On Target Podcast: Brand-to-Local Marketing with Brendan Morrissey, CEO of Netsertive

In this latest installment of our podcast On Target, I speak to Brendan Morrissey, CEO and co-founder of Netsertive.

Netsertive works with national brands and their local dealers or retail affiliates as well as national retailers. Many people assume that brands and national retailers are in a much stronger marketing position than SMBs. But major brands and retailers face an array of challenges; and life is a lot more complex for these enterprises.

In a wide-ranging interview, Brendan Morrissey and I discuss multiple aspects of national-local marketing, what works and what doesn’t. Among the challenges and issues are:

  • The “discovery problem”
  • Disruption posed by e-commerce to traditional retail
  • Assessing and ensuring “digital readiness” of local stores
  • How brands and national retailers co-ordinate national-local marketing
  • The tension between brands selling direct and not undermining local dealers
  • The role of local marketing automation
  • The challenges and opportunities of co-op

Throughout Morrissey provides instructive, concrete examples. Here’s an excerpt:

GS: Let’s say you’re a big brand and you’re about to launch your new product — a French door refrigerator. You discover all these local retailer problems: websites that aren’t up to snuff, incorrect data about locations; there’s a list of things that could go wrong. What do you do?

BM: I’ll give you a very real example. I won’t name the brand itself, but a brand that we are working with today which is a household name in the appliances business. We recently went through a process with them where we basically evaluated, through a capability that we have in our platform, all of their locations for all of their retailers. Most of which are independent retail businesses at the local level, some of which are actually corporate owned exclusive to that brand.

We categorized all of these. Step one was: what is the digital readiness of these locations? And there were nearly a thousand that in our judgment, in our system’s judgment, that do not have a website today worthy of sending traffic to, that you should not be spending marketing dollars on. Nearly a thousand locations. There was another set that were good but not great, and there’s another set that were ready.

The ones that are ready, they’re going to get turned on full bore with brand-directed but store-specific marketing, that is co-op funded, and they’re going to get for example pre-roll video, they’re going to get search, they’re going to get retargeting with display and search, and they’re going to get social ads and those are going to be sort of turnkey delivered by location and localized for each storefront that’s ready.

The next tier down, which is in the “sort of good” category, they’re going to get a couple of things but not that full package. And they’re going to have an incentive to improve their websites. And then the bottom tier, they’re going to be incentivized and asked by the brand to dramatically improve their websites so that they can be eligible for the other programs or we can deploy a sort of simple multi-landing page presence for them that can be used for entry-level marketing.

You can listen to the full podcast below.

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