Digital Local Advertising: Retail’s Next Challenge
As marketers in 2022, we all know the necessity for brands to advertise online activating marketing campaigns through Google Ads, Facebook, Amazon, or other platforms. And while this necessity doesn’t stop growing (based on annual SRI reports in France, and the ever-growing digital media investments), another necessity for brands to consider is local advertising and especially automation of local advertising. In 2020, Xerfi estimated the local advertising market in France to be worth 2.7 billion euros and growing by 25% per year. So what makes local advertising retailer’s next challenge for 2022?
The importance of local advertising in 2022
Compared to traditional online advertising, which is most often operated at a national level, local or multi-local digital advertising is operated, by the retailer itself, a local agency or in some cases by the brand. It is, therefore, the manager of a store or a franchise, for example, who will manage the advertising issued by his brand, to cover his catchment area and generate traffic and sales in store.
For a long time, local advertising has been made possible thanks to levers such as radio, press or leaflets, and thanks to companies such as SoLocal or Mediapost. Today, local advertising has been made easier and available to all thanks to platforms such as Google Ads or Facebook Business Manager (Meta), which have very quickly made it possible to activate digital local campaigns known as Local Campaigns, Drive To Store or Web To Store campaigns. Recently, a large number of players have proposed local marketing solutions such as DeepReach or Armis. It is therefore a practice and a need that is becoming more and more essential for retailers and their franchise networks, in order to develop their visibility and their sales.
How to operate local advertising?
Just as with national digital media buying, there are different ways to operate local online campaigns:
- Operating internally: Based on an internalized model, a franchise manager, for example, will take care of managing his local advertising himself by buying digital media directly from platforms that have developed easy-to-use local marketing solutions, exempting himself from any margins or costs generated by agencies, but not guaranteeing the effectiveness of his strategy.
- Operating externally: Based on an externalized model, a franchise will use an external resource to handle its local advertising, most often an agency or specialized solution.
To support these two models, a variety of players with different and sometimes even complementary positioning exist and rhythm the local advertising market:
- Google Ads & Facebook Business Manager platforms which are increasingly promoting their local advertising features accessible to all, without intermediaries or external resources required.
- Media agencies offering media buying services originally for campaigns with a national dimension, but which adapted their services to local businesses, thanks to local “antennas”.
- Advertising agencies and solutions specialized in drive to store: Vectaury, S4M, Adot, FidMe…
- Local marketing automation solutions: DeepReach, Armis, Visiperf…
Automation of local advertising
With the democratization of online advertising tools, which are becoming more and more accessible at the local level, but also with the growth of this market which is constantly increasing, one of the challenges of local advertising is its automation. It is made possible by solutions based on a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, specialized in local advertising and which are different from other traditional players such as agencies.
One of these successful solutions is DeepReach, a French adtech company, which offers an AI marketing platform for digital local advertising for agencies to better operate local advertising at a lower cost using artificial intelligence. Concretely, they allow agencies or advertisers to operate all their online local marketing on a single platform (a “meta DSP ”), which is connected to the various advertising solutions and inventories on the market (Google, Facebook, programmatic agencies, etc...), backed by artificial intelligence that will automate the management, launch and monitoring of local campaigns.
Despite its local aspect and therefore more targeted and restricted in terms of budget, local marketing campaigns require just as much or even more resources and time than campaigns on a larger scale due to their granularity in the personalization of the message and their very precise geographical segmentation, especially when the job is done by an agency, for example, which will impose fairly high margins and costs (often in reference to what they do on a more national level).
The automation of local advertising thanks to platforms such as DeepReach, will therefore serve the scalability of operations at the local level, reduce costs for advertisers, optimize returns on investment, and improve media performance to make local campaigns just as effective as national campaigns.
Local advertising and media performance
One of the other challenges of local advertising is to know the real impact of local advertising on in-store traffic and sales, especially in comparison to other media channels, and to be able to adjust the investment by channel, by store, by type of clientele or by geographic area.
Generally complementary to national marketing, local advertising does not meet the same challenges, is not measured and analyzed with the same KPIs, but still has a significant place in a customer’s purchasing process.
Therefore, whatever the strategy of a brand, it is relevant to measure the impact of its digital actions on the global media performance, both globally and locally, in order to help decision-making and generate actionable insights.
Customer knowledge and data are the key elements for an efficient measurement and analysis of the weight and contribution of each media lever on in-store performances.
Other benefits of media performance measurement can be the redesign of the strategy around the complementarity between print and digital, the reflection on the digitalization of flyers, the refinement of advertiser’s omnichannel strategies, and more globally the awareness of advertisers on the importance of local digital advertising in 2022.
About the author: Alexandre Poulain
Currently a Junior Media Consultant at Converteo, a French consulting firm specialized in Data, Media & CRM, and Web Analytics, I am also a Digital Business student at Grenoble Ecole de Management, passionate about tech, internet and luxury businesses.
Please connect with me if you enjoyed reading this article!
LinkedIn : Alexandre Poulain
About this article
This article has been written by a student on the Grenoble Ecole de Management’s Advanced Masters in Digital Strategy Management. As part of a content creation assignment, students are given the task of writing articles based on their digital interests and disseminate the articles online. Articles are marked but we make minimal changes to the content. Thanks for reading! James Barisic, Programme Director, MS DSM.