National Brands Ramp Up Local Marketing

A new study from Balihoo confirms that even the largest national brands see value in local marketing. In 2013, 47.3 percent of all brands with a national presence are set to spend more on local advertising strategies. Of those who aren’t upping the local budget, most will still match what they spent in 2012; a scant 8.6 percent will be spending less on local advertising in 2013. Thus, it appears that companies large and small are netting results from reaching out at the neighborhood level.

So how much are these brands spending? In a previous study, Balihoo found that the exact numbers vary substantially. Twenty-nine percent of companies reported using from 1 to 5 percent of their total marketing budget on local efforts. However, 21 percent of them reserve one-fourth or more of their marketing funds for local advertising.

One thing most brands agree on is the weight of digital marketing. More than two-thirds of them rank this type of advertising as very or extremely important for local campaigns. Social media is the method of choice, with companies turning to popular sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Search engine optimization (SEO) is another winner, with more than two-thirds of respondents utilizing such strategies.

Not only did Balihoo’s surveys reveal what these companies are up to today, but they also included questions on future strategies. About one-third of the brands expressed a desire to reach out via mobile devices; other plans in the works include blogging locally, local search registration and localized websites.

Larger brands are more likely to focus on diversifying their digital portfolios by utilizing a variety of online advertising opportunities. The smaller brands tend to rely solely on social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter. Of all brands who use affiliate marketing, more than half expressed dissatisfaction with the way their brand was represented by affiliates.