Matt Bowell
Matt Bowell 30 September 2015

The Digital Dream Team For Multi Unit Brands

Find out what football managers and multi-location marketers have in common

Whether you’re squeezing hopefully into a pair of discounted jeans in the changing room of a city department store on a Saturday afternoon or clinking glasses on a Friday night with work mates in a high-street bar, do you ever stop to think how or why you were at that particular outlet about to purchase or consume that product?

For marketing departments of multi-unit businesses, this is all they think about. There’s a complex machine behind persuading consumers to purchase particular products or services at their individual outlets, and over the last five years that machine – its parts, the way it works and its output – has changed significantly.

The way businesses market to their customers has had to change because of the seismic shift to digital. Technology like smartphones and social media have changed the way consumers consume and the way they expect businesses to interact with them. As a result, it’s vital that businesses operating within a multi-unit model have the core fundamentals in place, which will allow them to be:

  1. Cost efficient across their marketing to all sites
  2. Effective in their local marketing efforts
  3. Agile to the ever-changing digital climate

Call me a football obsessive (guilty as charged), but a good analogy is to think of digital strategy as a football team, with 11 core parts working together to get results. The whiteboard has come out, the team talk has happened; here’s my fantasy team of 11 fundamentals to help market a multi-unit business in the digital space.

Starting XI

The Fundamentals
League: Multi-unit business division 1
Location: Digital space

1 – Goalkeeper


“Between the posts and keeping nets, our pair of safe hands.”

Digital has changed the way we interact with businesses in every sector with the power shifting to guests who can make their voices heard to all in the social space. It is fair to say that it’s now far more difficult for marketers to have control over the messages they are communicating. Social monitoring can help you listen to what’s being said, respond effectively and join in the conversation.

2 – Right Back


“The two big full-backs are all about boosting local search results.”

It is important to build visibility in local search results for each business unit. With an ever-increasing volume of consumers using online media to find local products and services, and online transactions set to increase exponentially, businesses can’t afford to miss out in the search engine results pages. The challenge is creating this local visibility for each and every site.

3 – Left Back


“This full back has spark and flair and more licence to attack.”


It’s also important to note that you can’t get away with setting up your website and walking away – maintaining local visibility is fundamental. Continuously refreshing and optimising content on your website is essential, ensuring it’s increasingly targeted and relevant to your customers.

4 – Central Defence


“It’s reassuring to see social strategy as the rock in our defence.”

Social media is a must to build trust and converse with customers in the space that they are playing in. It is believed that by the end of 2015, half of new retail customer profiles will be based on social network identities. Consumers are also 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.

5 – Central Defence


“Building up a solid partnership with social, web and email, content strategy is core to everything the team does.”

On-page content
is critical, and focuses on all-important conversion. You need to be providing engaging, well-targeted content that encourages users to act on your message, and personalising that content as much as you can to meet their needs.

6 – Central Midfield


“Pulling the strings in the holding midfield slot is user experience.”

Landing page content and design principles
are crucial, and cross-device UX is essential. Thinking ‘mobile first’ is also a must, with 40% of mobile searches having local intent, according to a report by Nielsen and Google. Many companies are opting for responsive websites which respond to the device customers are using, enabling consumers to access relevant information wherever they are.

7 – Right Midfield


“Like previous greats who wore this shirt such as Becks and Best, paid advertising provides a bit of glamour to a campaign, but always with an ROI.”

If you want to promote a local offer or local event, you may want to consider paid advertising. Pay-per-click (PPC) and Facebook advertising campaigns tend to have the most cut-through, from our experience. In particular, Facebook ads should be seen as an extension of your existing social strategy as they can help achieve goals like an increase in page likes, web visits, sign-ups or voucher downloads whilst targeting specific sectors of your audience.

8 – Central Midfield


“Taking on the second, more attacking, central midfield spot is testing. Always likely to bang in a goal or two, this fella.”

A/B split testing and multivariate testing is a must to ensure you are not only continuously understanding your interactions with guests, but also learning from the testing to improve your customer offering.

9 – Centre Forward


“The star striker, ultimately responsible for putting the ball in the back of the net.”

The first thing to highlight is that digital metrics are meaningless if not integrated into the briefs, objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) of your campaign. Once set up, you can then track the success of a campaign. Your digital metrics can include unique visitors, subscribers, followers, engagement, reach and click-to-open rate, as well as financial metrics which are now available at the end of a campaign thanks to integration with point-of-sale systems.

10 – Centre Forward


“The other half of your strike partnership, creating the chances needed to slot the ball home.”

Personalisation of campaigns is crucial as a) the UK’s demographic make-up changes and b) we see the proliferation of digital communication, particularly through email and social media. Marketers are forced to ensure they segment their communication to the right groups of people not only in terms of geography by local outlet – but also other criteria such as age, attitude, interests or spend.

11 – Left Midfield


“Up and down the wing all day long, they’ve got an engine like a Rolls Royce.”

‘Always on’ sounds exhausting, but it is a term you will start hearing more and more as retailers adapt to consumer habits and demands to be able to play in the online space 24 hours a day. For responsive marketing to be effective, efforts should be made to increase the effectiveness of different digital channels through testing, review and optimisation.

So there you have it – my all-star line-up for a successful campaign. There are no egos here, mind – it’s all about teamwork, putting a shift in and getting results.


Preparing for a new age of digital relevance: Get you free eguide


Original Article


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