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localized-marketing-channels-roi.jpg36% of senior executives believe events such as open houses, hospitality functions, fundraisers and seminars deliver the best returns among localized marketing channels, according to [download page] an October 2011 report from the CMO Council. Data from “Localize to Optimize Sales Channel Effectiveness” indicates that direct mail (33%) follows closely as a primary revenue channel. Although digital channels take the next 3 spots, they remain relatively far behind: just 22% believe social media or business networking sites currently deliver the best returns, followed by company or partner websites (21%) and mobile or electronic communications (18%). According to the CMO Council, these are highly adaptable channels that could be customized on a local level in order to drive targeted engagement and increase ROI.

Channel Usage Follows Perceived Value

Clearly, marketers believe they are investing in the right channels: a majority of those surveyed are currently using events (57%) and direct mail (52%) to drive their localized marketing efforts. Company or partner websites (51%), social media (48%), community relations (45%) and mobile or electronic communications (44%) follow, closely resembling the top channels by expected returns. However, although the same proportion (14%) of executives claim that local search engines and newspapers deliver the best returns, 24% more use newspapers (41%) than employ local search engines (33%).

Metrics Pose Challenges

Although understanding local market dynamics and variables is the most-cited (30%) obstacle to marketers’ localized campaigns, executives are also struggling to find the appropriate metrics for their campaigns: 24% say that determining the cost-benefit models of is a challenge, while 23% find it difficult to measure and evaluate campaign effectiveness on a local level.

New Strategies Sought

49% of senior executives expect to explore and test new localized marketing approaches and strategies in 2011 and 2012, just behind the proportion (54%) that plans to improve development and delivery of local marketing materials. There is a significant drop-off to the next areas of improvement: 29% expect to embrace more localized channels of targeting and market access, while 23% plan to automate the localized marketing process and expand budgets and programs.

Local Search Assn: Mobile Local Search Booms

There has been substantial growth in consumers accessing local content via mobile device since January 2010, according to a July 2011 study from the Local Search Association. Data from the State of Local Search study indicates 56% of respondents used mobile apps for local content in January 2011, up 34% from 42% in January 2010. Local content users accounted for 33% of mobile subscribers, with 87 percent owning a GPS-capable handset (up 9 percent from the previous year).

About the Data: The CMO Council data report is based on an online survey of more than 300 marketers, the majority of whom hold senior marketing roles including CMO, EVP, SVP, VP, and director of marketing and communications.

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