Market Overview

National Brands Betting Big on Local Marketing in 2013, According to Balihoo Survey


National brands are betting big on local marketing, with 91% surveyed expecting to spend more or the same on local marketing in 2013 as they did in 2012. Digital tactics will play an important role across the board for national brand marketing planning, with 67.5% surveyed reporting digital marketing as extremely or very important to national brand success. National brands ranked Mobile, Local Blogs, and Online Customer Reviews as their top three priorities for local digital tactics they are not currently using and would like to implement in 2013.

These are among the top findings of the “National Brand Use of Digital in Local Marketing” micro-study, a survey of 384 national brand marketing executives in North America. The study was commissioned by Balihoo ( and is available free for download at

Local Digital Priorities Now and for the Future

When asked about local digital tactics they're currently using, national brands ranked Other Social Media (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), Facebook and SEO as their top priorities. National brand marketers were also asked about local digital tactics they're not currently using but would like to begin using in 2013. In reply to that question, survey respondents ranked Mobile, Local Blogs, and Online Customer Reviews as top priorities for the coming year.

Additional local digital priority findings:

  • Only 22.6% of respondents are currently using local search registration and only 19.5% ranked it as a priority for 2013.
  • Larger national brands ($500M+) are using a wider mix of digital tactics than smaller national brands ($100M - $250M).
  • A larger percentage of smaller national brands ($100M - $250M) are using Facebook and Other Social Media (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) than the larger national brands ($500M+).

“Balihoo's survey results are in line with other industry research showing the growing importance of local marketing for national brands, but what's particularly interesting is how national brands are prioritizing their local marketing tactics,” said Pete Gombert, Balihoo's CEO. “When it comes to digital tactics, we found that local websites and local search registration are not top priorities for national brands, yet they form the foundation for a strong local marketing infrastructure. We also see there is a lot of opportunity for national brands to better lead and support their local channel partners. CMOs and marketing managers should look more closely at these aspects of their local marketing programs as they plan ahead for 2013.”

National Brands Lack Confidence in Affiliates

The micro-study also probed into the digital marketing trends for national brands that rely on local affiliates (dealers, agents, resellers, channel partners, retailers, and franchisees). This sub-segment shared their opinions about the effectiveness of their affiliates in representing the national brand in local marketing efforts. Only 4% of this sub-segment ranked their affiliates as excellent at marketing, with the majority (47%) ranking affiliates as moderately effective.

Eight-seven percent surveyed said that their national brand is not well represented on affiliate web sites. When asked what areas their local affiliates lack expertise and the ability to execute effectively, respondents identified Mobile Marketing (53.4%), SEO (49.4%), and PPC (46.6%) as top weaknesses.

About Balihoo

Balihoo is the premier provider of Local Marketing Automation (LMA) technology and services to national brands with local marketing needs. By automating local marketing, Balihoo gives national brands unprecedented control over local marketing execution and the ability to control the customer experience closer to the point of purchase. Additional information about Balihoo is available at

Emanate for Balihoo
Tom Francoeur, 617-747-1405

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