Local is the New Marketing: Predictions for 2019
By Lynn Tornabene
Lynn Tornabene, CMO at AffinityX, shares her thoughts on local marketing and its possibilities with democratization of technology, programmatic advertising, connected television, and social media.
Today, it’s truly “The Age of Local,” in which brands will win or lose based on their local relevance. This is true not only for companies that have always focused on local — such as hospitals, real estate agents and auto dealers (as well as their advertising and media partners) — but also for major national brands/agencies which increasingly need to drill down to the local level.
However, while local marketing competition is fierce, the good news is that the Age of Local comes with a more level playing field. The democratization of technology, including programmatic advertising and connected television, as well as social media platforms and overall better conversion tracking, will make it a golden age for local marketing.
Content Production Will Capture Spending
Content marketing will only increase in popularity for all marketers and, in 2019, there is no doubt that more local marketers will start to allocate budgets to this end (e.g., creating blogs, native ads and social media posts). However I also predict that brands will continue to struggle with how to scale their content production capabilities. Many have implemented software to better manage the flow of content, but are still challenged with content creation and revisions. In the end, I think more brands will look to outsource content production in 2019.
Breaking into Connected TV
With the rise of Connected TV, viewers are taking more control over what they watch, which means less exposure to ads in traditional programming. In 2019, brands will start to rethink the way they reach their desired audiences with video, and the challenge is no less pressing for local marketers. Leveraging the data-focused targeting available via Connected TV to reach the right audience with compelling video will be a must-have budget item for many successful marketers.
Video Advertising is Getting Hotter
According to Borrell’s 2018 Local Marketing Survey, 46 percent of SMBs are trying something new and video is the leading choice because 51 percent who use video see it as highly effective. And it’s no surprise that social media is the number one method for video distribution. The good news for any brand is that the attractive Millennials segment loves video. In fact, 66 percent of them engaged with brands after viewing videos on social media, according to a study by Brightcove in November 2018.
Recruiting at the Local Level with Geofencing Will Increase
Programmatic recruitment advertising will be extremely advantageous in 2019 for companies in highly-competitive sectors like healthcare, education and engineering. It can dramatically improve the ability to reach the right prospects at the right times in the right places. Another large local marketing sector is the trucking industry, and recruitment is a huge problem in that vertical. The sector has started to move past traditional recruitment advertising, such as job boards, to leverage technologies including social media.
For example, an advertiser can leverage geofencing to send mobile ads to devices at truck stops at certain hours when they are most likely receptive to considering job changes (e.g. at midnight when drivers are exhausted). The possibilities with programmatic are virtually endless for local recruiting and, in 2019, more and more businesses will take advantage of this opportunity.
Dynamic Digital Ads Will Gain More Traction
Local marketers will continue to adopt dynamic advertising in 2019 to reach their target audiences. Let’s take one large local marketing sector as an example: auto dealers. According to eMarketer predictions in early 2018, 12.6 percent of auto industry ad budgets in 2018 would go to digital. Dynamic advertising, or personalized ads featuring the makes and models or sometimes the exact vehicles that shoppers browsed on dealer websites or searched for via search engines, is a unique subset of digital that auto dealers are starting to leverage more frequently and should continue to do so in 2019.
It stands to reason that, when ads are customized, they are more compelling to viewers and more likely to trigger clicks and possibly conversions.
Overall, local marketing has become the most important battleground for brands and the right tools are readily available in 2019. It should be an interesting year!