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Challenges and Opportunity in Local Advertising

More national advertisers are using online local advertising to generate leads and drive offline sales. The strategies for successful local online advertising are not the same as general online or search advertising and measuring results can be challenging. That’s why so many national advertisers, agencies and online advertising resellers are reaching out to partners to help them create and optimize their local online advertising strategy.

In conjunction with Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence, Marchex recently conducted a study of national advertisers across the United States who sell products and/or services through local outlets, dealers, franchises or branded stores to gain an understanding of their local online advertising strategies and tactics, challenges and best practices, as well as how they are measuring their results and return on investment (ROI).

It wasn’t all that surprising that the majority of these national advertisers – 73%, in fact – were doing digital or online marketing and nearly half of the respondents indicated they were doing some form of local online targeting. But despite the growing demand for local online marketing, geo-targeting by those surveyed rarely dipped below the state level and 45% indicated they did not use different messaging or tactics for different geographic or local markets. What’s more, the data also shows that while more than 50% of marketers are trying a number of different local sources including search engines, directories, local search engines, newspapers and vertical Web sites, managing the campaigns and generating volume are challenges.