7 mistakes to avoid when managing a network of retailers

At first glance, the marketing of a retail network doesn't seem so different from that of a global brand... And yet...

Targeting the right prospects, increasing awareness, building engagement and loyalty, increasing sales and generating new customers, while there are many similarities in these digital tactics, there are also real differences in marketing to multi-site brands and franchises. Only by working with this particular type of customer can you avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that can be made.

Based on our experience, here are the seven most common marketing mistakes to avoid at all costs:

1. Do not decline your web offers locally

If you have several stores or offices offering the same products and/or services, it makes sense to group everything together online and add a single page listing all your sites.

The problem is that search engines and other online platforms have difficulty listing them. They tend to give global information at the brand level.

This is why developing localized web offerings is so important. This doesn't mean that you necessarily have to create a separate site for each outlet or shop, but it does mean that each one should have its own page, which includes things like phone number, address, images, offers and reviews.

2. Lack of consistency in branding

Although you want each of your sites to have their own presence, it is also imperative that your brand image be consistent.

You want to be sure that your brand image is conveyed in the same way on the local versions of your site. If consumers have a good experience in one place, you also want them to see your name, logo, etc.

3. Not having set up your Google My Business and local Facebook page correctly

Making sure that you've set up your Google My Business and Facebook correctly may seem like a detail, but in reality it's very, very important. Especially by the impact it has.

Why? Because search and social are now the main channels that consumers use to find and search for local businesses. If your locations are not properly linked together on the systems feeding these platforms, then you will be at a significant disadvantage in search engine results.

It is extremely important that Facebook and Google know which master account controls your different locations and who has access to manage the different offers. This will unlock a range of powerful options, from publishing content across multiple pages to more effective targeting of online ads.

4. Do not monitor what is being said on your sign on notice sites.

Monitoring notice sites such as Trustpilot or Verified Notices for a single location is stressful enough. But doing it for 50, 100 or 200 stores is titanic!

Nevertheless, it is important to consistently monitor and manage all your pages across all the different online platforms.

Why? Because timing really matters. If a customer provides incorrect details on one of your records or leaves a bad review, the damage can be significant for your entire business. The only way to solve problems is to actively engage yourself so that you are immediately informed and can react quickly.

5. Not segmenting and targeting your target audiences properly

One of the paradoxes of multi-site businesses is that the larger your business becomes, the more necessary it becomes to segment your audience into smaller and smaller groups.

Indeed, the segmentation of your potential prospects allows you to drastically increase the effectiveness of your emailing or customer acquisition campaigns. While at the beginning it may be relevant to send the same email to all your subscribers, your opening rate will fall more and more as you develop your prospect or customer base.

For branded networks, the first layer of targeting is usually geography, as you want to deliver messages and offers only to the local audiences to which they apply. However, you shouldn't stop there. The more you segment - by behavior, demographics, etc. - the more likely your marketing campaigns will resonate and be relevant.

6. Do not manage your digital advertising campaigns yourself.

For marketing managers, online advertising is all about efficiency: you want to make sure your campaigns reach the right catchment areas and don't overlap.

One of the best ways to achieve this is geomarketing. The Ramp, for example, makes it possible to define clear geographical areas - ranging from a city, to a postcode, to an address and even an IRIS code - and to provide specific INSEE information within them.

This is extremely powerful for sign networks. It means that the same global campaign can be slightly tailored to specific local audiences and then delivered geographically, even if consumers are on the move with their mobile devices.

7. Do not monitor the performance of your point-of-sale campaigns.

Finally, it is impossible to determine the performance of your campaigns without delving deep into the analysis of your results.

By their very nature, these campaigns are more complex - more offices/stores, more geographical areas, more audiences - so it can be tempting to look only at the overall results.

Multi-site marketing campaigns generate more data and therefore more potential learning. With proper analysis, you can find out if a point-of-sale strategy is more effective or if copyrighting a particular geo-targeted ad has triggered higher or lower conversions. This valuable information can then be used across all stores to refine your advertising strategy.