Large retailers with substantial marketing budgets often roll out national ad campaigns to build their brands and generate awareness. But are they doing enough at the local and store level to be relevant to the consumers who might walk through their doors? A new report highlights retailer shortcomings and points to the ways that marketers can ‘implement localization’.

Using a scoring system of 45 points, analysts at Retail Systems Research studied several retail groups with respect to their advertising strategy. The scoring system was based on how well merchants consistently managed their promotions in the following formats:

  •  Traditional advertising such as TV or newspaper circulars
  • Digital advertising such as display, video, search or mobile especially with respect to targeting
  • Alternative offers such as daily deals
  • On-site communication such as capturing personal shopper data and promoting local store information on websites

Retailers that have proved particularly adept at localized advertising include:

  •  Macy’s
  • J.D. Penney
  • Sports Authority

Overall, the study found that very few retailers use location in TV ads or print circulars. These strategies could as simple as including local store information in the ads. Even those who are using display or mobile are not providing store-specific information especially about  unique events that might be taking place. Researchers note that, on occasion, marketers are challenged by not knowing how to reach specific consumers. However, one way to build a list of potential targets is to solicit mobile numbers or email addresses. Once this information is available, localized and personalized campaigns, especially those implemented through mobile or email, can complement the broader marketing strategies.

Gretchen Joyce, president of MaxPoint Interactive, says “Retailers tend to rely heavily on digital marketing efforts to drive e-commerce sales, but it’s equally, if not more important to drive people into stores.” Analysts encourage large retailers to use more cross-channel localization efforts through both targeting and execution to reach consumers and build in-store traffic.

[Source: State of Localized Advertising in Retail. Retail Systems Research. July 2011. Web. 7 Oct. 2011]