Only through automation can a multi-location brand reduce the heavy burden that local area marketing (LAM) often places on a marketing team. When marketers persist with traditional ‘manual’ methods of supporting their locations, days are spent responding to multiple small demands at the expense of more strategic work or projects more likely to move the brand and business forward.
But the reality is supporting local stores, branches or dealers with local marketing remains essential to their success, and in the case of franchise brands, a political necessity. Which brings us back to automation.
A common baseline strategy is moving your local marketing to a self-service DIY model (see earlier blog post). This involves implementing an online resource portal such as Brand Machine’s Marketing Hub.
However in recent years, new automation solutions for LAM have exploded, curing many more local marketing painpoints. Broadly speaking they can be categorised in two groups – top down solutions and bottom up solutions.
Top Down Automation
Designed for activity executed by a head office marketing team, downwards across their network or locations, these solutions give brands new-found power to execute at scale across all their locations at once. The tech can automatically localise content, offers and even creative to the individual location on the fly. There are solutions for Facebook and Instagram advertising, organic social content publishing, Google advertising, email campaigns and even managing location data for SEO.
Bottom Up Automation
These solutions allow locations (stores, dealers etc.) to create, order or execute local marketing themselves quickly and easily through an online resource portal such as Marketing Hub that features template or web-to-print software, plus approval and production order workflows. You can see a great example of the template technology in a short video here.
This DIY approach removes substantial overhead at head office while allowing locations to go to market quickly. The solutions typically cover ticketing, point of sale, press, direct mail, email and Facebook advertising.
Most brands need both Top Down and Bottom Up LAM automation. Digital channels suit the scale advantages that top-down automation delivers, while bottom up, self-serve solutions are usually preferred for the print, press and POS channels although digital solutions are starting to surface here also.
Are you ready to dive into the wonderful world of LAM automation but don’t know where to start? We breakdown these new solutions in detail in our new updated eBook, 6 game changing marketing apps for multi-location brands. You can download it here.