The importance of local presence in the age of interconnectivity
98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses in 2022, up from 90% in 2019. While, on average, local searches contributed to 23% of website traffic. This means that users are increasingly searching for keywords such as ‘near me’ or ‘in the neighborhood’. Being locally present becomes inevitable as it allows businesses to reach customers at the exact moment when they are searching for a particular product or service in their area. The trend towards local searches presents a tremendous opportunity for omnichannel marketers to continually enhance their digital relevance and thereby improve the offline experience.
Taking advantage of this trend is a no-brainer for Atol. As a leading eyewear company in France with over 800 stores, they understand firsthand the importance of implementing a robust local approach to support their regional stakeholders. Secondly and given that eyewear services necessitate physical attention and should be approached with utmost care, Atol places great importance on customers booking appointments to receive the attention required for their eyewear needs.
The approach of providing a customisable local strategy for each of Atol's stores and opticians was precisely what was needed. However, it posed a significant operational challenge for both Atol and Semetis. Atol had to ensure that it could deliver tailored local solutions to each of its stores, while Semetis had to manage hundreds of campaigns across multiple platforms to support every participating store.
Deploying a highly effective end-to-end local strategy
Our strategy involved targeted campaigns aimed at reaching potential customers in the local area of each participating Atol store. At Semetis, we believe in personal relevance as a key factor in achieving high-effectiveness, which is why we developed a strategy that could be customized for each of Atol's 800 stores. This required defining three major parameters:
- The available budget per store
- The local area to target around each store
- The messaging that each store wanted to convey
To determine the local areas to target, we used various criteria and this resulted in a unique and precise radius for each Atol store, within which they could communicate without overlapping with other stores. Participation in the campaigns was voluntary for the stores, with custom-made budgets tailored to each store's sales potential and market size.
To maintain the relevance of the approach, stores were given the option to choose one out of ten different offers they wished to promote to potential customers in their local area every two months. Semetis then handled the promotion of these offers on both Google and Facebook for all participating stores, providing flexibility for Atol's latest promotions and ensuring the campaigns remained up-to-date. This approach was dubbed the "Local Pack Web", and in 2022, the vast majority of Atol stores trusted Semetis to promote a pack in their local area.
But how was this strategy put into action?
A Local Pack Web may encompass a full-funnel marketing approach based on the allocated investment per store. The scope of this project allowed us to focus on two digital channels: Meta - and Search Engine Advertising.
In the initial phase of the campaign, we aimed to increase awareness of each participating store by utilizing Meta Ads, which we recognized as essential for the long-term growth of the business. To achieve this, we developed targeted ads that focused on users located in the vicinity of the store, with interests in eyewear/healthcare. These ads emphasized the current promotions or offers available to potential customers. Through this strategy, we were able to reach potential customers who were most likely to be interested in Atol's services, leading to increased engagement and ultimately driving more online appointments. To achieve maximum impact, we employed Carousel Ads that showcased both the offer that the store aimed to promote in its local area on the first card and a detailed map to help customers locate the Atol store on the second card. This allowed us to maximize our reach and encourage potential customers to take action, ultimately driving business growth for Atol.
To facilitate the consideration and conversion phases, we leveraged Search Engine Advertising to simplify the process of locating the stores for potential customers in that area. This was achieved by creating highly geo-targeted search ads, which are triggered by localized search queries, that feature custom ads based on the store's name and city. In this context, driving conversion referred to encouraging customers to book appointments with the store online. To achieve this objective, we optimized our campaigns for conversions, which ensured that every store could convert online traffic into physical appointments and sales.
Streamlining operational efficiency
From an operational perspective, deploying this solution efficiently presented a significant challenge for Semetis. To address this challenge, we relied on robust processes such as bulk edits, import/export widgets, and a comprehensive communication plan between our team and Atol. Thanks to those, we were able to completely overhaul the offers of hundreds of ad sets/campaigns on Facebook and Google Ads as quickly as possible!
Furthermore, effective reporting can pose a significant operational challenge when dealing with campaigns of this scale. At Semetis, we believe in continuously challenging the status quo and pushing beyond strategy and activation. This is why we created Atol Analytics, a bespoke web application developed by our in-house engineering department, Atlas.
With Atol Analytics, store owners can easily track their most important KPIs such as cost, ROI, appointments and other performance metrics generated through their campaigns. One of the key advantages of Atol Analytics is its user-friendly interface, which enables store owners to quickly and easily navigate the application and access the information that is most relevant to them.
What were the results?
In summary, the outcomes of our local pack campaigns are self-evident. In 2022, the campaigns generated 337% more online appointments YoY which comes to no surprise as our strategy was not as advanced back then. Additionally, we generated 142% more local impressions and 177% more clicks YoY, which further emphasizes the benefits of investing in a robust local digital presence for Atol stores. Our approach not only provided a rapid return on investment but also ensured a better top-of-mind recall for the stores in the long run.