Results of the second annual Localized Marketing Benchmark Report underscore the importance of optimizing digital presence on a local level  

Originally published on Business Wire on March 19, 2020.

SAN DIEGO—March 19, 2020SOCi, Inc., the leading centralized platform built specifically for “next-level” multi-location marketers, today released its annual Localized Marketing Benchmark Report, which revealed that an optimized localized marketing strategy can yield up to three times more business growth. More than 250 multi-location brands were evaluated on their overall presence, ratings and reviews, and community engagement across the top three localized marketing platforms – Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp.

Released in partnership with Localogy (formerly known as the Local Search Association), the second annual Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR) points to a direct correlation for multi-location businesses between revenue growth and an optimized localized marketing strategy. When executed effectively, localized marketing can help brands build and maintain an engaged base of loyal customers, propel their presence to the top of organic search results, and, ultimately, drive increased foot traffic and in-person sales.

“The way that consumers are discovering new businesses or searching for information about businesses is changing, happening more on social media and search platforms, and with local intent,” said Monica Ho, CMO of SOCi. “The data shows that multi-location brands are in fact adapting to these changing customer behaviors, and, as a result, improved their average benchmark score 20% from 2019 to 2020. However, with an average benchmark score of 54 out of 100, multi-location marketers have a significant opportunity to further improve. It’s important that marketers identify these key areas for improvement, while taking a strategic approach that’s tailored to their industry. We’re excited to help more marketers refine their approach and ultimately boost their benchmark score for 2021.”

As local search becomes more intelligent and personalized, the LMBR shows that a localized marketing strategy has become increasingly important when maximizing consumer interactions and reach. Before engaging with a business or service, nearly all consumers (97%) conduct a local online search, with 78% of purchase decisions influenced by social content. What’s more, 85% of engagement is on local pages, underscoring how absolutely critical it is for businesses to optimize their digital presence on a local level.

Ten multi-location brands stand out in this year’s report as those that are excelling in localized marketing, scoring on average 82 out of 100 points. Not only did these companies have the highest benchmark scores, but as a group, they outperformed the average revenue growth rate of all of the brands studied by more than 300%.

  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers
  • Amazing Lash Studio
  • Jason’s Deli
  • Sky Zone
  • CPR Cell Phone Repair
  • Anytime Fitness
  • Pet Supplies Plus
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • Club Pilates
  • The Learning Experience Academy of Early Education

Additionally, based on this year’s benchmark scores, three industries stand out as those that are outperforming in localized marketing: fitness, education, and personal care services. Companies in these categories, including those also identified as top 10 performers, particularly excelled at search and reviews — the majority of their listings were claimed and completed, reviews and Q&As were responded to promptly, and pages on Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp were consistent and comprehensive.

“Brands must establish a sense of trust and authority through their digital presence to foster relationships with and create loyal customers,” said Bill Dinan, CEO of Localogy. “From our 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report, we know that response time is paramount and the definition of a reasonable timeframe continues to inch toward ‘immediate’. As businesses align resources to best respond to an increase in comments and reviews, tools like SOCi help them track that trend and enable more immediate interaction.”

The LMBR also identifies the industries with the most opportunity to build upon and improve their local presence on key platforms: real estate, business services, and cleaning services. Overall, these industries have been slower to claim and complete Google My Business and Yelp profiles and tend to lag on review response. As evidenced in SOCi’s recently released report The Rise of Localization for Multi-Location Marketers, ratings and reviews are the most impactful element in a business’s search and social ranking, with 75% of the top local search ranking factors based on a business’s reviews.

To request your company’s benchmark score and to learn more about how the leading multi-location brands are performing in the top digital channels, download the new Localized Marketing Benchmark Report, here.

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Methodology
The data leveraged in The Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR) was gathered by Places Scout in January 2020, including snapshots of local page data and performance. From here Localogy analysts analyzed the data from 251 top franchise marketing and property management brands including 200k+ locations, 600k local pages, and over 1B reviews that were examined and used as the basis for the LMBR benchmark scores. The list of 251 brands was determined based on a combination of the top 200 largest brands by Franchising Times, the 100 fastest growing brands based on Entrepreneur’s List, and the top 10 Property Management companies based on NHMC’s 2018 Apartment Managers List.

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