How Local SEO Can Help Marketing and Operations Drive More Revenue
Companies that are highly effective at working collaboratively experience 47% higher total returns. This is important as increasing revenue is the common thread that ties a business together and ultimately determines the success of the business as a whole. Each department is constantly working to build value and increase revenue, but how can you better align the departments, specifically Marketing and Operations, to drive even greater growth?
Where Marketing and Operations often live in their own separate silos internally, there is an undeniable connection between the two externally. Marketing communicates value to customers, stimulates demand and drives traffic to their locations, whereas the Operations team holds a great influence over the customer experience and customer satisfaction and is ultimately responsible for delivering the final product.
In order to compete with the growing competition online, as well as other brick-and-mortars businesses, Marketing and Operations must do all they can to drive revenue and keep customers coming back. Below are 3 ways local search data offers these two departments to synergize their efforts and generate more online-to-offline success.
Generate More Online to Offline Sales
In the last year, 97% of consumers used local search to find nearby businesses. This gives Marketing a great opportunity to drive in-store traffic if they are able to create visibility in the local search results.
On the Operations side of things, 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor service experience. That’s a high probability for turning away traffic and sales simply due to delivering a poor customer experience.
Generating new customers without the having the ability to deliver a great in-store experience means a loss of sales and a potential for bad online reviews (bad for your rankings), whereas a lack of online visibility and new store traffic can lead to stagnant or declining sales.
It’s not enough to just drive new customers to your store or to only focus on satisfying your current customers. Marketing needs perform their role in driving demand and new business, while operations needs to understand what makes a great customer experience and deliver on those requirements.
When the two departments come together, Marketing to drive more in-store traffic through local search and Operations to capitalize on the sale and deliver a great experience, the result is a growth in both revenue and customer retention.
Evaluating the Customer Experience by Identifying and Resolving Issues
86% of customers will not buy products or services from a business if they have too many negative reviews. Not only are customers more than willing to abandon their purchases due to poor experiences, but when their poor experiences are shared through reviews and social media, they are likely to deter other potential customers from ever visiting your locations.
By using AI-powered sentiment analysis to analyze local store reviews, Marketing and Operations can come together to evaluate and improve the customer experience. While looking at each review individually makes it difficult to understand the true scope of what your customers are saying as a whole, tracking the sentiment around specific words allows both teams to track trends and garner a better understanding about their customers’ overall feelings and experiences.
For example, a burger restaurant could perform sentiment analysis around words like “service” and “burger” to help them understand which locations have customers talking about great service and where they are having trouble with the food as customers consistently mention cold burgers in their reviews. Similarly, a doctor’s office could track topics like “wait time” and “nurses” to better understand patients perceptions on how long they have to wait and how attentive and friendly the nursing staff was during their visit.
Additionally, by monitoring and engaging with customers after they leave a review, both Operations can identify and resolve whatever issues lead to the poor experience and Marketing can find out exactly what made the experience so great and advise Operations on what they are doing so well. Similarly, by responding to negative reviews, the Marketing team can potentially salvage a broken relationship and gather more information on what went wrong and how things could have gone better.
In the end, identifying and resolving issues and evaluating the overall experience in order to make improvements leads to happy customers. Happy customers are more likely to make another purchase and become an advocate for your business online by leaving positive reviews. More positive reviews will then help to generate more new customers through local search.
Create More Targeted Messaging
It’s important to hit the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. Targeted messaging is on average twice as effective as non targeted messaging.
Similar to how Marketing and Operations can work together to evaluate and improve the customer experience, Operations can assist Marketing to deliver more targeted messaging congruent with the customer experience.
First, it helps Marketing to understand what has gotten customers so excited and why they decided to take the time to advocate for your business online. This understanding allows them to create more targeted messaging around these positive aspects and the areas real customers are actually excited about. If Operations is providing a great experience that customers are raving about online, then Marketing can be sure to include messaging about the experience in their promotions.
Second, it allows marketing to ensure that they aren’t over promising on something that Operations can’t deliver. For example, they can identify a disconnect in their messaging if they start seeing a growing trend of reviews talking about the longer than average waits when recent marketing messages have come out promising “no lines at the cash register”.
Keeping messages accurate and on target ensures that customers are receiving the exact product and experience that they are expecting and elicits more positive responses by delivering relevant messages about products and services that excite them.
Local search data helps both Marketing and Operations teams understand what is really happening on the local level at each of their locations and how best to make improvements. Today, the customer experience starts at the time of the online search, carries through the in-store sale and ends up back online through reviews and social comments. Marketing and Operations must work together in order to improve the customer experience from start to finish and drive more revenue.