New Research from SOCi and Localogy Reveals an Optimized Localized Marketing Presence Leads to Tangible Performance and Revenue Growth

Findings from the third annual Localized Marketing Benchmark Report emphasizes importance of brand visibility in both local search and social in order to compete in new marketplace

According to a report released today by SOCi, Inc. and Localogy, multi-location businesses with an optimized localized marketing strategy grew revenues at a rate up to three times that of their peers, even amidst the uncertainty of a pandemic. For a third year, research from the Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR) found that businesses who fully leveraged their localized business presence across top social and search sites experienced higher levels of visibility and performance compared to the average multi-location business. In fact, the top 10 scorers in this year’s study received five-times more high valued engagements from social posts and almost three-times the local search visibility. These are important metrics considering social’s increasing influence on product and service discovery as well as the increase of online searches with local intent.

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A collaboration between Localogy, the leading global non-profit trade association helping marketers and agencies realize the full potential of localized marketing, and SOCi, an award-winning, all-in-one marketing platform for multi-location businesses, the LMBR examines how top brands performed last year in the most influential digital channels, including local search, social, and ratings and reviews. Researchers established benchmarks and assigned scores for each brand on a 100-point scale for localized search, localized social, and the average of those scores, the final LMBR score. The goal of the research is to quantify the digital presence and performance of today’s top multi-location brands, establishing standardized and quantifiable benchmarks.

“In this year’s research, we discovered that localized marketing sophistication varies not only by brand and industry, but also by channel. In general, most multi-location marketers showed more comfort and sophistication in one area over another – either localized search or localized social but rarely in both,” said Monica Ho, CMO of SOCi. “Despite this, it is notable that performance and benchmark scores were highest when brands performed well consistently across platforms and interrelated social and search categories. Brands should understand that local search and local social marketing are both critical to a brand’s digital health and visibility and map to key stages in the consumer journey. Although the two marketing strategies have a symbiotic relationship, they are not two sides of the same coin. Each is unique requiring a specific focus to leverage fully.”

The top categories that over-indexed in the combined LMBR score across all the brands studied are retail, home services, personal care services, and restaurants. Ten brands stand out among the pool of the 276 surveyed as recognized leaders in localized marketing based on their individual brand LMBR scores. 

  • Arby’s
  • Batteries Plus Bulbs
  • Clean Juice
  • IHOP
  • Jason’s Deli
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs
  • Pet Supplies Plus
  • Planet Fitness
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Urban Air Adventure Park

“Localized marketing has become the largest untapped opportunity in location-based services and technology,” said Bill Dinan, CEO of Localogy. “Despite being a challenging year for local businesses of all sizes to grow, this report tells a different story for those effectively leveraging localized marketing strategies – even those industries hardest hit by the pandemic.”

In 2020, the pandemic’s unprecedented disruption and economic uncertainty amplified the influence of localized marketing on multi-location businesses, solidifying a new normal years in the making. Research from this and previous years’ LMBR show even more impetus for brands to evolve and level up their localized marketing, specifically balance in local search and social, which are vital business drivers that will make an impact in multi-location business success and survival.

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