Digital is causing the world to shrink. I'm not referring to volume, of course, because in that sense digital is exploding. In fact, as of 2015, 90% of the world's data had been created in the previous two years! What I mean is that the digital and mobile revolution is making us hyper-aware of the world around us.

Said another way, the rise of mobile phones and digital connectivity has increased consumers' expectations of understanding their surroundings. People expect to know everything happening near them—and they use mobile devices to see everything from their physical location, weather, time of day, trending conversations, friend activity, nearby restaurants and shops—right down to local inventory.

Conversely, brands themselves have access to that information, and they have the power to reach potential customers precisely at a time of need. By using that consumer information—location, interests, weather, time, etc.—as well as browsing history, habits of similar customers, tech devices they're using, and more, the mobile revolution has created a powerful new world of marketing—and it's all local (or hyper-local or location-based, depending on your jargon du jour).

Being able to harness that power means being ready for it.

So let's look at four adjustments that global and national brands need to make to seize the opportunity for local digital marketing.

1. Measure online-to-offline traffic

Before now, digital marketing's rapid growth has not forced brands to worry about how much of their digital efforts are driving in-store sales; they have instead focused on optimizing online conversions. However, now that mobile use has outpaced desktop use, brands are finding that looking only at online sales gives them just part of the picture—especially considering e-commerce accounts for only about 5% of all retail transactions.

Does that mean mobile ads or experiences aren't driving sales? Heck no! Brands just need a different way to measure.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Jason Tabeling

Jason Tabeling is SVP of digital for local marketing software and services company Brandmuscle, which helps global and national brands own local.

LinkedIn: Jason Tabeling

Twitter: @jtabeling