Local, local, local. It’s quite on trend these days, and the availability of hyperlocal data and its many applications has only made the local conversation more intriguing — and more complicated.
However, as exciting as all this data is, there could be a major hole in your hyperlocal strategy.
Brands are missing out by not using this data to activate their people. Most brands believe hyperlocal data is married to targeting the mobile device. But when you disconnect the two, many new opportunities present themselves. Brands don’t see their workforce, their employees, and their people as what they are: The most valuable asset and media vehicle.
As marketers, we are asked to build more personal and memorable customer experiences. What better way to do this than a face-to-face interaction with someone who represents the brand? We all know that digital plays a key role in marketing strategies, and that is here to stay. But we can’t refute the value of personal relationships. Not surprisingly, Millennial customers demand digital content and new experiences, but many brands don’t capitalize on the fact that Millennials also seek meaningful face-to-face interactions. As a recent study by Lippincott put it, “There is no doubt that connecting on a more human level is about showing a real personality and creating your unique character in special ways.”
Hyperlocal data helps you identify the uniqueness of each retail trade area: where to find the best consumers, what those consumers are interested in, who to partner with, how to prioritize activities, and so much more. It’s key that you share this information with your front-line people in a contextual way. They need to know where to find the best customers and what local marketing activities they should be implementing. Only a little more than 33 percent of companies surveyed say they routinely use data to drive marketing to improve their customer interactions.
It’s a huge missed opportunity for any retail organization, especially those with franchise units or authorized dealers/resellers where local spend is part of the contractual obligation. For example: Domino’s can monitor orders from its application and tease out consumption trends. By updating the software, Domino’s can personalize conversations between the operating system and the customer. In addition, the pizza chain can track frequently asked questions and develop a strategy for addressing those queries in a creative way.
This is the type of local data that can inform marketing programs that are activated by your workforce in-store or in-community. Frank + Oak is a Canadian clothing retailer setting trends not only with their threads but also by connecting their in-store staff with better data to help them increase sales and provide a more satisfying customer experience. CEO Ethan Song says that technology plays an integral part of the in-store experience. It isn’t there simply so we can say we’re “with it” — it has to promote and nurture interactions that support customers. To do that, data has to be seamlessly integrated throughout the product and service offerings.
More often than not, the expensive and rich data sets within an organization will not be used to their full potential. Localize the data and share it. Enable and activate your local teams to make sense of it and act on it. This ensures your associates are poised and prepped to have better, more positive and more memorable marketing conversations and experiences — which in the end, is what consumers demand.
*Angela Potts is the managing director at LocalWave.