The New Rules of Customer Touchpoints

Some may remember the, ‘Rule of 7’. In the past, businesses relied on roughly 7 touchpoints to drive customers and prospects down the sales funnel. In today’s marketing landscape, it takes anywhere from 13 to 20 touchpoints to convert those prospects and customers, depending on your business/industry.


When interacting with your customer they become the recipient of an experience involving a moment of truth. This moment of truth is filled with touchpoints and other factors involving their decision whether to return, to recommend your business to a friend or colleague, or to turn their back on your business, product, and/or website. Improving the customer experience and value of touchpoints can help your business grow.


The new rules of customer touchpoints are not your products or services, but how you create an experience for customers and prospects as they interact with your brand. Think about how you attract your customers through ANY interaction, such as your website, social media, newspaper ad, blog, etc. No matter how small, add it to a list.


Identify your business goals and cross-reference the parallels your touchpoints have with the customer’s lifecycle. Keep in mind all of the earned and paid opportunities you have. Content is King and if you have that in your back pocket, it will be easy to identify how best to engage with customers and prospects and on what platforms.


What many forget about the customer journey is how important it is to have a strong online presence. If you’re not integrating with things like Local Listings, Pay Per Click, SEO, etc., odds are your competitors are and you’ll be missing out on valuable touchpoints that have the potential to push your customers to their front door instead of yours.

Every customer interaction is important, but some are more critical than others. The goal here is to identify those touchpoints that are most important to both customers and the company. Once you’ve identified the weak spots in your customer experience, you’ll have a better grasp on what needs to be done to create a more positive user experience which should in turn impact customer retention, referrals, and reviews.

The “New Normal” of Buyer Behaviors

The business landscape has changed dramatically over the past couple months, leaving business owners in uncharted territory. While our world has gone virtual almost overnight due to the pandemic, the truth is that it’s been heading in that direction for a long time. 

Rather than taking a step backward, we’re hurtling forward into a new reality where consumers rely on technology and digital media in new, although not unpredictable, ways. In the face of all these changes, are you ready to show your flexibility and willingness to innovate? 

Below, we’ve outlined some of the new purchasing patterns and consumer habits you can expect to encounter as you strive to meet your customers’ needs. While challenging, this “new normal” also presents an opportunity for your business to reinvent itself, cater to customers’ changing preferences, and implement innovations that lead to improved efficiency for both your team and your clientele.

What’s Changed: Consumer Purchasing Patterns

In light of the requirements of social distancing, many customers have been forced to explore new experiences they may have eschewed in the past. It goes without saying that ordering groceries online and holding appointments through video chat are now as commonplace as sitting in a waiting room or perusing supermarket shelves once were. 

Now that consumers have experienced the convenience that these new options offer, many of them won’t want to go back to the old way of doing things.

In short, consumer preferences are changing, causing them to develop new habits that will lead to new buying patterns and expectations. Even those who do choose to go back to their old ways will be more aware of the possibilities available to them through technology. They will likely also become more comfortable with the idea of trying out new opportunities in the future. 

As the marketplace is moving online, these virtual experiences are becoming increasingly important to customers. Real-time communication with brands is now a necessity, as is a fluid purchase journey. More than ever, customers are focusing not just on the quality of the product or service they receive, but the quality of the purchase experience as a whole.

Adapting to this new baseline of consumer expectations may require different actions on the part of different businesses. Whether the crucial adaptations for your business involve streamlining your website, installing a chatbot to connect users with the right department, creating an online scheduling application, or arranging the logistics of delivery, it’s now your mission to follow through on these changes so your business can rise to the occasion.

What Hasn’t Changed: The Need to Focus on the Customer

While many things have changed, one factor will always stay the same: Your focus should remain on improving your customers’ experience with your business in every way possible. Examine each point of interaction, from initial contact to returns and reviews, and don’t overlook any opportunity you have to improve their experience.  

