Localize, Socialize, Succeed in 2012

As we cross the threshold of the eleventh month of 2011, we find ourselves once again in a unique position to reflect on lessons learned in the months behind us and apply them to projections and trends in the year to come. November Caliber Pulse articles will do just that. In this week’s post, we will examine the well-predicted trend of localized marketing.

Early this year, industry experts predicted a shift toward localized marketing via social media outlets would prove to be a home run for many brands. It appears they were spot on. This week MarketingProfs reported the findings of a recent study entitled “Localize to Optimize Sales Channel Effectiveness” by the CMO Council.

Marketers are wisely avoiding the “one size fits all” method of blanket marketing and aptly considering “climate, geography, ethnic composition, demographics, shopper-graphics, psychographics, politics, and even neuro-sensory influences” in content and message creation for  localized marketing. CMO Council’s (2011) study proved that, “engaging local target audiences is a strategic focus for many brands: 49% of national marketers surveyed say localized marketing is essential to business growth and profitability, particularly as it relates to demand generation and sell-through of products and services.”

Benefits of local marketing mentioned in the survey results include:

  • Greater customer relevance, response and return
  • Better customer conversations and connectivity
  • Improved loyalty and advocacy
  • Brand differentiation, distinction and preference

These conclusions bear strong resemblance to support tandem efforts to increase social media involvement and monitoring, which was also predicted to be a major game changer by industry insiders. Social media is no longer simply an emerging medium. Brands that have moved forward with strategies to engage their audiences through social platforms and networks are reaping the benefits. Spending has increased and will likely continue to do so, with a projection of a social media becoming a $16 billion dollar industry by 2016.

The success and growth of communities like Yelp and Groupon are excellent examples of how localization of marketing and social media have merged to become one powerful, sales-generating marketplace and brand advocate forum. Communities creating a database of local business information, with a social twist, by are sharing reviews and discount information in an almost real-time stream. Other businesses are implementing this strategy successfully as well.

Last month, Walmart partnered with Facebook and unrolled an application to help customers share their shopping experiences and find deals via social networks. My Local Walmart has 9,779,111 ‘likes’ to date. The Vator News (2011) reported Walmart’s announced that the initiative “will provide locally-relevant information on everything from new electronics to hot Rollbacks, as well as continue to illustrate the brand’s commitment to creating a deeper relationship with people in the communities it serves.”

Large and small organizations can apply this local/social model to reach existing brand fanatics and to find new loyal customers to help spread the word. How will you apply this model to your company or client’s brand in 2012?


For more information:

Chief Marketing Council World Wide. (2011). Localize to Optimize Sales Channel

Effectiveness. [Electronic version] Localize to Optimize Sales Channel Effectiveness.

 Entrepreneur (2011) 10 Marketing Trends for 2011, [Electronic version] 10 Marketing Trends for 2011.

 Vator News (2011) Facebook debuts ‘My Local Walmart’ app, [Electronic version] Facebook debuts ‘MyLocal Walmart’ app.

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