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National Brands Betting on Local Digital Marketing in 2013

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Some 91% of national brands say they plan to spend more or the same on local marketing (i.e., campaigns directed at customers in their local markets) in 2013 compared with 2012 spending levels, and they cite mobile marketing, local blogs, and online customer reviews as their top 3 digital priorities for the coming year, according to a survey from Balihoo.

Across the board, digital tactics are playing an important role in brand success: 67.5% of national brands surveyed say digital marketing is extremely or very important to national brand success. 

Larger companies rely on digital more: 45.0% of national brands with annual revenues greater than $500 million rank digital marketing "extremely important," compared with 38.8% of all national brands.

Below, additional findings from the report titled "National Brand Use of Digital in Local Marketing," based on a survey of 384 national brand marketing executives in North America.


Local Digital Marketing Priorities in 2012 and 2013 

Asked which local digital tactics there are using in 2012, national brands ranked "other social media" (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) (75.52%), Facebook (69.27%) and SEO (66.15%) as their top 3 priorities.

Only 22.66% of national brands are now using local search registration, and only 19.53% rank it as a priority for 2013.

National brands cite the following as the top 3 digital tactics planned for 2013:

  1. Mobile marketing: 35.42%
  2. Local blogs: 31.51%
  3. Online customer reviews: 30.99%

National Brands Lack Confidence in Affiliates  

Roughly one-half (51.3%) of national brands rely on local affiliates (dealers, agents, resellers, channel partners, retailers, and franchisees) to promote and sell their products and services.

Among those 51.3%, nearly 9 in 10 (87%) say their brand is not well represented on affiliate websites.

Only 4% of this sub-segment rank their affiliates as excellent at marketing, with the majority (47%) ranking affiliates as moderately effective:

Asked which areas their local affiliates lack expertise and the ability to execute effectively, national brands cite mobile marketing (53.4%), SEO (49.4%), and PPC (46.6%) as affiliates' top weaknesses.

"Balihoo's survey results are in line with other industry research showing the growing importance of local marketing for national brands, but what's particularly interesting is how national brands are prioritizing their local marketing tactics," said Pete Gombert, Balihoo's CEO.

"When it comes to digital tactics, we found that local websites and local search registration are not top priorities for national brands, yet they form the foundation for a strong local marketing infrastructure," Gombert added.

"We also see there is a lot of opportunity for national brands to better lead and support their local channel partners. CMOs and marketing managers should look more closely at these aspects of their local marketing programs as they plan ahead for 2013."

About the data: Findings are based on a survey of 384 national brands based on North America with revenues greater than $100 million in annual revenue, fielded via email from August 1 to Sept 10, 2012. Respondents met the criteria of marketing professional or executive.


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  • by todd bryson Thu Nov 8, 2012 via web

    What I am trying to understand about this articles is that you list mobile marketing, local blogs and online customer reviews as the top digital tactics to be added for 2013 and state that for 2012 the top most used tactics were SEO, social media and facebook…

    So the “new” tactics are to be “added” to the already existing ones? How do you figure that these are the top 3 tactics to be used in 2013 an explanation would be appreciated

  • by donna Fri Nov 9, 2012 via web

    I agree with Todd. Good question?

  • by Colin Dawson Wed Nov 21, 2012 via web

    I agree with Todd on this one! I thoroughly believe that some internet marketing strategies should be an integral part of most if not every marketing plan. We are all witnessing the “disappearance” of the high street, and the online market is taking over. Businesses simply won’t survive if they don’t implement some foundation of internet marketing and online presence.

    Clearly this begins with the creation of a website. However, creating a website is just the starting point, it is no use having a website if you are not going to use some techniques to generate traffic towards the site and once you receive that traffic, to be compelling to the viewer. (As I learnt the hard way in the past)!

    Not many people are aware of the wide range of techniques that you can use to generate traffic to your site and in turn achieve a higher search engine ranking and secure leads.

    Coincidentally, I have just received a mailing from a company called Intellimon, which specialize in website design software and traffic generation services. And in this mailing, they are offering a module from their Complete Guide To Traffic training course completely free for Thankgiving. I redeemed my free module last night from a choice of 30, and have learnt so much, and am already applying these techniques to my site. The link they provided was to their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/CompleteGuideTo, I totally recommend you check it out, as you can never have too much knowledge on this subject area.

  • by Kristina Humphrey Mon Jan 7, 2013 via web

    Very fascinating statistics! It makes me wonder just where this trend is headed towards not only for the year 2013 but 10, 20, even 50 years from now. Still, gotta take things one day at a time, and for this year, here is an article to help smoothen out your marketing strategy. http://www.sbtelegram.com/2012/11/29/planning-your-2013-marketing-strategy/

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