Importance of National Advertisers in Local Media Markets

In BIA/Kelsey’s Feb 21st webinar, National Marketers Refining Localization Strategies – A ‘Leading in Local’ Conversation, (available on-demand), the discussion focused on how national brands are increasing their efforts in marketing their products on a local level. Balihoo’s Marketing Director, Susan Tormollen, along with Jed Williams, BIA/Kelsey Senior Analyst, analyzed key findings from a new Balihoo survey just out of the field sponsored by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council; and new BIA/Kelsey revenue estimates for local spend by national brands. The numbers show clearly that national brands have already started and will continue to increase their local marketing efforts.

BIA/Kelsey’s advertising revenue estimates illustrate that national advertisers play a significant role in the purchasing of advertising opportunities across many different local media outlets. In 2012, our estimates are that national brands spent $45.2 billion dollars in local media advertising such as direct mail, television, print yellow pages, radio, out-of-home and more. This amount accounts for more than a third (33.6 percent) of all spending in local media.




While for some local media, national advertisers do not constitute a large portion of the total amount spent, for others they are the majority. The top four media for national spending in local media are in ranking are direct mail, television, online/interactive and cable.

Ultimately, to be successful, national advertisers need to reach audiences in specific areas with possibly different messages depending upon geography and/or the age/demographics of the audience consuming these media.

Where does this all go? Will national advertisers continue to utilize local media outlets to entice new and retain old customers? With the new opportunities sprouting up in the digital arena, will national advertisers take the lead in taking advantage of these opportunities?

Balihoo’s new study just released from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council reveals that 59 percent of national marketers report that local demand generation is essential to their business growth, yet only 7 percent feel they have effective campaigns in place. The report, titled, “Brand Automation for Local Activation,” (download exec summary) and conducted in partnership with Balihoo, concludes that that the typical marketing mix lacks in strategy, automation and accountability leading to a localization scale gap that results in delayed and less effective local roll-outs of national brand campaigns.

We’ll be continuing the discussion at our LEADING IN LOCAL: The National Impact event, March 18-20 in Boston. Starting day one will be our SuperForum Highlight: National Brands, Local Channels. More info on the agenda is here. Registration is here.

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