Although it’s easy to think of customers as a category separate from yourself as a business owner, the truth is that you’re a customer in many aspects of your life, too. You can help eliminate the ambiguity of these uncertain times by analyzing your own thoughts and actions. Ask yourself:

  • What changes are you expecting from the businesses you frequent? 
  • How have your purchasing preferences changed?
  • What patterns have become habits that will stick? 

Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes will help ensure you create an environment that will make your customers comfortable in the “new normal.”

Another thing that hasn’t changed, despite the upheaval in the market, is the importance of data and measurement. As you begin to make adjustments to your business model, implement new marketing strategies, and roll out new services, be sure to review results often and gain as much feedback as possible. Not every innovation or experiment is going to resonate with your customers, but you can’t be certain until you try.

Video Advertising in 2020

Video is a great medium for grabbing people’s attention—but only when it’s used strategically. Poorly produced videos will have viewers clicking away at lightspeed. However, high-quality, on-the-mark videos enable you to get your message across and make a lasting impression on viewers that resonates even after the clip is over. If you’re wanting to use video in order to grow your brand in the upcoming year, we have some tips that can help you get the most out of this engaging form of media.

How to Use Video to Amplify Your Digital Marketing Strategy

We often say that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” With video, you can count on amplifying that impact. Each second of your video contains a message that would otherwise require countless words to get across. Utilize this time in a way that allows you to connect with your audience, form a trust-based relationship, and inspire them to see your brand in a new light.

Here are just a few of the ways you can make an impact with this creative medium:

You can use video to bring the story of your brand to life. 

Show rather than tell your backstory in order to truly leave a lasting impression. When viewers have a deep understanding of how your brand came to be, they’ll be better able to relate to your messaging. Presenting your story in a creative way doesn’t just fill in the blanks for the audience, it can also help build your business by generating growth organically.

You can use videos to educate and inform your audience. 

Video is one way to provide a large number of people with information they value. In addition to delivering content that nurtures and increases the knowledge of your followers, creating informative videos keeps contacts engaged. It also helps expand your base by putting people on the path to conversion who were not initially searching for your product or service. As a source of reliable information, you’ll stand out from your competition and gain an advantage in the market.

You can reach busy consumers. 

As a member of the modern world, you have a first-hand understanding of just how busy people can be. Most people are more likely to choose to watch a video rather than take the time to read a long article, especially if it’s covering a topic that’s new to them. You can easily say a lot in a short video while also pointing users to other sources of information on your site should they want to delve deeper into the subject.

You can improve your email marketing strategy. 

Embedded videos breathe life into your emails and contribute to increased click-through rates. Of course, you’ll want to do thorough testing before your big email marketing push, since many email clients are still lagging behind on their video rendering abilities. Remember, people receive plenty of emails every single day that they’ll either skim or simply click away from. By offering engaging video content right in their inbox, you can give them a bit of respite from mental fatigue and a reason to stick around and listen to what you have to say.

You can catch—and hold—people’s attention. 

Video is an excellent way to ensure that you’re being heard when you put your brand and product messaging out into the world. When it comes to purchasing a product or service, people often prefer to rely on video rather than written content during the decision-making process. Not only does using video allow you to focus on the value your product or service can provide for the user’s life, but it also makes it more likely that they’ll be able to visualize that value themselves.

You can do more with your ads. 

Many digital ad formats are seen as a nuisance; we’ve all fought off irritating pop-ups at one time or another. If you’re looking for better click-through rates, focus on video. Video enables you to make a greater impact on your audience and deliver a resonating message that would otherwise get lost in the noise of banner and pop-up ads.

You can connect with more people. 

Using videos in social media is a cost-effective strategy that brands can use to get more eyeballs on their content in an organic manner. Videos shared via Facebook have a much greater organic reach than photos, as well as more messaging potential. The power of video to engage people on a massive level shouldn’t be underestimated, which is why many brands are making the resolution to invest in video as part of their digital marketing strategy in 2020.

