REGIONAL / LOCAL BUSINESS CAMPAIGNS
Economic unpredictability coupled with the continued growth of Asian and South American economies have prompted business owners of all hue (online & offline) to diversify into newer markets. Irrespective of the brand size, the entry barriers of market poses a challenge for every marketing team. Localization strategies demand a complete shift from a globalized marketing mindset – consumers tend to identify with a brand that evokes local sentiments. Nuances of culture & religion, social values and geo-political factors are as important as the financial muscle of the consumer community – it is easy to rub the sentiments of a regional market the wrong way by one-size-fits-all approach.
Ground-Zero view: Consumer & Culture
20 thousand feet marketing strategies are certain recipes for disaster if applied to a local market. The consumers of today have greater brand intelligence and they are not shy of sharing their brand views and they also tend to purchase in flocks – affinity marketing is more of a norm than an exception. Modern marketers are aware of the cultural component in the marketing messages and make every effort to incorporate a local flavor in all the marketing collaterals (online, print, and electronic)
The greater the interaction with local consumer groups, the better the chances of understanding the needs, dislikes and vibes of your consumers. The best way to cultivate collaboration with your local customers is by understanding and speaking in their cultural language.
Positioning: Product(s) & Promotion
In these times of relentless customer scrutiny, it is very difficult to make a distinction between a product and a brand – products are the best way for a brand to make a telling statement. For a customer, the brand experience starts from the moment they enter a physical or an online store – A complete synchronization between the brand message and store décor, in-store promotions, signage, merchandise, conversations / dialogue, social media profiles, websites & blogs, banner Ads etc.
Localization demands a new energy, new direction and a completely new strategy – but the brand message remains the same, although it may have to be tuned to a local frequency. A custom approach is not only required for the branding exercise, but also for the product / service. B2B referral relationships have proven to be a great accelerator for local positioning of products / services – The brand gets a much needed stamp of trust and credibility from the established players of the local market.
Business Campaign = Local Engagement
Customer engagement was an alien concept before the advent of the internet economy. There has been a gradual maturity and empowerment of consumer community with a greater emphasis on customer communication – dialogue between the seller and the buyer creates a solid platform for a long term relationship. Local search engines and communities like FourSquare, Yell.com, Brownbook and Thomson local are perceived to be the best source for trustworthy local information.
Media utilization plays an important role when it comes to the effective engagement of local markets. A media / outlet mix which is really aligned with the local sentiments is indispensable as part of the engagement strategy – Local / regional media outlets, TV, FM, Magazines and newspapers.
Events can also be seen as a dynamic media outlet – They have become a very reliable and trusted platform for buyers, sellers, partners and collaborators. As a marketer, events offer a unique and compelling billboard for reaching the decision- makers as well as the most active consumer groups in any market. A well researched sponsorship strategy can help a brand identify and engage with the right demography (Concert – Youth; Spirituality – Baby Boomer; Technology – Middle aged technocrats & Entrepreneurs & Students…)