A recent article in Street Fight magazine highlighted why many big, national brands don’t view digital as important to local marketing efforts as traditional marketing channels.
Street Fight surveyed 200 decision makers at national brands across a variety of industries. The magazine found that while national brands are growing their digital budgets, they don’t rate many digital technologies among their Top 5 tools for local marketing. In fact, with the exception of email, these big brands ranked direct mail and local print, TV and radio higher than online channels.
Many other studies tell us that over 30% of Google searches are local in nature. As consumers increasingly go online to research products and services that can meet their needs, the importance of local digital marketing for national brands will continue to grow.
From my experience in the home improvement industry, national brands run the gamut in terms of executing effective local digital marketing in support of their local sales channels. Think of it like a pyramid. A relatively few national brands are excellent local online marketers. A somewhat larger percentage are at least trying to support their local dealers online, with mixed results. And the vast majority of national brands do essentially nothing at all.
In many cases, national brands leave it up to their dealers and franchisees to do their own online marketing at the local level. That (unfortunately for both parties) means their dealers and franchisees are seriously disadvantaged by their local competitors who have the benefit of a strong online marketing support (i.e. from national brands executing at the top of the pyramid).
Here’s an example. Renewal by Andersen sells top-quality replacement windows to homeowners through a national network of dealers. The Company made a decision 10 years ago to invest in local online marketing on behalf of all of their dealers. As a result, the Company and their dealers now rank consistently high in organic search results. In fact, in a quick Google search, Renewal by Andersen came up first in both the organic search and paid search listings.
In short, Renewal by Andersen has created ready-made online programs for any dealer that joins their network. They give their local dealers a competitive advantage, with a local online marketing effort that is considered the gold standard in online marketing.
Then there are the many dozens of other window brands whose dealers are at a significant disadvantage relative to those of Renewal by Andersen. Those dealers get fewer online sales leads. They make fewer sales. And they ultimately generate less revenue for themselves and their associated national brands.
I’m NOT saying that ALL national replacement windows brands do a bad job at local marketing on behalf of their dealers. But I’m saying MOST of them have struggled with – or ignored – their local online marketing opportunity.
You don’t play a game of hide and seek with your prospects online. Being visible and relevant online is a team effort between a national brand and its dealers and franchisees.
If you represent a national brand serving home improvement companies…don’t let yourself get stuck at the bottom of the pyramid. The far more lucrative path is to collaborate with your dealers and franchisees to harness your local online marketing opportunity, to generate great sales leads and drive essential revenue growth.