Here’s a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. I’m sure we’ve all been involved in that sort of scenario at some point.
This could be the exact challenge facing those #automotive brands who have switched to agency model. As we know, responsibility for the sale of the car is removed from the local retailer and handled by the brand. That’s 100% clear. But where does the responsibility for local marketing sit? It’s a grey area and one maybe further down the pecking order for discussion in the race to get online sales systems and processes live.
A retailer view: we’re no longer handling the sale, so why would we handle the local marketing. That’s the brands job now. They’ll do it for us. We just need to make sure the customer has a good experience when they visit.
The brand teams view: we haven’t tripled in size overnight, so we aren’t equipped to suddenly run local marketing for a network of retailers. The structure isn’t in place. Nor the local insights. So we need local marketing responsibility to stay with the network.
It doesn’t sound like a big problem. But imagine brand X has 200 retailers located around the UK. Retailers will be a mix of large PLCs and small independent franchisees with entrepreneurial spirit at their core. Let’s say on average they each spend £25,000 per year on local marketing (much more in many cases). This localised activity positions the brand in the local territory and covers every part of the customer journey from awareness to reputation, lead generation and loyalty. That’s £5m worth of marketing and media spend that suddenly isn’t happening. As a result sales performance drops.
Agency model brings many benefits for the customer which should improve their experience and satisfaction. But it’s easy to forget some of the responsibilities which have traditionally sat with the local retailer and the value they bring. The rough and tumble of volume retail doesn't always sit comfortably with agency model.
At We Are Acuity we help national brands activate marketing through their local partners. Automotive brands are a big part of this and we love all things auto, but we’re also working across other sectors with exactly the same challenges around resource, materials and insights.
If you're a brand struggling to effectively support your local partners and need a bit of extra support to help juggle things, we'd love to hear from you.
If you work within automotive, be it a retailer or at brand level, we’d love to understand your view. Why not schedule a FREE 30-minute assessment today here? It will be well worth your time.
Or alternatively read more about Local Marketing on our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog