BrainTrust Query: Where Is The Localized Advertising?
RSR just recently completed an analysis of several retailers’ localized advertising capabilities. We found two schools of retailers among those we evaluated: one set has taken a broad-brush approach to all kinds of digital channels and another has chosen to focus in and get deep (and local) in a few areas.
We defined the localized advertising perspective as a call to action that leverages the shopper’s physical location to provide a local element, for example, the nearest store’s address or phone number as part of the call to action.
The first set of retailers — the broad-brush kind — have set up at least a minimal presence in just about every digital channel there is, dabbling with in-video advertising, to mobile advertising (including in-game advertising), to the basics of display advertising and online fliers (along with the newspaper inserts). For these retailers, they have taken the approach: "It’s better to be a little bit everywhere than be really good at any one specific thing." The end result from a localized advertising perspective is that these retailers have opportunities to be much more localized, but don’t tend to take advantage of those opportunities. They may have the hooks (the ability to display a flier by zip code, for example), but the hooks remain unused (one flier for all zip codes).
The second set of retailers have specialized when it comes to digital advertising. They don’t have all the communication channels covered, but in the channels they’re in, they’re in deep, using Twitter links to drive shoppers to specific events in specific locations, mobile site takeovers and banner ads that offer up the nearest store, and digital promotions or offers that target shoppers in a certain geographic proximity to the store. But even then, shining examples — especially those with a strong tie-in towards driving traffic to stores — seem to be few and far between.
Discussion Questions: Are retailers missing opportunities by not taking advantage of localized advertising? Should retailers try to cover all digital communication channels first or go deep in a few before going wide?