National Marketers Looking to Localize Their Efforts Finds CMO Council Study

PALO ALTO, CA—Oct. 31, 2011—Localized marketing is becoming a critical area of strategic focus and competitive advantage for brands, reports the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. Just 12 percent of marketers believe they have highly evolved campaigns and analytics on a local level, in contrast to nearly 50 percent who see themselves as underperforming or needing new strategic thinking and capability development in local marketing.

In its latest detailed study—“Localize to Optimize Sales Channel Effectiveness”—the CMO Council reveals 86 percent of national marketers surveyed intend to look for ways to better modify, adapt and localize their marketing content, messaging and prospect engagement practices. Findings from the online survey of 300-plus members across all leading industry sectors indicate traditional print and broadcast/cable media are losing ground to more targeted, personalized, interactive and measurable forms of local engagement across diverse audiences and communities.

The most preferred channels for localized marketing are experiential events, direct mail, localized websites, social networks, electronic messaging, and interactive digital signage. These were far more popular selections than cable and broadcast television, radio, local magazines, and even daily and weekly newspapers. Surprisingly, the Yellow Pages (online and offline) and local online deal delivery networks, such as Groupon and LivingSocial, lagged behind all channels of localized marketing choice for national brands.

The CMO Council notes that local marketing automation platforms and solutions are enabling national or regional marketers to produce, package, distribute and digitally repurpose multiple versions of content, collateral, advertising, direct mail, promotional and in-store merchandising materials very cost-efficiently and effectively. It is enabling them to truly localize and customize campaigns by community to accommodate factors such as climate, geography, ethnic composition, demographics, shopper-graphics, psychographics, politics, breaking news, and even neuro-sensory influences.

“Localization is the name of the game for national brands with significant field, channel, or network marketing organizations,” states Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “The CtoB mindset of today’s market requires brands to move to digital platforms that allow them to customize messages or images, improve brand governance and deliver multi-lingual, multi-cultural campaign executions to diverse audiences that can vary by household, street, neighborhood, postal code, community or county line.”