- By Colleen McNamara
Marketers debate a lot of topics: the efficacy of influencers, the true value of last-click attribution, quantity versus quality in content, the role of AI in our day-to-day work, and more.
Here’s what’s not up for debate: connecting with customers in a way that feels both authentic and personalized, while being on brand is crucial for anyone who wants to have lasting influence.
The real question is – how do you do it all?
With content reaching multiple audiences including 42M millennials, 33M retirement planners, 2M C-Level executives, and more – we’ve discovered 4 current truths about building a consistent national brand voice, without neglecting your customers’ individuality.
- Branding at a national level is good, but not enough.
In the era of Amazon, customers are increasingly expecting personalized experiences with the brands they do business with, so staying on top of local culture and micro trends is crucial. That means being in the know about local news, local socioeconomic leanings, and other drivers that could impact your customers’ frame of mind on a location-by-location basis.
An overall upswing in your brand’s perception is always good, but if you don’t understand the nuances of each individual market, location, and customer type, chances are you’ll eventually lose sight of your customers’ needs.
Once you’ve done all the work to create your local branding – make sure you’re letting see it at every touchpoint, from your local store pages to your Google My Business profiles.
- Reputation management: good for SEO, even better for customer insights.
Five-star reviews for your locations are always great, but behind every star rating lies insight into a customer’s experience with, and feelings about, your brand. This data can quickly and accurately help you understand what customers care about on a granular level, even if you’re headquartered a hundred miles away.
SweetIQ and USA TODAY NETWORK help you understand key sentiments from your reviews. This can reveal surprising customer values, and can help inform messaging across channels, or even company-wide. Brand consistency is a marketer’s currency, so commit to a partner that understands your identity inside out, and strictly adheres to your branding guidelines.
- 360-degree view of data drives ROI.
According to Forbes, companies that don’t put data at the center of their marketing strategies are missing out on up to 20% of available ROI.
Many businesses look at their data in silos: local or regional sales, overall star ratings, or maybe best selling products. Combine your local insights with overall sales trends to determine if your best sellers are clearing off the shelves in every market – or if various regions are favoring certain products, styles or items. This can influence your operations team but it should be driving your marketing plans.
Engagement on your site, social channels, and in-store should be driving your messaging, targeting and visual themes. Data in its own silo is hard to action, but combined data gives compounded value.
- Connect the dots.
Even if you’ve done all of the above, and have visibility into your company’s data, you’re still only halfway there. You need to leverage that data, and continually refine your messaging to suit your varying audience’s needs.
If your brand has a presence in the local paper, your messaging needs to speak to the needs of the communities in that area. Make sure you’re finding that audience all throughout their journey by targeting them on the channels they choose. Use the tools that we’re all lucky enough to have to ensure that you’re always top-of-mind along the path to purchase (and after it, too!) or you risk ceding relevance to more data-savvy companies.
Cast a wide net while curating your message so that it’s relevant to the audience that is consuming it. In the age of personalization, there is no one-campaign-fits-all approach.