Local Programmatic? Over the last several months our team has made 100’s of sales calls with local business owners in the US and Canada here are the lessons we learned from our small business customers.
First Lesson: Local is still a largely untapped programmatic display advertising market. In the US on average 5 out of 10 customers will have tried and may or may not still be using audience targeted display. In Canada it’s even less, 3 out of 10 business owners have tried it with varying degrees of stickiness. These statistics are largely experiential and from our small sample but other more worthy sources would tend to agree. eMarketer reports programmatic will grow to $10B by 2016 up from $5B spent in 2014 by marketers. Borrell Associates reports that in 2015 $2 out of every $5 spent on marketing by local business owners will go to digital.
It’s become a requirement for local media companies to have a programmatic strategy for small to medium size business owners.
Second Lesson: Local business owners have reasonable expectations, needs, goals. Business owners are rational people who understand there is a cost associated with hiring an expert, they’re willing to pay more on a cost per thousand (CPM) or cost per click (CPC) when it’s managed by a team of experts especially if you are invested in their success. Fortunately and unfortunately we are typically not the first person to approach the business owner with these sophisticated solutions so relationship, reliability, proven results, testimonials, and a performance guarantee go a long way.
If you can lead with a strong brand, demonstrate a track record of success, and provide assurances that they will get some kind of ROI for their investment you will hear “yes” a lot more often then “no” when presenting your proposal.
Third Lesson: Current providers aren’t focused on customer service and solving advertiser problems. Most of the competition we run into is focused on technology, bells, whistles, fancy language, and elegant marketing materials. I admit, if you have those things you have an advantage, but I know when you focus on the client, their needs and helping them solve a problem you will always win. We train “needs assessment” and solving problems for clients. When we address the pain points of our clients, address performance goals head on, and show a willingness to measure our success on a conversion our meetings take on a whole new tone compared to our competition.
Fourth Lesson: Marketers want more targeted digital marketing and they want metrics that validate the return on their investment. Most providers either can’t track to a conversion, ticket sales, e-commerce sales, etc. or they don’t want to track to that level because they lack the confidence in their ability to execute. When we meet with business owners and show actual client examples of post click conversions, post impression conversions and performance attribution our meetings graduates from grade school digital marketing to graduate level strategic planning.
Digital advertising continues to proliferate and those willing to get behind and believe in their marketing solutions will take market share from those who don’t. Don’t be afraid of asking the questions required to understand your clients needs, goals, and pain points. More importantly don’t be afraid to commit to helping them sell those last few cars, tickets, furniture, etc. If you do your homework and execute seamlessly you and the client will ultimately achieve your respective goals.