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Enterprise Local Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide

Introduction

Locally targeted ad spending by U.S. national brands will grow from $54.4 billion in 2014 to $68.9 billion in 2018, according to BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast. Local marketing growth is being driven by several important trends, including consumers’ increasing preference for online local information – particularly through social media – and their use of mobile devices to shop locally.

This report examines the current market for enterprise local marketing automation (LMA) tools and the considerations involved in implementing LMA software. If you are considering licensing an LMA software tool, this report will help you decide whether or not you need to. The report includes recommended steps for choosing an LMA software tool, and contains profiles of 18 enterprise LMA tool vendors.

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from “Enterprise Local Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide,” published by Marketing Land. You can download the full report here free.

The Benefits of Using Enterprise LMA Tools

Managing online citations, claimed and unclaimed listings, landing pages, reviews and ratings, and data feeds for hundreds or thousands of locations has become time consuming and costly for enterprise brands. Automating local marketing processes through LMA tools can provide numerous benefits, including the following:

  • Improved search engine rankings. Accurate business listings and optimized landing pages can boost search engine rankings. Google’s crawlers are increasing their reliance on site authority and validation – which come from accurate and consistent business information across a range of directories and backlinks. Automating listing distribution and landing page development and optimization expedite these processes and can help move your individual store or dealer locations to the top of SERPs.
  • Increased productivity. Manual tasks such as SEO and schema markup, online directory listing management and distribution, search engine map management, and development and maintenance of local landing pages and mobile optimized pages are time consuming and tedious. Automating these processes frees up both your corporate marketers and your local managers to focus on their primary roles: marketing your brand and selling your products and services.
  • More cost efficient marketing. Case studies from national retailers show that automating local marketing functions can help to lower CPCs due to better SEO.
  • Better message coordination and consistency. LMA tools foster coordination between national and local marketers through CMSs that centralize brand marketing messages, campaigns, and product information; as well as location data including addresses, product selections, and business hours. The result is the ability to disseminate and deliver brand- approved, consistent, accurate marketing information across locations.
  • Expanded local marketing expertise. Digital marketing expertise varies widely across local networks of dealers, franchisees, and retailers. Many LMA vendors offer strategic services and internal adoption strategies to help clients engage local businesses and make local marketing a more successful endeavor. Automating creative processes such as landing page development also ensures brand message consistency and quality.

Do You Need an Enterprise LMA Platform?

Deciding whether or not your company needs an enterprise-level LMA tool calls for the same evaluative steps involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self- assessment of your organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support, and financial resources. Use the following questions as a guideline to determine the answers.

  1. Have we identified our local strategy and goals? Automating local marketing can benefit the organization in many ways – but you need to know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. Do you want to increase in-store traffic or leverage local search to trigger online sales? Do you want to drive traffic to local landing pages and trigger calls to action? Or, is cleaning and optimizing listing data enough of a goal if you are just beginning to manage the process?
  2. Have we established KPIs and put a system in place for tracking, measuring, and reporting results? Once you’ve established clear goals you will need to measure your progress achieving them with a series of KPIs that range from high-level campaign ROI to local-level metrics such as increases in landing page or in-store traffic and conversions. Improvements in SERP rankings are also important indicators that more accurate and centralized business listing data is paying off.
  3. Do we have C-level buy-in? Enterprise LMA software is a five- or six-figure investment annually. Skeptical CMOs need to understand what the return on that investment will be. Outlining your strategy, goals, and KPIs is critical to winning their long-term support.
  4. Do we have the right human resources in place? One of the most common issues for enterprise multi-location marketers is the varying skill levels and lack of time and financial resources that local managers have for marketing initiatives. What budget will cover LMA expenses? How will you engage local managers and encourage platform adoption? Do you have corporate marketers to guide them through the process? Or will you need to invest in the platform vendor’s professional services to develop that expertise?
  5. Can we invest in staff training? If you decide that training is essential for local managers and even corporate marketing staff, have you put aside the resources to pay for it? A successful enterprise LMA implementation will find ways to inject the LMA knowledge into existing training programs and identify internal evangelists to broadly distribute the messages. Training needs to be comprehensive, consistent, and continuous.
  6. Who will own or manage enterprise LMA? Enterprise LMA presents a dilemma for many enterprises because of the existing conflicts in corporate and local decision making. Corporate marketers may have a hard time getting local managers to provide and update listing information or follow brand guidelines in creative messaging and design. It’s important that local and corporate managers work together to maximize the value of LMA technology.

Learn More!

Download “Enterprise Local Marketing Automation Platforms.” The 50-page PDF includes additional valuable information including:

  • Updates on the current trends and issues in enterprise local marketing automation, including omnichannel marketing, tag management, and mobile measurement and optimization.
  • Analysis of the impact of recent acquisitions and funding activity.
  • Profiles of the 17 leading vendors.
  • …and much more
Enterprise Local Marketing Automation Tools
  • Table of Contents
  • Section I: Scope and Methodology
  • Section II: The Local Marketing Overview
  • Section III: Critical Elements For Local Marketing Success
  • Section IV: Enterprise LMA Tool Capabilities
  • Section V: Choosing an Enterprise LMA Platform
  • Section VI: Conclusion
  • View complete Table of Contents

Companies/Tools Profiled:

  • Balihoo
  • Brandify
  • Brandmuscle
  • Chatmeter
  • Mediative
  • MomentFeed
  • Moz Local
  • Netsertive
  • Pica9
  • Placeable
  • Rio SEO
  • SIM Partners’ Velocity
  • SproutLoud
  • SweetIQ
  • Vendasta
  • Yext
  • YP

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