In October, in part one of the “All Advertising Is Local” custom video series presented by Ad Age Studio 30 in partnership with Comcast Spotlight, some of the top marketing experts in the industry sat down to discuss local marketing strategies during the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, Florida.
One of the biggest takeaways of the participants’ insights is the age-old aphorism “Know your audience.” Even for some of the largest national brands, local marketing is key. “You could argue we almost never have a national campaign anymore, because a lot of our brands have strong, regional SKUs,” says Eric Reynolds, chief marketing officer for the Clorox Company. Reynolds’ thoughts are echoed by Joy Baer, Freewheel Advertisers president: “Local marketing has long been the secret sauce in achieving true audience penetration and lift for brands. We know that the consumer responds better to a local experience.”
So how do you reach the consumer on such a personal level? For Erick Dickens, senior vice president and CMO of King’s Hawaiian, “the ability to hear from consumers in real time has changed how we work. With the advent of social media, consumers can communicate directly with us.” But as Jonathan Adams, Wavemaker’s executive director, points out, “the single-most important strategy for executing a local marketing campaign correctly today is data.” And thanks to advances in cable technology, achieving this goal is easier than ever before.
“Cable has superior capabilities when it comes to targeting the right audience,” says Baer. “It’s an extremely powerful component of local advertising.” The most exciting development of the past couple of years, according to John Hoctor, CEO and co-founder of Data Plus Math, is “the collection of census-level data by cable operators in local markets, [which is being used] by marketers to figure out where and when they should be placing their television buys.”
But it’s not just the collection of data on consumers that has allowed marketing strategies to evolve. The real game-changer is the broad spectrum of how people watch television now. “This notion that the TV in your home is the only place where consumers can watch content is a thing of the past,” says Maria Weaver, senior vice president, global marketing, Comcast Advertising. “We’ve seen a lot of advancement around how you can reach those consumers across all the various devices, and know that you’re reaching them effectively…. It’s a really exciting time in our industry.”