Generating Franchise Leads with Digital Marketing

Building sign says "Interested in a franchise opportunity?"

When you’re developing a franchise brand, your survival depends on your ability to generate leads. Your brand can’t grow without qualified franchisees — even if you’ve created a strong franchise offering. To succeed, you need an equally strong system for generating franchise leads.

Digital marketing for franchise owners will play a central role in this system. To attract, nurture, and convert the right franchise leads, you’ll need a comprehensive and multi-channel strategy, one that covers multiple digital touchpoints.

Let’s take a closer look at how to make this happen.

Why Digital for Franchise Lead Generation?

At this point, almost every major franchisor depends on digital marketing for leads. This change is reflective of a broader, global trend toward digital marketing. But in the world of franchising, the shift toward digital marketing is especially noteworthy.

Here are five of the biggest reasons why this is the case:

  • Digital marketing gives you access to the widest possible pool of franchise leads, across the widest possible geographic area.
  • Programmatic, dynamic, and retargeted digital ads provide a cost-effective way to target your most qualified leads.
  • Franchisees conduct extensive self-directed research before purchasing a franchise. The majority of this research is conducted online.
  • Digital analytics offer powerful, proven methods for tracking, measuring, and fine-tuning online lead generation campaigns.
  • A multi-touchpoint digital marketing strategy will anticipate questions, concerns, and needs, creating a near-frictionless sales funnel.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Franchise Leads

A franchise location is a major purchasing decision. Given the weight of this decision, the purchase journey for franchise leads is an exceptionally long process.

As a franchisor, you need to stay with your leads at every step of this process. To do so, you’ll need to cover a wide range of digital touchpoints. What’s more, you’ll need a comprehensive overall strategy for lead generation. This strategy will need to connect from touchpoint to touchpoint, creating a coordinated journey for your leads.

Franchise owners need digital marketing

Here’s a look at how a range of digital marketing channels can help franchise owners generate leads:

  • Website Design. Before purchasing a franchise business, most entrepreneurs go through an extensive, self-directed research process. This process typically involves several hours spent reviewing franchisor websites. In light of this, your website could be the most important weapon in your lead generation arsenal. The perfect website will be attractive, fast, and intuitive, and it will have resources for every stage (or nearly every stage) of your sales funnel.
  • SEO. When creating your brand’s website, you’ll want to invest in search engine optimized content. SEO is a particularly cost-effective strategy for franchise lead generation. Search volumes for industry-specific franchise keywords are relatively low, so there’s less competition for these keywords. At the same time, those search volumes include a significant share of qualified buyers.
  • PPC Advertising. As with SEO, paid advertising is another great way to target high-quality leads. Through keyword research, you can identify which search terms are most closely associated with the different stages of the sales funnel. You can then tailor your ads to mirror the purchase journey of your prospects, keeping friction to an absolute minimum.
  • Programmatic. Programmatic advertising can help you target leads with extraordinary precision. Programmatic ads target users based on their search behavior, browsing history, location, and other factors. This way, you can micro-target your highest-quality prospects. Even better, you can reconnect with leads at later stages of your funnel, providing content tailored to their needs and preferences.
  • Social Media. In the world of franchising, social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are the most powerful lead generation tools available. No other social networks compare in terms of quantity or quality of leads. Take the time to polish your personal and corporate profiles, target high-quality prospects with ads, connect with interested prospects via direct message, and qualify leads with paid ads that drive prospects to your website.

Each of these channels can be powerful tools for franchise lead generation. But that’s only true if they support and reinforce one another. To generate, cultivate, and convert high-quality leads, you’ll need to create a seamless journey: from point A to B to C.

To learn more about how Qiigo can help franchise owners achieve Franchise Development goals through digital marketing, fill out the form below to  connect with one of our digital experts.

3 Things Every Marketer Should Know About Hyperlocal Programmatic

If you operate a multi-location brand, programmatic advertising makes it much easier and cost-effective to operate hyperlocal campaigns. Advances in programmatic technology have given rise to the adoption of this form of advertising by multi-location marketers, but some are still in the dark about how to build the right strategy for their brand.

Looking for tips on how to run hyperlocal programmatic campaigns for your multi-location business? Here are three important tips that will help you target users accurately and improve conversion rates.

1. Know Your Target Audience

Any successful programmatic campaign depends on in-depth knowledge of your target audience. You need rock-solid data about who your customers are, what kinds of ads they respond to, and the touchpoints at which they’re most receptive to targeted ads.

There are a number of ways to build and/or acquire this data. Analytics from your website can give you significant data about consumer demographics, behavior, and preferences. Tracking technologies are another great way to build out detailed information about your customer base. Both of these methods will give you the ability to segment your audience into various micro-audiences — an important part of programmatic advertising.

The most effective programmatic campaigns are typically built on a mixture of first-hand data and data from third-party sources. Unfortunately, the quality of third-party programmatic data can be inconsistent at best. So, when purchasing third-party data, it’s often a good idea to lean on a digital marketing agency with deep experience in this field.

2. Leverage Hyperlocal Targeting & Customization

Hyperlocal programmatic marketing delivers extraordinary value to multi-location brands. The reason for this is simple: programmatic marketing succeeds through personalization, and a person’s location is a critical factor in his or her purchasing decisions.

Imagine you’re searching for restaurants that deliver to your workplace. As you browse online reviews, you see a pair of ads for two chains of Thai restaurants. One ad tells you the address of the nearest location, shows you reviews for that location, and includes how long it will take them to deliver to your address. Meanwhile, the other ad contains generic copy for the brand, with no information about their nearest restaurant.

Which ad are you more likely to click?

Countless case studies have shown that users are much more likely to click on the localized ad instead of the generic one. This underscores the importance of not only targeting customers on a hyperlocal level, but also of customizing your ads to reflect location data.

3. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

While hyperlocal targeting is incredibly effective, brands sometimes make the mistake of focusing too heavily on geographic targeting. No matter how precisely you target customers on a geographic level, your ads will fall flat if users are not targeted along other vectors.

Personalization is the key to successful programmatic campaigns. The more accurately an ad reflects a specific user’s needs, the more relevant that ad will be to the user and the more likely that the user will click it. While a user’s location is one of their most important data points for certain types of purchases, there are a number of other data points that will be relevant to their purchasing decision.

Multi-location brands must be careful not to lose sight of this when they develop hyperlocal programmatic campaigns. While geo-targeting is a crucial element for multi-location programmatic campaigns, a successful campaign will use multiple targeting methods, drawing on several different types of user data.

Learn more about Qiigo’s Programmatic solution by clicking here.

Using Direct Mail to Power your Digital Marketing

Until recently, marketers loved direct mail. It offered low costs and strong returns, and it combined precise targeting with a broad overall footprint. That all started to change with digital technologies. USPS mail volumes are down almost 30% since 2006, and direct mail budgets have been in decline for several years.

Despite this, direct mail tactics and data remain useful to digital marketers. That’s particularly true if you implement addressable geo-fencing on programmatic ad campaigns. With addressable geo-fencing, brands can serve ads to users based on their street address — just like direct mail.

This opens up a world of possibilities for brands with robust CRM databases built via offline marketing. All of that offline location data can now be harnessed for programmatic campaigns.

Plus, you have the option of coordinating these campaigns with offline marketing efforts. You can even run campaigns where programmatic ads and direct mail materials work in tandem.

Addressable Geo-Fencing: What It Is & How It Works

If you run programmatic ad campaigns, you should already be familiar with geo-fencing. This method allows you to target devices within a specific geographic area. Typically, this is a city, a neighborhood, or a single targeted area. You define the area, and ads get shown on devices with GPS coordinates that match the target area.

