One of the best things advertisers can do to raise the level of their direct response marketing is to employ localising search efforts. From manufacturer-dealer relationships, to franchise organisations to large companies with physical stores, local search gives advertisers the ability to provide searchers with the most current information and helps with effectively funnelling digital traffic to physical stores to make purchases, get support, or to pick up items.
Search advertising historically has had one main goal: to drive visitors to a website for making purchases online. However, the main reason for spending marketing money on PPC is evolving rapidly.
Mobile devices have proliferated, along with digitally connected individuals on the go. The new phone book is paid search. However, there is limited search real estate on mobiles devices. This makes it even harder to show up on the organic search first page results for non-brand, generic searches, which is an indication of potential new customers.
Localising search efforts for your organisation provides several benefits. Having customised messages for use in a specific market gives you the ability to communicate the right promotional information for a store. It can also result in innovative marketing techniques such as “offline flash sales” that are digitally communicated.
Paid search, more importantly, acts like an online detection system for digital marketers.
When specific market locations are performing well, PPC can be used to funnel prospective customers into the best store locations to capitalise on the physical location. On the flip side, markets that are under-performing can get supplemental advertising efforts that can help to improve the presence of a store.
Local franchisees can be provided support by national organisations through improving messaging to consumers and limiting the amount of wasted ad spending by local businesses without a lot of digital knowledge.
Manufacturers who directly work with dealers can use PPC campaigns to help bring in new prospects for their most important local partners. This helps to improve relationships and increases both organisation’s bottom lines.
Restaurants that have multiple locations will be able to reach users on-the-go and provide the most up-to-date and most local promotions at the best moments in the customer’s decision making process.
Local search, when there are the right analytics and structure in place, can be a very effective tool that advertisers use for capitalising on areas with the strongest business. It can also be used as a lever to supplement the marketing done in under-performing areas to improve sales and increase awareness.
You should organise your campaign structures based on how you are planning to allocate budgets and how the locations of your stores are segmented.
For example, metro level targeting can be used if you have several retail locations inside a particular market. On the other hand, if you just have one location for each market, you might have the ability to zero in on specific zip codes you are servicing.
To improve efficiencies, this should be applied across all markets. The profile system from Kenshoo is a great way for grouping multiple campaigns in groups based on location for localised optimisation. This allows for customised bidding strategies for each of your markets.
For organisations that have multiple locations offline, there is a tendency for promotions to be customised according to market competition. When local marketing tactics (print, radio, TV) are coordinated with search messaging, organisations are able to capitalise on the buzz that more traditional efforts generate.
Ask yourself, whenever possible, how you can effectively measure the KPI in reporting. Figure out if there is some way for attributing offline KPIs to search campaigns where you are spending locally. Tables and other data visualisation tools are a great way to visualise geographic data in a way that is friendly for users to make decisions.
In a mobile and digital landscape that is ever evolving, connecting with consumers on a customised local level is very important. Proper analytics and digital tracking gives paid search the means to be a very powerful tool that can be used by CMOs to impact the bottom line of brick and mortar stores.
Online search is the current consumer’s phone book. Brands who can provide the correct information at the right place and time will be the businesses that resonate the best with future customers.