Key Points:

Local Area Marketing Platforms provide the capacity to generate unlimited amounts of flexibility for content creation, but there is a ‘Paradox of Choice’ for users.

MyAdbox has identified the Goldilocks Principle – the ‘just right’ amount of customization for different users.

Customization requirements can vary by user and by industry.

Despite the spread of globalization in marketing, Local Area Marketing (LAM) continues to thrive, converting local prospects into loyal local customers. In order to capitalize on the power of LAM, companies around the world have embraced Local Area Marketing Platforms to execute efficient LAM strategies.

These LAM Platforms usually incorporate a combination of an Automated Ad Production system that helps users create brand-compliant content wherever they are in the network, together with Digital Asset Management (DAM) software that organizes and distributes media files in a central portal. This kind of tech allows network users to create powerful LAM campaigns that hinge off a nationwide campaign rolled out by national marketing teams. With the right platform and a strong, suitable mix of customizable content, these platforms become potent marketing weapons, empowering sales networks (and franchisees) with the tools to get to their customers faster, with more messages tailored to this audience more often.

Many of the secrets behind the success of these platforms are found within our White Paper, but there are other insights MyAdbox is able to share with our clients around the most efficient approach to content creation. Our experience working with large, nationwide networks has provided us with an excellent understanding of how users in these networks behave and react to content within the system – particularly when it comes to the optimum degree of customization. It’s what we call our Goldilocks Principle – the level of flexibility around customization that is ‘just right’ for the end user.

It’s human nature to think that endless freedom to choose is important when it comes to our daily lives, but as psychologist Barry Schwartz puts it, there is a ‘Paradox of Choice’ that exists within us all. As Schwartz observes, instead of increasing our sense of well-being, an abundance of choice can actually become overwhelming and counterproductive. While his thesis relates specifically to consumer choice of products and services and the rise of social media, it does hold true for other aspects of human behaviour when it comes to making decisions. People think they want endless choice, but the reality is different. They want a level of choice that satisfies their need to customize a solution for their need.

This principle is important to keep in mind when it comes to setting up a LAM platform that offers various degrees of content customization for users. At MyAdbox, we have developed our platform such that it is possible to cater for unlimited customization. If we needed to, we could create modifiable templates within our content creation system that would allow users to change templates with unlimited variation (albeit within brand compliance guidelines). Users could pull in whatever combination of image assets they wish, switch between an endless array of headlines and select from a huge library of copy alternatives (we can even accommodate open text fields for ultimate customization). But by studying the behaviour of our users, we’ve discovered that this is not what our customers actually want. We have observed the very essence of Shwartz’s Paradox of Choice in the way users react to selecting modifiable templates. And we are using these insights to guide our clients on the best content mix strategies to ensure platform success and network engagement over the long term.

Through a deep analysis of user behaviour in the platform, we have observed a relationship between user ‘types’ and the spectrum of customization we can offer within our content creation system.

This relationship demonstrates a pattern of behaviour across groups of users we put into classifications such as:

• ‘Download’ Users

• ‘Time Poor ‘Users

• ‘Simple System’ Users

• ‘Invested’ Users

While the platform allows users across these groups to access the same editable template mix across the board, we find that the behaviour of users in the platform naturally directs them to certain types of templates that satisfy their unique LAM needs. It’s a self-levelling approach that gets them to their ‘Goldilocks’ option – the template that is ‘just right’, giving them the ideal amount of customization.

We’ve also learned that different users within a network are likely to move between groups, depending on a range of factors including:

•  How well versed they are in the content creation capabilities of the platform (which guides the development of our training programs, in-platform help guides and user communications)

• How much time they have to create content (this can vary depending on market circumstances - the busier they are, the harder it is to find the time to customize content and the more likely they will go with a ‘quicker’ option)

• Resources on hand – including the number of trained people within the user location with access to the platform.

Equally, this spectrum will vary from industry to industry – and also, within industry sectors. For example, the right content customization mix for the Automotive sector may be too narrow, say, for Government or Finance. And what might be right level of customization for one Automotive organization will almost certainly not be the same for another. In this respect, we draw on our experienced team to develop a Content Creation matrix build that will achieve the optimum results for every client. We conduct ‘Content Audits’ as part of our Onboarding program and constantly assess the levels of usage in the platform, feeding this data back to our clients to shape the content mix model as a constant evolution.

The Goldilocks Principle to LAM platforms may sound simplistic, but it provides us with a framework to develop a platform solution that actually works, gets users engaged and keeps them engaged. Just as a LAM message will not be the same across a region, a nation or across countries, a LAM platform should not be ‘one size fits all’.