Addressable geo-fencing takes this concept and makes it even more hyper-specific. It works by geo-fencing individual properties. Instead of targeting a single geo-fenced area, it targets a series of street addresses by geo-fencing the property of each address. Marketers upload a list of addresses, and ads get served to users and devices associated with that address.

There are several advantages to addressable geo-fencing. But the biggest, by far, is the opportunity to harness existing CRM data. Now, marketers can use street address data for digital campaigns. This way, they can start transitioning offline data to digital campaigns. Or they can develop coordinated digital/direct mail campaigns.

Using Addressable Geo-Fencing for Programmatic Ads

There are a number of ways that marketers can use addressable geo-fencing for programmatic ad campaigns.

One way is to simply replicate direct mail tactics for programmatic ads. If you have a list of addresses that you’d normally use for direct mail content, you can start serving programmatic ads to these households.

If you want to target prospects and leads more granularly, you have a few options. You could narrow down your list of addresses using your existing CRM data (e.g., targeting past customers who bought a specific product or service). You could add additional parameters to your programmatic campaign (e.g., targeting users in a specific age group). Or you could do both!

Things get really interesting when you look at coordinated campaigns that include both programmatic and direct mail content. Let’s say you run a furniture store that puts out a quarterly catalog. Here’s a quick, 3-part example of a coordinated direct mail/programmatic campaign:

  1. The week before you send out your catalog, you run a programmatic campaign targeted at customers on your mailing list. This ad announces your upcoming catalog and gives a sneak peek of key products or deals.
  2. Your catalog is sent out to your mailing list. Thanks to your initial ad, customers are expecting the catalog and eager to learn more about this quarter’s selection of products. In it, you include an attractive limited-time deal on a sofa.
  3. A few days after your catalog arrives in customers’ mail, you run a programmatic campaign for this deal. The ads highlight the sofa, the savings, and the limited-time offer, with a call-to-action that gets customers to your store.

This is just one example of how addressable geo-fencing can be uses to bolster direct mail campaigns. More importantly, it shows how valuable offline data can be harnessed for online marketing.

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Google Ads Retires Average Position: What This Means for PPC

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would retire the “average position” metric from Google Ads. The news was both surprising and unsurprising for PPC marketers. On the one hand, this metric has been used for 15+ years, and it feels like a part of Google Ads’ DNA. On the other hand, it has become steadily less reliable and useful in recent years, both as a measurement of where ads appear on page and as a tool for bidding on ad slots.

Despite average position’s shortcomings, it remained popular with brands and marketers. With Google’s announcement, many wondered how they would manage without this metric.

Thankfully, Google introduced new metrics in late 2018 that can be used in place of average position. In most cases, these metrics will offer a more accurate sense of where ads appear in search results.

Wondering how this change will affect your business? Let’s find out…

Why Is Google Getting Rid of Average Position?

In the early days of Google AdWords, average position was one of its most important metrics and tools. But over time, its accuracy and utility have steadily decreased.

Originally, average position was a reliable measure of where your ad was located on the page. Based on the average position metric, you had a strong sense of where your ads appeared in search results. But as Google made changes to ad layouts and ad formats, that started to change.

Today, a #1 position can have you at the top of the page for certain search results. On others, it will appear near the bottom. But that change in ad location isn’t reflected by the average position metric.

What’s more, there’s a much bigger gap today between top-of-page and bottom-of-page ads. When Google removed ads from the right column of search results, it eliminated valuable real estate for mid-ranked ads.

Now, the question isn’t: “What’s your ad position?”

Instead, it’s: “Does your ad appear at the top of the page?”

What’s Replacing the Average Position Metric?

