Your Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Marketing Platform for Multi-Location Brands
Consumers are more empowered than ever to find local information about businesses quickly, conveniently, and at any time and place. As a multi-location marketer, a winning localized marketing strategy is non-negotiable. The competition has become stiff, and it’s increasingly difficult for multi-location businesses to stand out online. That’s where marketing platforms come in. A quality marketing platform should support your multi-location brand’s marketing team in managing its localized marketing efforts effectively and efficiently. Choosing the right marketing platform can be challenging, but this blog is here to help. Throughout this blog, we’ll break down what to consider when selecting a marketing platform for your multi-location brand.
Why Marketing Platforms Built for Multi-Location Are a Must
Data from The Localized Marketing Imperative, a study conducted by Forrester Consulting, found that survey respondents associate an optimized localized marketing strategy with multiple advantages, including greater brand alignment, increased foot traffic, and improved marketing effectiveness. However, over three-fourths struggle to make this vision a reality due to challenges related to scaling, organizational silos, balancing local and corporate-level needs, and location-specific insight. To create a successful localized marketing strategy, a comprehensive marketing platform is a must.
How to Differentiate Marketing Platforms
While it’s clear that a marketing platform can help you manage your localized marketing efforts across business locations, how do you differentiate them? There are several factors to consider when looking at marketing platforms for multi-location brands. We’ll start with functionality.
Features of Standout Marketing Platforms
One of the first things you should consider when looking at marketing platforms for multi-location brands is the features or offerings the platform supports. There’s ample opportunity for marketers when it comes to localized marketing. Eighty-six percent of customers are increasingly looking for local business information on extensive search and social properties. If your business wants to compete in today’s digital-first world, a strong presence on both local search and local social is non-negotiable. To do so, your marketing platform must support efforts on both.
For instance, some marketing platforms may only allow you to manage your local listings or ratings and reviews, while others could be primarily focused on social efforts. While using various platforms for different aspects of your localized marketing strategy can work, having a centralized platform that can handle everything within a single login is even better. The fewer platforms your marketing team has to adopt and learn to use and the fewer logins they have to remember, the more likely they will be to get on board and activate localized strategies with a marketing platform.
Type of Workflows the Marketing Platform Supports
Another thing to consider when looking at marketing platforms for multi-location brands is the type of workflow or structure the platform supports. For instance, is the platform only available to corporate, built primarily for local teams, or can a mixture of both use it? There are a few models your multi-location business can choose between to effectively execute your localized marketing strategy – centralized, decentralized, or hybrid.
- The centralized model is where corporate primarily runs all marketing efforts.
- The decentralized model is where individual business locations run all marketing efforts.
- Finally, the hybrid model is a combination of the two above. Both corporate and individual business locations collaborate to run marketing efforts.
The Localized Marketing Imperative surveyed many multi-location marketers and found that the most commonly used model by 45 percent was the hybrid approach. It requires seamless coordination and sharing across corporate and local teams, only possible with the right marketing platform.
Ability to Localize at Scale
Data from the study also found that 79 percent of multi-location leaders believe that customers are more inclined to engage with brands that establish a personal connection with them. For further proof, we hosted a webinar on why personalization is so important in local search. Finding a marketing platform that provides the ability to localize your content across 100s or 1,000s of business locations is critical. How you would speak to your audience in a small town in Iowa would likely vary from how you speak to a customer in NYC. Similarly, when consumers are looking for information about your business, they probably care about your local business’s hours of operation, address, and other local details. The more opportunities you have to easily localize your content, the better.
While the ability to localize is essential, it’s critical to find a marketing platform that allows you to localize your efforts at scale. Rather than having to go in and manually write all of your social content or respond to all your reviews across every location and channel, a sophisticated platform should be able to auto-generate some of the content, so you don’t have to spend the time doing it yourself. The less time you’re spending on localizing content manually, the more time you can focus on improving other efforts.
Choosing the Best Marketing Platform for Your Multi-Location Business
There’s a lot that goes into choosing the right marketing platform for your multi-location brand. Considering the factors listed previously will help you make the right decision. If you’re beginning the process of finding a marketing platform, or you’re ready to consolidate your efforts, SOCi is here to help! SOCi is the marketing platform for multi-location brands.
From reputation management to local listings, chatbots, local social, and more, SOCi has you covered. Request a demo today for more insight into how SOCi can help you crush your marketing goals and beat the competition!