Dunkin Donuts Doesn’t Get Local Search Marketing
My initial plan of doing a post on Intuit’s new Local Search 2.0 offering Zipingo ran into a detour when I noticed the lack of user reviews, the obstacle that most nation wide local social projects are running into without a form of centralized review ‘filler’. So, after being a bit let down by the lack of reviews or businesses for some local searches I made on Zipingo, I tried after comparing some searches on Yahoo Local.Being obsessed with coffee lately, I tried the old standby, a search for ‘coffee’ on Yahoo Local in the town I used to work in. Yep, my user review of the local coffee shop was still there, but it was something else that caught my eye, a Yahoo Search Marketing ad for Dunkin Donuts.
Before going any further, I’ll try to visualize the mindset of someone searching for local coffee at 7 am EST : I’m about to leave for work from my home or from a hotel. It’s 7 am – so I either go to work way too early OR I have quite a long commute. Being that I’m actually searching for coffee from my home computer, I’m either so lazy that I can’t brew my own morning coffee and take it with me in the car (ironically I have time to search on the computer) or I prefer buying good coffee on the road – meaning that I’m willing to pay $3-$5 for a cup of mocha that’s sold on a 1000% profit margin.
Got the mindset down? Good. No, let’s do a search for ‘coffee’ on Yahoo Local, looking for coffee shops near Havre de Grace, MD. Yahoo Local does a good job of identifying coffee shops in the area and even maps them out for my voyage on the left side of the results page, very nice.
However, being an average web user I’m also going to look over the Sponsored Results at the very top of the page. At the top of the sponsored results is, you guessed it, Dunkin Donuts. What a great idea! There are Dunkin Donuts all over the place and especially along major commuting routes (even shortcuts). Better yet, I highly respect the way Dunkin Donuts has diversified their food offerings in today’s health conscious society, offering a fine selection of coffees, lattes, and espresso drinks along with sandwiches, muffins, and even sugarless ice cream; Dunkin Donuts has become the average joe’s Starbucks.
But wait just a moment, something is wrong here. Dunkin Donuts is not offering me a coupon for some free munchkins during my drive-in coffee buying experience or even marketing their spill proof lids, nope, they are trying to sell me something completely different in this Yahoo Local search result. Something totally irrelevant to the Local Search experience : “Shop the Dunkin Donuts online store for delicious coffee and coffee accessories. Try the holiday special: buy 2 pounds of any coffee for $10.99.”Buy TWO POUNDS of coffee? TWO POUNDS?!? I can’t imagine digesting two pounds of coffee on the way to work. Not to imagine me spurting off irrelevant stories to work mates in an overly-hyper-active chipmunk voice and all of the added daily trips to the toilet such a feast of java would result in.
But wait a second, they don’t want me to consumer two pounds of coffee grinds during my daily commute. Even worse, Dunkin Donuts wants me to visit their online store and do my holiday shopping. You lost me there Dunkin. See, this ad is being served over Local Search during a heavy commuting time and I am looking to buy a Cafe Mocha, Muffin, and maybe an Orange Juice (a $7 purchase) on the way to work, not do my Christmas shopping.
Not to say that Dunkin Donuts is running a bad campaign for their bulk Holiday Coffees on Yahoo Search, but for Yahoo Local Search they are missing the point. Local Search is used frequently by commuters, travelers, and folks on the move. If I was searching for coffee from a Blackberry or cellular on the way to work I would have the same mindset.
My suggestion to Dunkin Donuts is this, do not forget your local retailers while planning an online search campaign.
1. Speak with your Yahoo Search Marketing representative about setting up a local search campaign on Yahoo Local or keep your keyword specific normal Yahoo Search Marketing campaign in tact but integrate the next tip.
2. Dayparting. You can set your advertising campaign to serve different advertisements and landing pages during different times of the day via Yahoo Search Marketing’s Dayparting service or using your own search engine marketing management tool.
The campaign can be set to serve commuter targeted Dunkin Donuts ads during the morning and evening commutes. As Local Search grows from the desktop and into the handheld, cellular, and automobile; such a campaign should be beneficial to your local franchises in increasing their drive-time performance.
3. Once the ad copy, keyword targeting, and daypart optimized placement intrigues the prospective commuting consumer to click to the Dunkin Donuts site, continue the targeted marketing with a downloadable coupon (or something they can show the window attendant via their cell phone) which will incentivize the coffee and breakfast sandwich purchase.
Still want to upsell your Coffee Subscriptions or T-Shirts to the end user? Get them to stop in the drive thru and then upsell. Or, get their email address via the site and plan a email campaign. You can even plan a post coupon print upsell for bulk coffees and other services, but I’d say that someone who actually visits your stores to buy their morning coffee and breakfast meal is more likely to purchase a stainless steel travel mug than the average web searcher who is not a regular coffee drinker.
Local Search gives businesses the chance to engage the consumer while the consumer is looking to make a purchase or find a location in the immediate area. Businesses should use such an intimate approach to search to their advantage, this includes recognizing the local searcher while planning your paid search engine marketing campaigns.