The last two years forced a huge migration online for many consumers. The succession of lockdowns coupled with a general fear of being out and about meant that many, who would not have done so otherwise, became newly ‘digital’ in their habits. As we begin to return to normality, many of those customers are sticking with their newly formed online behaviours. And so, commerce has become very much more blended, which we feel is a great thing.
But, it's created something of a challenge for the local partners of many national brands. Up until the last few years, these businesses had managed with a woefully inadequate digital presence. With limited skills and resources at local level due to an under-investment from the brands they support, many of them are now paying the price and really struggling with the challenges of needing rapid digital transformation.
National and global brands slow in supporting local partners; whether branches, retailers, dealers, franchisees, or affiliates are now realising the vital role they play in central sales and marketing. Meanwhile brands that encouraged and supported local partners to mature their digital marketing approach pre-pandemic are reaping rewards with accelerated recovery.
Our friends at BrandMuscle, the US based through-channel marketing automation experts found local partners investing just 1% or more of their revenue in marketing achieve a 14% higher growth rate — even greater when coupled with marketing knowledge and the right tools, education, and support.
Yet most local marketing programmes still fall woefully short when it comes to empowering digital transformation, whether with assets, campaign support, access to new channels, technology, or training. It’s crucial brands actively build digital marketing tools and resources within their local marketing programmes, making them easy to access for local partners and heavily marketing or co-funding them for adoption.
The good news is in most sectors, local partners realise they need to improve their digital presence if they are to succeed. The appetite is very much there. From online search, maps, business listings, display advertising, social media, and numerous other local opportunities, they know they need to do better.
It means in 2022 brands looking to get ahead of the competition should drive the digital marketing maturity of their local sales networks. This will enable them to capitalise on every touchpoint of the customer journey for this newly ‘digital savvy’ local audience. Digital transformation at local level was always coming, but thanks to the pandemic it’s here today!
If you’d like to hear about how We Are Acuity can digitally transform your local partners, have a read about how we are digitally transforming Citroën's Dealer network with our Managed Marketing Services here.
Or if you'd like to read more about Local Marketing have a look at our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog
Or get in touch with us today to learn about growing your local business. You can book a FREE 30 minute chat here.
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