By John Sullivan
There was an interesting discussion yesterday on Greg Sterling’s Blog about the number of searches that have a local modifier to them and then Greg’s twist to try and determine how many searches end up with a local transaction. Interesting comments, too.
Everyone has a slightly different view of why that question is even important. For me it’s about convincing local retailers that advertising online is the right thing to do. I prefer Adwords over Banner Ads but being online should be important to local merchants.
The metric that I use most when talking to retailers or brand companies is that for durable goods it is generally safe to say that 70% or all consumers do research online before coming into the local store. It’s true for home appliances, home furnishings, home electronics and more. Most retailers understand that because they do the same thing in their lives, search online.
The real challenge to get retailers advertising online is that it’s too complicated and they don’t have the time to learn. Local advertising agencies don’t help them because the spend is too low to make it worth their efforts. So, a retailer listens to the newspaper, radio, tv, yellow page, outdoor and local printer salespeople every month without having anyone walk in and say, “Hi, I’m from the Internet and let me tell you why you should be advertising with us.”
I think brand companies that manage millions of dollars in co-op advertising funds should be leading their retailers to the Internet. They know it’s the right thing to do, they have control over the co-op rules and it will result in more sales for them.
Slowly, I’m seeing good signs that brands are starting to get it.