Brand Marketers are failing to apply Localization Strategies

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brands_fail_localization_strategy.jpgIf you read our blog regularly, you should by now know that localization is key to set up a successful global business. A new report, however, suggests that even though brands are aware of this, they often fail to localize their businesses.

In an article on WARC, a website for marketers, the “Brand Automation for Local Activation” research by the CMO Council is reported on. The CMO, a global network consisting of chief marketers, asked 296 executives about their experiences with local marketing. Even though 58 per cent of the participants of the survey believed localization was vital for growth and higher profits, only 7 per cent believed their campaigns were effective on a local scale.

marketing localization CMO

For many companies, the time between the launches of a national and local campaign proved to be one of the weak points. Almost one third of the marketers said that in their company there were 30 or more days between these two launches. Other problems that were stated by the participants were a lack of bandwidth and resources. Only 6 per cent of the executives used automated solutions which all local markets had access to.

Of course, there were success stories among the participants as well. Clothing brand Carhartt, that is sold by 8,000 retailers in North America and Europe, is one of those companies that is locally successful. Tony Ambroza, vice president of marketing: “We’ve invested a great deal over the past couple of years into upgrading the tools we provide our local-level partners and retailers, as well as working to make them simpler to understand and use.”

sears localized facebook pages

Another issue was that strategies used for local marketing in the end often come down to a brand’s national website or social media feed instead of a presence per city or store.

David Buckley, CMO of Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores, stresses the importance of internet websites for this. Each of the Sears stores has its own Facebook page where “local owners can really own that relationship locally and are encouraged to interact on Facebook to build relationships with their local customers.”

Even though brands do not seem to invest in localization that much, improvement is on the horizon. 30 per cent of the participants in the survey are planning on making investments to ensure corporate and local assets will provide the same shopping experience. Most of the companies that have already implemented these automations believe they gained a competitive advantage by carrying out local and national campaigns at the same time.

Michelle Bowman, director of marketing promotions at FedEx, agrees:  “When you get all of the marketing engine working together and saying the same things across all platforms, that’s when local marketing really makes a big difference.”

Want to read the entire CMO Council report? Click here!

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries.

The CMO Council’s 6,500-plus members control more than $300 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 20,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa.

More information about the CMO Council is available at

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