valuable time and money into nurturing seemingly good leads that are bad. Jay says it’s this degree of difference between customers and non-customers that has the greatest impact.
For example, Jay says a brand may discover that many of its Texas customers drive a Chevy Silverado. But a lot of people drive Chevy Silverados who aren’t customers, too. It’s simply a popular truck in Texas! You need to determine if this one specific characteristic is important. In a given market, if 7% of your customers drive a certain car but only 0.8% of the broader population does, this could be significant. Luckily, you don’t have to guess or go with your gut. With digital media, we can look at both behavioral data and technographic data (browser, site, time of day, and so on) to identify your most statistically significant variables.
Automate for results.
Understanding your audience, customizing media plans and personalizing advertising for 210 different designated market areas in the U.S. is challenging enough, let alone customizing by submarket, which can be grueling work, even if it makes sense. Doing this manually for 1,000 locations and their respective areas just isn’t realistic or viable. Labor costs will cancel out performance benefits. That’s why the smartest marketers and their agencies today are finding success automating this process.
Great marketing is becoming more technical and scientific every day, and creating and using algorithms to automate and guide your success can set you apart. Most agencies today are doing this or are working with a partner who can, and it’s fair to expect this from your agency or in-house team so your dollars are spent well. Jay’s advice? To achieve great results and become a leader alongside your national and global brand peers, embrace automation wholeheartedly and spend significantly more time measuring and replanning than anything else.
Multi-location brands can struggle with how to reach customers across different regions. But through thoughtful campaign setup and smart decisions with hyperlocal campaign optimizations, it’s possible to reach these customers through customized targeting at scale – that doesn’t drain your resources.
Need hyperlocal audience design, targeting and ad delivery for all your individual locations? Reach out to us today for a custom recommendation. See how our award-winning tech, expertise and optimizations in action can propel your multi-location campaign performance more cost-effectively and efficiently so you can do more with less and accomplish goals faster.