Google didn’t want to get rid of average position without replacing it. So in late 2018, it introduced a set of new metrics, including:

  • Absolute Top Position Rate: The percentage of your ads that appear at the absolute top of a given page.
  • Top Position Rate: The percentage of your ads that appear within the top section of ads on a given page.
  • Absolute Top Impression Share: The number of impressions you’ve received in the absolute top position divided by the estimated number of top position impressions that you were eligible to receive.
  • Top Impression Share: The number of impressions you’ve received in top-of-page positions divided by the estimated number of absolute top position impressions that you were eligible to receive.

These metrics give you a much more accurate sense of where your ads are actually appearing in search results. So if your goal is to measure the placement of your ads or maximize the number of impressions your ads receive, these new metrics will be a welcome change from average position.

How Will Brands & Marketers Adapt?

In the vast majority of cases, the retirement of average position will have a neutral or positive effect on Google Ads campaigns. Brands and marketers will have a more accurate sense of ad placement, and it will be easier to target top-of-page positions.

The important thing is that you’re proactive. If rely on average position until it disappears, you’ll have a rocky transition to the new metrics. But if you familiarize yourself with the new metrics ahead of time, you’ll make the switch much more easily.

Local Marketing for Millennials: 7 Do’s and 3 Don’ts

When it comes to marketing to millennials, many brands struggle to find the right approach to engagement. Outdated models and an inability to tailor messaging to reach this audience continues to infringe upon building awareness for future customers.

Right now, there’s no generation more important to local marketing than millennials. That comes as no surprise when you take a look at the stats for this audience.

  • There are 80 million millennials in the U.S., roughly ¼ of the total population
  • American millennials spend more than $200 billion annually
  • Today, millennials offer the strongest lifetime value to brands of any generation

Despite the value offered by millennial consumers, many local businesses struggle to reach this generation. Strategies that worked for Gen-X and the Baby Boomers seem to fall flat with millennial consumers.

If you want to connect with millennials, you simply can’t afford to use outdated models. Instead, you’ll need to tailor your local marketing efforts to millennials’ habits, personalities, and preferences.

For local marketing via digital media, you’ll want to follow these do’s and don’ts when targeting millennials.

7 Local Marketing Do’s for Millennials

#1. DO Keep Things Short

Attention spans today aren’t what they used to be. This is particularly true among millennials who’ve grown up on digital technologies. Marketing to millennials requires short and to-the-point messaging. You’ve only got a few seconds to capture their attention, so make those seconds count. 

#2. DO Offer Convenience

The instant gratification of digital media has put a premium on convenience. For proof, look no further than the impact that free one-day shipping has had on Amazon, or the explosive growth of food delivery apps. Millennials want convenience, and they’ll reward brands that provide it.

#3. DO Focus on Mobile

Today, “mobile first” is a maxim of digital marketing, especially for local businesses. But it’s even more important for brands targeting millennials. In fact, they’re the only generation with smartphone ownership rates above 90%, and they spend far more time on mobile devices than desktop computers.

#4. DO Stay Socially Active

In addition to high rates of mobile usage, millennials use social media more than any other generation. Brands that want to engage with millennial consumers need to be active on social media, especially on major platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

#5. DO Promote Your Reviews

Millennial consumers trust online reviews almost as much as personal recommendations. In fact, many millennials put more stock in online reviews than the recommendations of friends. To reach millennials, local businesses should focus on generating and promoting positive reviews.

#6. DO Make Positive Change

More other age groups, millennials spend their money on socially conscious products and businesses. By advocating and fundraising for charitable causes — especially local causes within your community — you can build a stronger rapport with this generation.

#7. DO Be Authentic & Considerate

Millennials gravitate toward authenticity, and they’re quick to detect inauthentic messaging. So don’t try to make your business into something it’s not. Instead, focus on what makes you great. Showcase what makes you the best at what you do and make that the core of your local marketing strategy.

3 Local Marketing Don’ts for Millennials

#1. DON’T Misunderstand Who They Are

When brands talk about millennials, they talk about students and younger adults. But today, the oldest millennials are nearly 40 years old, and the youngest are already in their mid-20s. If you focus your marketing efforts on the just-out-of-college crowd, you’re missing the mark on millennials.

