Localization—the act of adjusting marketing assets to a specific market or locale—is a hot topic in the marketing world as brands of all sizes look to attract and entice more consumers with relevant, targeted content. And yet, many marketers are struggling to crack the localization zip code, so to speak. A study from the CMO Council reveals that 63% of marketers are unsatisfied with their localization efforts, and that 75% allocate less than a tenth of their budget to improving these efforts.
One industry that cannot afford to flounder in their localization efforts is retail. That’s because localization is a key success factor for retail marketing campaigns and initiatives. Nowhere is that claim more apparent than in observed consumer behavior and self-proclaimed consumer preferences. For instance, nearly 73% of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language while 56% note that the ability to obtain relevant information in their native language that addresses their locale is more important to them than price.
Hands down, the best way retailers can go about meeting these consumer preferences and making their marketing efforts relevant is through localization. Here are four great starting ideas for retailers looking to localize their marketing efforts:
One costly mistake national or global retailers and franchises make is avoiding local media, including local TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and other outlets. However, these are crucial marketing tools and platforms to capitalize on as they serve as direct conduits to a consumer base in a given area. They’re arguably more useful at spreading a message or marketing campaign through a community and more influential at attracting customers to things like promotional sales, product launches, special offers, etc. than tools and platforms with broader reach. Local media is also a great vehicle to showcase what retailers are doing for local communities, such as highlighting donations to a local food bank or offering free coats for those in need.
By incorporating an omnichannel approach into marketing localization efforts that factors in relevant local media, retailers open up more avenues of communications with customers and can better target and tailor content that speaks to a specific audience. Additionally, retailers should absolutely post their business in local listings. This is a great way to associate one’s brand with a specific geographic location, magnifying relevance and extending exposure in these areas.
Thanks to the rise of e-commerce and the connected technology that sits in the pockets of most consumers, purchasing from a retailer no longer requires a physical presence or experience. Especially in this day and age of social distancing, a retailer’s website has become such a critical sales tool. It’s important that a retail website seamlessly facilitates convenience, instant transactions, and provides a valuable customer experience.
By mobilizing one’s website, retailers can convert potential customers on-the-go while making it easier for consumers to purchase anywhere, anytime, on any device. Website mobilization also ensures that as consumers move around and are browsing a retailer online, they are being served with the most relevant, localized content, offers, information, and insights no matter their location. Nescafe does a great job with this, providing unique web layouts and designs for different regions based on consumer behavior and response. For instance, the U.S. homepage of their site presents a static logo with a background video while the Japanese version is more modular with an abundance of images and corresponding descriptions/information.
While digital marketing’s main advantage is its usefulness in large global marketing campaigns and its ability to reach wider audiences with great speed and ease, it’s worthwhile to localize these efforts as well. In fact, the Nieman Journalism Lab conducted an experiment and found that geo-targeted social media posts were six times more successful than posts distributed globally. Facebook also reports that 41% of brands maintain at least one local country page, and that these pages grow at twice the rate of global communities and garner 50% higher engagement.
Retailers should take all of this in mind and adapt their digital strategies accordingly. Start tagging locations in social posts or using local keywords in hashtags, profiles, page bios, etc. in order to make them more locally searchable and relevant. Websites should also be optimized with geo-terms that are hyper-local to make organic social results more targeted and effective. Lastly, localizing paid ads and inserting relevant keywords/city names into headlines and copy (utilizing location extensions where possible) can greatly increase digital engagement for retailers as well.
One of the best marketing tactics in a retailer’s arsenal is capitalizing on seasonal or local events and creating campaigns around them to drive awareness and sales. Retailers should take note of these local events and seasonal peaks in given geographies ahead of time to start planning out marketing campaigns that ladder back to them well in advance.
For instance, a national luxury clothing company would want to embrace the start of Fall in areas like the northeast to promote a new line of outerwear. That same brand, however, would want to employ a different tactic in areas like the Gulf Coast, focusing instead on a campaign around an end of summer clearance sale. And as current global events are making all too apparent, it’s important for retailers to be able to adapt to changing trends and events quickly and pivot their local marketing tactics to accommodate these.
Of course, a little technology can help retailers out with all of these localization efforts and more. In fact, 91% of companies cite the need to increase relevance and personalization in local markets as the driving factor for investing in marketing asset management solutions. To learn about how digital asset management (DAM) can help with retail localization, explore Marcom’s own DAM offering here.