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Perception vs. Execution: Examination of Brands' Local Business Strategies Reveals Gaps to Act On - GMS Local White Paper

Perception vs. Execution: Examination of Brands' Local Business Strategies Reveals Gaps to Act On - GMS Local White Paper

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Published by GroupM_Next
Proprietary research from GMS Local, a service of GroupM, explores the future state of local online advertising for national brands with more than 500 brick and mortar locations. The research also uncovers that brands have yet to align their spend habits with the right local digital vehicles. In addition to breaking down the behavior trends of advertisers, the white paper includes a blueprint to help brands assess their local digital strategy and the three key areas for immediate action.
Proprietary research from GMS Local, a service of GroupM, explores the future state of local online advertising for national brands with more than 500 brick and mortar locations. The research also uncovers that brands have yet to align their spend habits with the right local digital vehicles. In addition to breaking down the behavior trends of advertisers, the white paper includes a blueprint to help brands assess their local digital strategy and the three key areas for immediate action.

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Published by: GroupM_Next on Jan 30, 2012
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searchmap listings word-of-mouthreviews check-ins posts/tweets 
Examination of Brands’Local Business StrategiesReveals Gaps to Act On
Perception
vs.
Execution
 
Perception vs.Execution:Examination of Local BusinessStrategies RevealsGaps to Act On
 January 2012
1
National advertisers have proclaimed 2012 “The Year Of Local.” According to Borrell Associates, the local digital space will grow by 18% in 2012 and surpass newspapers, thelong-standing champion, as the top recipient of advertising dollars in the local sector.However, the rapid evolution of the digital marketplace hascreated unique challenges for brands, who are showing gapsin their business strategies to act on the opportunities in frontof them. Among the toughest challenges are the ability tounderstand everything as it emerges, parse what is relevant andact on the elements most meaningful to a business. One area ofincreasing relevance for many national advertisers is the mannerin which they advertise to the local digital marketplace.
The local digital space is experiencing swift growth.Consider the following:
Google states that 20% of all searches have local intent, andthat number jumps to 40% when conducted on a smartphone.Foursquare, the location-based user check-in service, reached1 billion check-ins as of September 2011.A 2011 comScore study indicates that 50% of consumersselect a local business based on ratings and reviews of others.A 2011 Harvard Business Review study concluded that eachstar rating added to a Yelp review equaled a positive revenue impact of 5% to 9%.GMS Local, a service of GroupM and a provider of local online services for national brands,recently completed a research project to identify and provide answers to the challenges thatbrands face in the digital marketplace. According to the research, 70% of national brands report spending greater than the nationalaverage of ad budgets on local versus national initiatives. The findings show marketers areextremely bullish about their current and future investments in local advertising, particularly in localonline media. However, this enthusiasm does not manifest itself into adoption and trial of localonline programs.
There is a large gap between the perception marketers have of their localposition and the reality of what they actually implement.
Why is there such a large disparity? Isit simply uninhibited optimism, or are there deeper educational components of the local space thatneed to be addressed? This white paper explores this dichotomy in further detail and recommendsways for brands to close the gap by accelerating their efforts in the local online arena.
Local Digital/Online Defined:
All web-based and mobile destinationsthat enable traditional,brick-and-mortar businesses to represent themselves. These local digital environments caninclude online businesslistings (including Yellow Page directories and Search Engines),community and social reviews as well as daily deals and check-in services.Local digital enablesbrands to design and build storefronts that create and shape consumer online brand experiences.
Methodology:
The research was conducted using a comparative study method, including a survey of marketing executives and managers from national brands in the United States with 500+ brick-and-mortar locations in diverse industries and verticals. Two-thirds of respondents were from the traditional retail space (clothing, electronics, mass merchants, etc.), and the remaining respondents came from a diverse group of industries including grocery, restaurant, health and beauty, insurance and hospitality, among others. Survey questions utilized local digital marketing averages and best practices from national data in order to gainreaction and comparative “self-assessments” against those averages by participating respondents/brands.The research was conducted between September and November 2011.
 
60%
Local
40%
National
25%
Digital
75%
Of fline
The Perception of Local Investment vs. Reality
The research explored how engaged each national brand is with local marketing.Three key elements emerged:1.Seventy percent of marketers surveyed said they spend greater than the nationalaverage (60%) of their advertising budgets on
local vs. national
initiatives.2.Seventy percent of marketers surveyed answered that they spend greater than the nationalaverage (25%) of their local advertising budget on
digital
media.3.Eighty-three percent of marketers surveyed expect their
local online
spending increasesto be more thanthe projected national growth (25%) over the next three years.Marketing executives clearly have a confidentviewpoint on the current and future state oftheir local advertising, particularly as it relatesto digital media. But, as highlighted below,this exuberance does not align withresponses involving specific local onlineinitiatives executed within the last 12 monthsby national advertisers.1.One out of every three surveyed has yetto invest in the basic local digital effortof
online business directory listings
.2.Sixty percent of respondents have claimed,optimized and actively managed their
localbusiness listings
on more than one site.3.Fifty-five percent of respondentshave initiated
geo-modified paid search
campaigns.4.Forty-five percent of respondents have advertised on
online review sites
.
(Source: BIA/Kelsey U.S. Local Media Annual Forecast,2010 - 2015)
Total Media Spend
LocalSpend
Allocation of Total Media Budget
Perception vs.Execution:Examination of Local BusinessStrategies RevealsGaps to Act On
 January 2012
2

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