We know that Facebook is invested in making its services and tools “simpler” but we’re not quite sure what that means yet. But our first news piece highlights an early change in this direction – limiting Facebook Groups to only two privacy settings: Public and private. However, they are adding an extra option to control search visibility as well. So really, nothing has changed, Facebook is just trying to make its privacy settings easier to understand. Is it working?
Also high in the news is Facebook’s heavy investment in a dedicated news section as the company tries to partner with top-tier news agencies and networks across the country. This means part of Facebook could be a dedicated news channel. Given Facebook’s highly problematic relationship with news in the past, this move seems…questionable. But it would be a huge launch if Facebook managed to put it together.
Finally, there’s an interesting new study from the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative about brands, brand equity, and brand perception. You can read more about what the study uncovered (and we really encourage you to do that), but one of the biggest points was how the meaning of brand equity is changing from an analytic level, becoming more focused on customer experience across all channels, more vulnerable to time, and overall more comprehensive. In other ways, there’s real data that supports how your brand is now everything you do, particularly your direct interactions with customers.
But now onto our special guest, Lisa Roberts from Alexander Lumber! Lisa works on content creation for Alexander Lumber, and she’s here to talk about the challenges and opportunities that arise when you are managing location experience for multiple stores in different areas!
About Alexander Lumber
Lisa is a content creator for Alexander Lumber, a lumber provider that’s been a family-owned business since 1891. Over that time the company has set up or bought a variety of yards across the country, including 10 retail yards across Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, as well as truss plants in Illinois and a sales office in Wisconsin. This poses a challenge that regional businesses may be familiar with: Managing logistics is one thing, but how do you manage marketing across a large area, where local concerns or demand may be different from place to place?
Alexander Lumber knows this problem well. It faces very different regional marketing, and a variety of different kinds of yards and showrooms that require different approaches to marketing. Here’s how Lisa addressed these issues.
Preparing to Market for Multiple Locations
- Know who you serve – your true audience: What audience or audiences are you really marketing to? In each area, find out who the decision-makers are. This can vary based on the purpose of the location, so don’t always assume it’s the same everyway. If you want to go deeper, you can create customer personas for each location as a way to quickly spot the differences.
- Research the markets: Don’t let your locations be static in the background! Instead, do some research for each one. What is the community like? What are popular local pastimes and landmarks? What events does the location hold? You should also dig into economic data if you can: What is business growth like? Average income? Demographics? All this information will help you understand how marketing needs to be framed and directed in these areas, along with what channels to use.
- Keep the brand central: You don’t want to reinvent your brand for each location – just the opposite. So make sure you understand the business brand, and what it represents. The core of the company, the logo, the tone of your messages, the experiences you prioritize…none of these things will change from place to place. Identify these brand features early on and make sure they are set apart. If you have already built a brand in an original location, this step is pretty easy!
Creating Content for Multiple Locations
Create a marketing menu: Create a marketing menu of long term content that’s fit for a variety of purposes. It should contain ways for selling each of the business’s various products and services. Then the marketing team can pull content from this menu when customizing a marketing push for a specific area. This speeds up the localization process greatly!
Create messaging rules unique to locations: Create rules about how to contact customers based on your research in each area. Sometimes the messaging and channels won’t really change at all between locations, which is great. But sometimes you’ll find that you need to use different channels, different sites, or focus on different messaging goals for a particular location, and it’s important to know that.
Work with local managers: The local managers for each location often have unique goals and unique insights about the community they’ve been working in. They are an invaluable resource for your marketing, and they should always be kept in the loop when it comes to your marketing activity and localization. At times you may need to adjust your content based on the manager’s top goals
Exciting stuff! But now we’d like to hear from you: Do have business in multiple locations, or would you like to in the future? Have you thought about what that means for your marketing efforts, or are you not too concerned about it? We’d love to hear from you, so contact us on social media @21hanshake and let’s talk! If you liked the episode, remember to share it with a friend and give us a review before you go.