According to a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer Council, “Brand Automation for Local Activation,” in partnership with Balihoo, only 8% of the 296 brand marketers surveyed were extremely satisfied with the way new product, pricing or promotional campaigns are executed and leveraged by local field sales, reseller, franchise or partner networks. 52% of marketers believe comprehensive brand campaign automation is necessary to strengthen ties between the head office and local customer-facing resources and touchpoints.
While 59% of national marketers say that local demand generation is essential to their business growth, only 7% feel they have highly evolved campaigns and measures in place that can activate consumers at a local level. Marketers are relying on in-house teams to manage, monitor and measure local marketing campaigns across all traditional and digital channels and have amassed a complex mix of individual point solutions that automate a variety of tasks but do little to streamline the entire process.
Over-reliance on resources managing a diversified and disconnected marketing mix has created a localization gap that sees local roll-outs of campaigns in days, if not months, after national launches.
And of the digital and social resources being leveraged, few are truly local, as the majority of marketers are leveraging national corporate websites and social media outlets across their local markets. Only 9% of marketers believe mobile will be critical to further local connections, and only 12% see mobile as a successful advertising channel, while 33% are still investigating the opportunity.
Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council, concludes that “... marketing continues to struggle with how to power local marketing effectiveness... not enough focus on cloud-based platforms to bring process, discipline and timeliness to local market provisioning... “
While 30% of marketers execute local campaigns within eight to 20 days of a national launch, 31% require in excess of 30 days to distribute local marketing materials. Nearly one-third of marketers believe this delay is a direct correlation to a lack of resources and bandwidth to tackle both global/national and local campaigns. 88% of respondents who have executed local and national campaigns simultaneously believe this has given their brand a competitive advantage.
“... according to the U.S. State Department, American businesses lose $50 billion annually in potential sales because of problems with localization... “ Neale-May explained.
Marketers intend to automate the local marketing process to better connect with their sales networks and deliver updated content in a more immediate and measurable fashion. Until now, automation has largely been at the point-solution level, creating an overload of measurement dashboards and reports, says the report.
Pete Gombert, CEO of Balihoo, says “... challenges facing local marketing are easy to misdiagnose... many organizations load up on point solutions or bring on new engagement channels... like mobile or social... without having the right infrastructure to monitor and manage... ”
For additional information from the CMO Council, please visit here.