Large Advertisers to Shift Focus in Local Marketing Effort

BY Kathy Crosett
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Marketers who want to sell their products across the U.S. often split their ad budgets into buckets. Some spending goes to national campaigns and media. And, to really connect with consumers, marketers direct other ad spending to the local and personalized formats.

Localized marketing isn’t easy for large companies. DAC, an independent digital marketing agency, tracks what’s happening in this sector. DAC has hired AdAge to research trends for the past two years. Each year, the survey covers about 250 companies.

Where They're Cutting Spending

The top-​level finding from the survey shows a disturbing trend. Because localized marketing is so complex, companies plan to pull back on their spending. In the next two years, surveyed companies will go from spending 20% to 12% of their ad budget on local campaigns. Marketers have already cut back on the following local advertising strategies. The numbers reflect the percentage of businesses using the specific tactic. (Last year’s percentages appear in parentheses.)

  • Social listening 55.1% (56.5%)
  • Geo-​targeting 47.2% (51.2%)
  • Local landing page on website 39.4% (48%)
  • Reward/​loyalty programs 28% (31%)

Between now and 2020, large marketers will reduce their use of site retargeting, channel targeting, third-​party data, and geographic targeting at the local level.

Where They're Boosting Spending

While marketers will reduce their focus on some local tactics, they’ll be spending more on others. They’re intrigued by voice search technology. Only 13% of companies are using voice search currently. That number will jump to 42.8% in 2020. The use of promoted pins/​display on map channels will experience a similar increase.

Marketers know they must continue to use mobile to connect with local consumers. They also note that they need a way to understand their audiences. You can offer them a unique view of buyers by sharing profiles available in AudienceSCAN at AdMall from SalesFuel. In addition, about 40% of larger marketers say their local media planning and buying process is a collaborative effort. This situation could be an opportunity for you to show how well your media reaches key audiences in the local market.