Macy’s, JCPenney and Sports Authority Lead In Localized Marketing

Retailers can expand cross-channel strategies, drive in-store traffic and boost engagement by including localized elements in their mobile, social and web marketing initiatives. 

Noting the growing impact of localization on piquing consumer interest, Retail Systems Research (RSR) recently released a report titled The Local Approach: The State of Localized Advertising in Retail.”  RSR analyzed top stores from Stores Magazine’s “2010 Top 100 Retailers” and “2010 Hot 100 Retailers” reports and targeted four categories: traditional advertising, digital advertising, alternative offers, and on-site communication.

Based on the evaluation criteria, the retailers with the highest overall scores (out of 45 points total) ― and therefore the top “local” advertisers ― are:


1. Macy’s – 31.5 points
2. JCPenney – 31 points
3. Sports Authority – 30.5 points
4. Best Buy – 30 points
5. Kohl’s – 26.5 points

Of the five that lead in localized marketing, JCPenney, Sports Authority and Kohl’s have taken a primary strategy of ensuring at least mass coverage across all channels, with certain localization elements in only a few advertising channels. Macy’s and Best Buy, while achieving a certain amount of coverage across all channels, follow more of a strategy of localization — but with a focus on key channels.

“Retailers may be capable of reaching across multiple touch points to consumers, but the next step is seeing how those touch points can be used to drive local traffic,” Nikki Baird, Managing Partner for RSR Research, told RetailTouchPoints. “If you haven’t approached each of these communication channels with that concept in mind, you’re going to have a longer road to travel.”

Though localized marketing is on the rise, with several opportunities available, many retailers with the capability for this strategy don’t seem to be using it, Baird said. “I think more retailers will become aware of the local opportunity as they see mobile use in the store — then there will be a concerted effort across touch points to leverage store-based calls to action.”

Retailers can implement strong localized marketing strategies and drive foot traffic by tapping multiple channels to promote an in-store event, according to Baird. Although mobile is an optimal channel for localized marketing, any digital touch point can contain a local call to action.

“Localization is all about relevancy, wherever a call to action is marketed,” said Baird. “For example, ‘Go to the store’ is more relevant in any channel when enhanced to ‘Go to this store that is less than two miles away.’ 

“If it ultimately saves time — if the consumer’s next step is to look for the local store anyway — then anything retailers do to facilitate the customer’s next step is going to help prove their relevancy,” said Baird.

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