They say east or west, home is best.
Well, judging from a new research released by the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS), companies are taking this saying very seriously.
The research reveals a strong shift in the balance of local versus global marketing as Australian companies seek competitive advantage. Some of the country’s largest companies are planning to increase their local marketing budgets by up to 60 per cent. Call it coming back to their roots…
The first Australian study of its kind, commissioned by Retail Safari, explores this growing phenomenon of local and personalised marketing in a rapidly evolving retail landscape.
ACRS Research Director Dr Sean Sands said, “The implications for companies are clear. Developing strong engagement at local community and individual levels is a must.”
“Localisation is no longer just about customising creative messages and running a few local promotions, but has to integrate and involve all channels and touch points. It encompasses everything from strategy, pricing and merchandising to field teams, websites and media planning,” he continued.
Sands added, “Fundamentally there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way marketers develop strategies for acquisition and sales. Key outcomes of this study indicate that by centralising the strategic and operational development of localised marketing activities, organisations can expect significant cost savings, improved brand integrity and overall sales performance.”
Despite the benefits, there were several common barriers to developing a more locally focused approach – the most critical being access to suitably skilled resources, understanding of local market dynamics, segmentation challenges and the relatively high cost of Australian media.
Gingkai Tan, Managing Director of Retail Safari, said the research validated the focus on driving local market penetration across multiple channels.
“This is not just an Australian phenomenon,” said Tan. “We are seeing our international businesses moving in the same direction, driven by the demands of the market and our clients.”
“The fact is in today’s retail environment the relationship with brands is managed at the local level – whether in terms of brand messaging, direct customer engagement, merchandising and stock assortment or pricing,” stated Tan.
“The challenge for retailers and manufacturers today is clearly one of cost – how to manage national or global scale and resource availability with local market realities and profit opportunities.”
Therefore, organisations have quite a few questions to ask internally.
- Are we really optimizing our consumer engagement and profit opportunities in local markets?
- Do we have a deep understanding of consumer channel preferences and how to maximise engagement and sales through those channels?
- Do our field and retailer networks have the tools, processes and support to conduct effective local acquisition and sales activities?
- Are we able to track and measure locally driven activities across retail and distribution networks?
Whatever you do, just don’t mention the cricket.