Local Marketing Guide For Global Brands

Brands are increasingly focused around generating more leads locally, and an intelligently planned local marketing strategy is all you need to sustain this enormously competitive local space.

In simpler terms, local marketing generally refers to any marketing techniques that a business in any industry uses to market itself to the area it operates in. Local marketing can leverage online channels like websites, mobile applications, social media, SMS and emails to attract their customers.

Why is it Important to Attract a Local Audience?

Targeting the local audience is a necessity for global brands in order to:

  • Humanize global brands with a mission and vision as to inspire local markets
  • Build relationships in order to focus on the sensitivity of the buyers
  • Gain a quick feedback mechanism between local market insights and the company’s global messaging
  • Reach a more relevant audience and to create partnerships

3 Strategies for Local Marketing Success

When targeting localized audiences, you need to optimize your strategies and amplify your efforts, in order to reach these segmented audiences and meet your desired goals.

1. Identify the Target Audience and Define a Niche

Classify the customers according to their lifestyle, their culture, tradition, language, age, gender, income level, interests, buying habits, and other such demographics. You can tie up with a local agency that can give you better insights into the life of people residing in that area.

Local experts can also assist global brands in distinguishing the kind of product required for the specific market.

For example, cars meant for Australia and the US might have huge differences: Australians drive on the left side of the road; Americans drive on the right; and the architecture of roads as well as traffic situations vary by large margins. Such differences lead to the need for a variance in features, for example, Australia-bound cars require more durable suspension systems due to the long drives and rough roads.

Moreover, different markets have different propensities for spending, which means you need to price your products accordingly.

2. Choose The Right Terminology to Interact

When brands plan to expand in any nearby area; they interact with someone who is well versed with the situation of that area and knows the rules.

As per the Gala stats:

  • 56.2% of consumers say the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price
  • 95% of Chinese online consumers indicate greater comfort level with websites in their language; only one percent of US-based online retailers offer sites specific to China.

For these two people to interact, and for the brand to raise "right" slogans in the targeted area, using the right language is important. With this, the B2B and B2C culture is facing a drop, thus giving rise to an entirely new culture that is H2H or Human to Human.

It’s a tough world for marketers, and we all need to welcome the human era. Brands thriving in the human era need to deliver something extra.

The human era brands report:

3. Identify the Needs of the Local Buyer

One needs to know what exactly the buyer is looking for. The product produced by the global brand should satisfy the local buyers. Expansion occurs with expectation.

Maslow’s Hierarchy (explained in the below figure) is a great way to identify the interests of the user. The buying decision of the customer depends on needs. Maslow stated that a certain need "dominates" the human organism, and once the basic needs are met, humans go beyond the scope of basic needs and strive for betterment.


For example, when we go through the menu card of a Chinese restaurant the expectation Indians have is "Manchurian" will exist. But, in China "Manchurian" is not taken to be a Chinese dish. So for the restaurant to run in India they will have to serve "Manchurian", whilst for the same restaurant to compete in China it will not have to add "Manchurian" to its menu.

Amplify Local Marketing With Tools

There are a few tools aimed to amplify local marketing objectives:

1. Content Delivery Network (CDN) and hreflang Tag

Global brands should have websites optimized for local audiences. Two of the best ways you can do so is by having a content delivery network (CDN) and by having a target="_blank" hreflang tag in place in order to properly optimize the regional URLs.

A CDN is a network of servers that holds a copy of website content and serves it to the users located in different parts of the world. Using a CDN improves webpage loading speeds across the globe, which makes it easier for the local users to access the contents of the website, even if the main server is located halfway around the world.

This CDN guide from Incapsula provides great insights into how a business can benefit from CDN and how it can assist in optimizing your website for effective local marketing.

In essence, it brings the content closer, thus minimizing the site load times and reducing the bandwidth consumption. A CDN can also come with added features that improve security, enhance image loading times and reduce code bloat.

Google uses the rel="alternate" hreflang="x" attributes to serve the correct language or regional URL in the search results. For global brands, it is essential to make use of this tag as to allow Google crawlers to properly understand which version of the site caters to which geographical area.

2. Balihoo

Balihoo allows you to create, customize, and target campaigns across the globe and it also channels partners using the latest marketing automation technology. With this tool, you can:

  • Create up to 10,000 local campaigns in minutes;
  • Breakup with spreadsheets and manage search and display for each location the smart way.

The main advantages that Balihoo offers are:

  • Local paid search: It helps capture local customers’ attention, such as who is looking for your product or category.
  • Local display: It generates customized version of advertisements for each location and targetscustomer’s attention in that area.
  • Local website: It is the most effective way to dominate the search engine result page and drive local phone calls and traffic.
  • Local partner connect: This feature allows national brand to share individual zip code with their partners and locations. In return partners can customize campaign, update their website, and provide funds if required.

3. Survey Monkey

To have a pulse of customer sentiment in the local markets, you can conduct surveys. Survey Monkey is a survey builder website, which allows you to create simple or sophisticated surveys with their powerful and easy-to-use survey builders. The data can help you make timely decisions, as well as share reports and charts.

Survey questionnaires can simplify your market segmentation analysis. By generating data about demographic information of your customers like the age, gender, income, and education levels, you can get a much better sense of who they are.

For example, Survey Monkey allows you to conduct a local restaurant survey regarding the atmosphere, location, pricing, quality selection of food, quality selection of beverages, special dietary menu and other factors.

A sample survey graph is provided below:

Survey Monkey

4. Neilsen Segments

Neilsen Segments is an interactive tool based on demographics and behavior of people. Some of the benefits offered by this tool are:

  • Nielsen Segmentation evaluates market segments links consumer behavior for shopping, financial, media and much more, to gain powerful insights. This tool allows you to create actionable strategies and tactically execute while benchmarking your performance.
  • My Best Segments helps the brands to know about the demographic and lifestyle traits of their current customers, including what they watch and buy, and where they live.
  • Zip-code look up discovers the top consumer segments that are lying within your zip Code to know about each segment’s demographic and lifestyle characteristics.

The below image displays the making of a Nielsen Prizm that helps the marketers understand the lifestyle and media traits of their local consumers including from where they buy, where they like to travel, the education levels, the employment levels and more.

Nielsen Prizm

Moreover, segments of the same group are put together so that the reach and efficiency can be maximized. You can also send tailored messages and customized products that resonate with customers.

Nielsen segmentation provides better market planning, media strategy, customer acquisition and cross-selling.

Set Up Your Priorities for Local Marketing

It is necessary to understand both the long term and short term business goals and setting up your priorities accordingly. Identify the core skills and competencies needed to sustain the market.

Apply the 80/20 rules that says that "the first 20 percent of any task usually accounts for 80 percent of the value of that task. The first 20 percent of the time should be spent planning and organizing the resources necessary to achieve the task as it usually accounts for 80 percent of your success.

The above tools and strategies will surely help to better plan your local marketing strategy. Have you implemented any unique strategy that you wish to share with us? Please let me know in the comments below.

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