#2. DON’T Treat Them as a Monolith

Millennial consumers share a number of traits that can be useful for local marketing. But it’s a mistake to treat millennials as a monolith. Among millennials, there’s an almost limitless array of micro-markets. An effective local marketing strategy won’t simply target “millennials.” Instead, it will target niche markets within this generation.

#3. DON’T Ignore Their Input

One of the easiest and smartest ways to develop a local marketing strategy for millennials is to get input from, well, actual millennials. Yet many local businesses fail to make millennials a part of these efforts. Others seek input from millennial consumers and employees, but they don’t make millennials a part of the decision-making process. Their feedback is downplayed or minimized, and the resulting campaigns fail to connect.

7 Digital Marketing Best Practices for Multi-Location Brands

Digital marketing can be a thorny issue for multi-location brands. On the corporate level, you’re engaged in broad, national campaigns that promote your brand as a whole. On the location level, you (or your franchisees) need to worry about local marketing efforts. That means taking a hybrid approach to your digital marketing strategy.


Yet, when you look online for digital marketing best practices, there’s little information on how to balance brand-level and location-level marketing. Most of the advice you’ll find is focused on one or the other. There’s little information on how to coordinate corporate campaigns and local marketing to complement one another.


At Qiigo, we specialize in digital marketing campaigns for national brands, so we know a thing or two about the best ways to market your multi-location brand online. If you’re in the process of rethinking your digital marketing strategy, here are seven important areas that you’ll want to focus on.


What Multi-Location Brands Need for Digital Marketing


  1. Create Unique, Localized SEO Content. If your brand uses boilerplate content for each location’s sub-site, these pages will likely be excluded from search results. Google expects every page on your website to have unique content. When it detects duplicate content, it removes these pages from search results. Effective local SEO for multi-location brands therefore requires the creation and implementation of unique, localized content for each location’s website.
  2. Centralize Your Pay-Per-Click Campaigns. One of the advantages of modern PPC is the ability to carefully segment your PPC campaigns. This has made it much easier, cheaper, and effective for multi-location brands to centralize their PPC efforts. Centralized campaigns benefit from the cost-efficiencies of scale, the accuracy of larger data sets, and the cohesion of a unified message. Meanwhile, it’s now easy to customize ads based on users’ locations, or to create a market through which franchisees can increase or decrease ad spending in their market.
  3. Engage in Two-Tier Reputation Management. Reputation management for multi-location brands naturally occurs on two levels: the reputation of your brand, and the reputations of individual locations. While some companies prefer to focus their corporate efforts purely on their brand-level reputation, it’s often smarter to assist individual locations with reputation management. This can be done by identifying locations with low review counts or middling ratings, then providing them with tools and resources to strengthen their review profiles.
  4. Local Listings Monitoring & Management. It can be costly and inefficient for individual franchise locations to manage their own local listings. By handling local listings management at the corporate level, multi-location brands can eliminate redundancies and lower the cost of these services. Centralized management also carries other benefits. For example, it ensures business data is consistently structured from one location to the other. And if problems with one location’s data are causing problems for another location, it is much easier to correct his issue.
  5. Help Locations Win Fans on Social Media. Social media is one area where it can pay to give franchisees control over digital marketing. Franchisees can put a human face on their business and use social media to build a strong community presence. With that said, there’s a lot that brands can do to aid franchisees on social media. For example, brands can provide franchisees with content to augment their social media feeds, creating a mix of corporate and local content. Brands can also use their corporate accounts to signal boost franchisees’ posts and profiles.
  6. Target Locally with Programmatic Ads. Programmatic ads — which show users ads based on certain types of user data — are an excellent tool for local marketing. Multi-location brands have an advantage in this field, since they can build and/or acquire large data sets for programmatic targeting. This data can then be used to run centralized campaigns that include localized targeting and customization. Alternatively, it can be provided to franchisees who wish to run independent programmatic campaigns.
  7. Mobile-Friendly Website Design. Nearly two-thirds of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, and studies show that most local searches occur on mobile devices. In light of this, it’s crucial that multi-location brands have mobile-friendly websites on both the corporate level and local levels. In particular, it’s important that you have a mobile-friendly store finder — a feature that often has problems on mobile devices.


