Jul 25 2011 Basis Team Blog Strategy Brand Experiences at a Local Level Last month, Centro’s very own President and Founder, Shawn Riegsecker, led the Retailers Play Small Ball panel discussion at the Digiday: Local conference in New York. The discussion focused on the importance of local and brand marketing particularly from a large retail brand perspective. Below are two key takeaways from the discussion: Balance your digital media buy: Local matters; however, it is important to find the right balance (i.e., slicing a market or target without jeopardizing scale). Additionally, local is effective when used with digital and traditional channels. Rather than focusing on one or the other, the two channels should be integrated together; this approach creates a stronger force and also mirrors consumer behavior as more people take in content through multiple mediums. Shift your focus: Brands are often put on the backburner due to the overly complicated ad buying process (i.e., the dreaded spreadsheets). This creates creative and strategic shortfalls due to an increased focus on logistics. Often times what matters most to advertisers, the brand, is lost in translation through both planning and measurement. Thus, there needs to be a shift in focus. During the discussion, Shawn Riegsecker read Tom Cunniff’s (a panelist) comment from a recent Digiday article on brands, which further conveys the above points: “Brands don’t need more metrics; they need *relevant* metrics. Online suffers from two self-inflicted problems. 1) The illusion of perfect targeting works directly against the scale that big brands require. 2) We measure and optimize to events (CTRs, downloads, conversions, Facebook “Likes” etc). This ignores the fact that brand-building is a process in which preference is built over time. And, it forces marketers to be offer-driven to reach “success” rather than brand-driven. We won’t see richer investment by brands online until we find the courage to question the conventional wisdom. Our spreadsheets are poisoning the well.” For more highlights from the panel discussion, watch the full Digiday:Local video. What are your thoughts on local? Is it important? Do brands matter?