How Mobile is Shifting Local Marketing

Brands are still trying to get their heads around location-based advertising.

Location-enabled mobile devices have changed the definition of local marketing for national brands looking to be more locally relevant in 2013. However, at the moment, mobile is very much underutilized by national brands for local marketing, according to a new study.

The study commissioned by Balihoo, a local marketing service provider, surveyed nearly 400 brand executives regarding their local digital priorities. National brands are betting big on local marketing, with 91 percent of those surveyed expecting to up their investment on digital local marketing in 2013.

National brands ranked mobile, local blogs and online customer reviews as their top three priorities for local digital tactics they are not currently using and would like to implement in 2013. When asked about local digital tactics they’re currently using for region-specific marketing, national brands ranked social media and SEO as their top priorities.

The case for local marketing is quite simple. It drives awareness in a more relevant way, where sales happen. Location-based marketing has consistently outperformed national campaign efforts for driving sales and coupon redemption.

In the old days, FSIs and coupons in the local paper were what local marketing was all about. Nowadays, the influx of social media platforms and the location-aware mobile device gives marketers a big opportunity to target consumers at the local level. The fact that mobile is one of the top digital tactics that marketers are not using for local marketing, but are hoping to up the investment in, is mind-boggling. National brands should already be at local mobile marketing 2.0 by now. Research shows that 50 percent of mobile users look up the location of a business using their device. Thirty-nine percent of these people will move on to click-to-call the business and 48 percent download driving directions to visit the store. The opportunity is obviously there, but brands haven’t been quick to jump aboard.

Balihoo’s study claims that we’ll be seeing a lot more from national brands with regards to mobile local marketing.

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock

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