Trick or Treat: Is Bad Data ‘Ghosting’ your local marketing efforts?

When national brands engage in local marketing online, their location data can play Trick-or-Treat with the results. If data is well-managed, brands are rewarded with an effective campaign. However, if location data is inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete, these campaigns can suffer serious problems.


In the worst cases, local marketing efforts can be “ghosted” by bad data. You run a locally targeted PPC campaign, yet your ads never appear the in right market. You invest in local SEO, yet your locations are nowhere to be found in search results.


While any business can suffer from problems with location data, larger brands tend to have the most trouble managing this data. So if you operate a brand with several locations, or you’re running a smaller brand with big plans for expansion, it’s important that you invest in effective location data management.

How Mismanaged Location Data “Ghosts” Ads & Search Results

In the world of digital marketing, there is nothing more frustrating than a “ghosted” ad or search result. You invest time and money in a marketing campaign. You think you’ve followed all the right steps. And yet, when you try to find your ads or search for your page, the results never appear (or, in some cases, they never appear where they’re supposed to).


When this happens to national brands with multiple locations, mismanaged location data is often the culprit.


If location data is managed at the corporate level, mistakes in your database can migrate into your local marketing campaigns. This can happen:


  • If franchisees enter their data incorrectly
  • If a mistake is made when transposing data from one database to another
  • If location data isn’t properly updated


While corporate-level management tends to be more accurate, the sheer volume of data can make it difficult to identify and correct mistakes.


If location data is managed at the franchise level, there is a very high risk of inconsistent data management from one franchise to the next. Franchisees end up using different systems and different practices for managing their data. This makes it extremely difficult to coordinate brand-wide campaigns that rely on location data. To make matters even more difficult, this data is often managed by employees or the franchisee: i.e., someone without a background in digital marketing.


Inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent data can end up neutralizing an otherwise flawless local marketing campaign. Here are three examples of how this can happen:


  • PPC Advertising. A lot of brick-and-mortar businesses run PPC campaigns with a geographic footprint tied to their physical location. This requires accurate longitude and latitude figures. If either of these figures is entered inaccurately, your campaign could end up targeting an entirely different location.


  • Local SEO. Google and other search engines tailor their results according to users’ locations. So, if your website is feeding faulty location data to users, your site might disappear from local search results. Another issue: incorrect or inconsistent data can reduce your site’s quality score, resulting in lower SEO rankings.


  • Local Listings. If your internal database contains inaccurate location data, these mistakes are likely replicated in external listings. Inaccurate or inconsistent local listings can lead to major headaches for brick-and-mortar businesses. Google could display the wrong address or phone number for your locations, confuse two of your locations for one another, or remove some of your locations from search results entirely.

Solutions to Local Data Mismanagement

All of this leads to an obvious question: If your brand has problems with location data, what should you do about it? We suggest two important steps…


First, re-evaluate your current location data management practices. If you don’t have a proper central database for this information, establish one. If you do, perform a detailed audit to eliminate errors, fix inconsistencies, and fill in missing data.


Second, establish a set of brand standards for entering new data or updating existing information. Make sure these standards are compatible with digital marketing best practices. It may be helpful to hire a digital marketing consultant for help establishing these standards.


Third, partner with a digital marketing company that specializes in local marketing for national brands. These companies are familiar with the pitfalls of inaccurate location data. They have systems in place to keep location data consistent, and they can troubleshoot multi-location campaigns much more quickly and effectively than other digital marketing companies.