*Regardless of the type of business, marketing is all about building brand awareness and sparking action on the part of consumers that increases sales.
Does that mean that the same strategies and tactics work for both single-location and multi-location businesses? Absolutely not!
Of course, there may be some similarities and overlaps between the marketing strategies used by single-location businesses and those used by multi-location businesses, but there are fundamental differences between the two kinds of businesses that require a different marketing approach and mindset. At MDG Advertising, we work with numerous clients on both ends of the spectrum and we find that many multi-location businesses often fall victim to the same kinds of marketing pitfalls.
The following are the seven most common mistakes we see multi-location marketers making.
- Web Offerings Aren’t Localized
When each of your locations offers the same services or products, there’s no denying that simply creating a single web page with a list of all your locations will save you time. Unfortunately, online platforms and search engine algorithms want specifics and are designed to provide consumers with information on certain locations, in addition to the overall business.
This isn’t to say that you’ll have to invest time and money in creating a separate website for each of your locations. That would be overkill. You should, however, have a page for each location with the address, phone number, reviews, and unique images and offers.
- There Are Branding Inconsistencies
If you have a good reputation or brand value in one location, you want that to carry across all of your locations. Everything from your company name to your logo and corporate colors can help consumers connect their experience in one location to another.
Review sites, online platforms, and search engines can also be very particular about how they link multiple locations of a business. Something as simple as saying “Widget Master” instead of “The Widget Master” can keep your multiple locations from being linked.
- Incorrect Facebook Locations and Google My Business Settings
Social media and search engines are the main tools used by consumers to research and find local businesses. For consumers to receive relevant information about your business, your locations must be properly linked on the backend systems that drive these platforms. To do this, you must ensure that Google and Facebook know which master account controls your multiple locations, and who’s allowed to manage the different offerings. This will allow you to more effectively target your online ads as well as publish content on multiple pages.
- Failing to Monitor and Manage All Locations on Review Sites
From Facebook to TripAdvisor and Yelp, consumers have numerous options for voicing their opinions about your business. Keeping track and responding to feedback, especially if you have multiple pages and locations, can seem like a full-time job; however, it’s something that must be done. Failing to respond to a negative comment or review relating to one location can adversely impact the image and reputation of all your locations. To prevent or limit the damage, you must stay engaged and reply quickly.
- Failing to Segment Your Audience
Consumers respond to things that are personally relevant to them. This means that the larger your business grows, the more essential it is that you segment your audience into smaller target groups. Sending a blanket email to every one of your subscribers may be effective when you only serve a limited area, but it may not work when you have customers located from coast to coast. The first logical step in segmenting is to target by geography; however, it’s possible to drill down even further since consumer behaviors, preferences, and demographics can vary widely from one location to another.
- Failing to Utilize Geofencing
Geofencing is a powerful tool that enables you to deliver specific ads or offers to consumers in a user-defined geographic area, such as a town or zip code. Not only does geofencing allow you to tailor your campaign to a local audience, but it also allows you to tailor the information based on the location of the consumer’s mobile device.
- Failing to Review Location Analytics
Multi-location ad campaigns are inherently complex, so reviewing all the data from each campaign for each location can seem overwhelming. Yielding to the temptation to only look at the surface-level results can mean that you’re missing out on valuable information. By delving deeper, you may find that the wording of a specific geo-targeted ad had a high conversion rate. You can then use this information across your other locations.
Although multi-location businesses face unique marketing challenges, the right approach can yield big rewards.
Written by Michael Del Gigante
About Michael Del Gigante, CEO of MDG Advertising
In 1999, CEO Michael Del Gigante founded MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York. With his unique insight and decades of industry experience, he turned what was once a traditional ad agency into an integrated branding firm based on an innovative 360-degree marketing philosophy that provides a full spectrum of traditional and digital advertising services to multi-location companies.