Retail marketers shift their focus locally

A new study has found a strong shift in the balance of local vs. global marketing as Australian companies attempt to gain an edge on their competitors. Some of the country’s largest companies are planning to increase their allocation of localised marketing by up to 60% according to a report released by the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS).

The study commissioned by Retail Safari, part of the global CPM group, outlines the growing phenomenon of local and personalised marketing in a rapidly evolving and channel-saturated retail landscape.

ACRS research director Dr Sean Sands says the implications of companies developing stronger engagement within local communities is clear.

“Localisation is no longer just about customising creative messages and running a few local promotions, but has to integrate and involve all channels and touch points. It encompasses everything from strategy, pricing and merchandising to field teams, websites and media planning,”

“Fundamentally there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way marketers develop strategies for acquisition and sales,” he explains.

Some of the key outcomes of the study indicate that by centralising the strategic and operational development of localised marketing activities, organisations can expect significant cost savings while improving brand integrity and overall sales performance.

However, the benefits of thinking local also come with some barriers to developing a more locally focused approach – a key one being access to suitably skilled resources, understanding of local market dynamics, segmentation challenges and the high cost of Australian media.

Gingkai Tan, managing director of Retail Safari, believes the research validated the focus on driving local market penetration across multiple channels.

“This is not just an Australian phenomenon,” he says, “we are seeing our international businesses moving in the same direction, driven by the demands of the market and our clients.”

“The challenge for retailers and manufacturers today is clearly one of cost – how to manage national or global scale and resource availability with local market realities and profit opportunities”.