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Even National Brands Need to Think Like Locals

Matilda Schieren

There are plenty of marketing traps that businesses tiptoe around: the hijacked hashtag, the vague call-to-action, "too-soon" humor. But there's a larger issue that dupes startups and Fortune 500 organizations alike—the delusion that national brands don't need to market locally.


The unstoppable rise of social media, mobile and data-driven marketing tactics has made it easier for national businesses to reach audiences from Spokane to Syracuse in minutes. But these advances, coupled with increasingly discerning customers, pressure B2C and B2B companies to deliver custom content to those audiences based on where they're located.

Brands that rest on national name recognition alone risk diluting their reputation in specific markets, making it difficult to expand and develop local customer loyalty. Businesses that localize the wrong way (be it through botched social campaigns, weak SEO efforts or untargeted media relations) could face equally dire consequences.

The "Too Big to Localize" Myth

Is an article in Asheville, North Carolina's newspaper valuable for Chipotle? Does Trader Joe's really need separate Yelp profiles for three locations in the Chicago area? Yes.

Due to the growth of online local listings websites like Yelp and Yellow Pages, in addition to Google's push to deliver more relevant, local search results than ever, making your organization's presence known on the city or county level is mandatory.

Walker Sands Digital recently released a new white paper, The 7 Local Marketing Practices of Growing National Brands, which reveals the different approaches B2B organizations can take to successfully localize their marketing strategies, including:

  • Optimized Local Listings: Keeping your organization's information accurate across sites like Google Places, Yelp and Facebook Place Pages prevents other parties from hijacking these search-friendly listings.
  • Targeted Media Relations: A local business journal feature can drive as many, if not more, leads for B2B companies as a Forbes mention. Earning these local impressions starts with understanding which stories will resonate most in different markets.
  • Smarter Email Marketing: Given B2B marketers' cutthroat competition to stand out in prospects' inboxes, using geographically-segmented email lists and localized content (from promotions to color palettes) can be the difference between a new lead and a trip to the spam folder.

To learn more about the different ways national B2B organizations can localize their marketing programs – and the importance of doing so to begin with –download the full white paper today.