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One of the hottest trends in local marketing is “National Local,” which accounted for 32.1 percent or $42.5 billion of the $132.5 billion spent on local media advertising in 2012. BIA/Kelsey projects that national’s share of local ad spending is expected to grow to nearly $51 billion by 2017. While sometimes obscuring “local local” marketing efforts (i.e. SMBs), the rapid rise of Mobile, effective Geo Targeting and marketing automation has permitted local to scale in unprecedented ways for national brands, franchises and retailers.

Yodle, for one, has been really zeroing in on maximizing its national local opportunities. The company provides marketing services to 40,000 local businesses, including a wide swath of national providers, such as Merry Maids and Miracle-Ear.

Today, the company announced the formal launch of its Centermark suite for such national local players. The suite has been launched as part of The Yodle for Brand Network division — as of July, its revised name for national local services. “Not all brands are national, and many national organizations don’t view themselves as brands,” noted SVP Fred Voccola, in explaining the new name.

Centermark’s various features include local SEO, social, local mobile and scheduling services. It has been in beta for the past six months with 2,000 customers, including franchisors, manufacturers and multi-location operators.

Voccola explains that the company’s primary goal with Centermark is to provide a consistent local Web infrastructure that provides better SEO and ultimately, conversion rates and ‘actionable business intelligence.’ It is not just to understand what the revenue was. We’re interested in what lead sources were used,” and external factors that may have contributed to a sale or other type of engagement, including left field factors that defy conventional wisdom, such as interest rates or weather, he says.

More critically, the use of suites like Centermark can strengthen the bond between national brands and their local entities, says Voccola. At BIA/Kelsey, we have observed that weak online and mobile offerings from brands have caused many franchisees to take control of their own marketing activities, often with mixed results. That probably doesn’t serve anyone’s goals.

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