Where Marketers Plan To Spend Local Budgets In 2021

Nearly one-third of respondents to a recent survey said they spend moderately on local marketing -- between $250 and $500 per month. About 28.6% said they spend more than $1,000 monthly, and 22.1% said they spend between $500 and $1,000 per month.

A Location3 survey of more than 200 franchisees and local business owners focused on gaining insight into the marketing focus in 2021 for retail, healthcare, financial services, real estate, restaurants and quick-service restaurants (QSRs), among others.

The biggest challenge cited by local businesses is needing to know that the money they spend on digital advertising is working to drive revenue for their businesses. About 37.7% said they are not confident that their local marketing is working, and 19.6% said they need guidance on how to best spend their budget.

Most business owners understand the value of budgeting for local advertising and marketing. Among the respondents, 87% have allocated funds for their local efforts, according to data released Friday, and of those, 49.2% plan to keep a budget for 2021 that is similar to the budget they had in 2020, while 38.7% plan to increase their budget for this year.



The data aims to better understand how local marketing budgets have shifted, which channels have been most effective, and what franchisees anticipate in the coming months as they seek to maximize marketing ROI and local revenue.

When asked where marketers plan to spend their local marketing budgets, digital ads on Google, Facebook, Yelp and others took priority. Not surprisingly, 92% owners of businesses surveyed plan to invest in digital marketing this year.  

Some franchisees demonstrated plans to reengage the general public through events and in-store promotions as a way to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local events and on-site offers came in second, with direct mail following. Traditional marketing such as TV and radio followed, with sponsorships coming in last.

While the pandemic has created uncertainty, local marketing remains a priority for business owners. About 28.6% increased budgets, 32.9% kept their budgets the same, and 32.2% decreased budgets.

Among survey participants, 153 cited Google Ads as the digital channel that has the greatest potential for positive return on investment for their business, followed by Facebook and Instagram with 147 votes, Google my Business with 101, Yelp with 16, and Bing Ads with 3.



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