Local Marketers to Change Search Strategy

The buzz about the localization of search continues to grow. Consumers, especially those with mobile devices, are increasingly using their technology to find information on local products and services. Large search providers like Google and Microsoft are seeing the trend and Forrester Research analysts are encouraging marketers to adjust their strategies.

Industry analysts say that a new search strategy doesn’t necessary involve spending more money. But marketers need to consider what consumers are looking for these days and it’s not always text-​based content – videos and images are becoming more important. And, in addition to looking at the specifications of a product, consumers also want to know where they can buy it locally. This situation presents an opportunity for marketers to embrace both the universality and local nature of search.

A recent article in BtoB Online highlighted ways that marketers can improve their search returns:

  • Focus on function instead of channel  — For example, search terms could be directed toward winning back lost customers while another set of terms could be used for winning new customers. Until now, search terms have been about brand or ‘education research’.
  • Think regionally – Keywords and messages that target consumers and prospects in ski country will be far different from what is used in surfboard country.
  • Working with partners and distributors – Manufacturers and distributors are allocating coop money for online channels. Marketers can open a dialog with suppliers and suggest using these funds for a search campaign that can work at both the universal and local levels.
  • Local mobile content – Marketers are beginning to pay more attention to the mobile channel. One way to succeed is to create local content for the mobile platform and make it easy to use.

As technology changes, marketers must work to keep with the latest techniques in order to reach customers cost-effectively.

[Source: Bannan, Karen. Blending local with universal search. BtoBOnline​.com. 7 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.