It’s no secret that geography and location play a huge role in marketing. From advertising campaigns on local radio and television stations to displaying a restaurant billboard six miles ahead of the interstate exit, marketers have been utilizing geotargeting for years.
With the proliferation of technology over the past several years, geotargeting has become mainstream in marketing, as more precise tools and technologies have enabled businesses to conveniently reach their audiences in their homes, at work, and in the palm of their hands. However, marketers often forget about the subtle nuances that make geotargeted marketing truly effective. While some may believe targeting a simple radius around their store is enough, there are many geographical factors that play a role in the efficacy of a geotargeted marketing campaign.
When considering a geographical area to focus your marketing efforts on, it is important to think about the competitive landscape. For example, a grocery chain may want to reconsider marketing to customers who must drive past three or more competitors to reach their store. Even if a customer decides to redeem an offer at that store, the likelihood of them becoming a loyal customer decreases with every competitor they pass during their drive. However, for more specialized industries such as furniture or electronics, customers may be willing to drive past competitors if your price points fit their budget.
With consumers paying a premium for convenience in today’s world, travel time is an important factor to keep in mind when evaluating your geotargeting strategies. As consumers have become more accustomed to convenient shopping experiences, businesses are finding much higher response rates from consumers who are within a 5-7-minute drive from a business. While you might assume your store is under a ten-minute drive for everyone within a 3-mile radius, it might actually take consumers vastly different amounts of time to reach your store depending on traffic, number of stoplights, or the route they choose to take. Think about the last time you got takeout for lunch during your workday. With most people having between 30 and 60 minutes for a lunch break, our research has shown that consumers respond most to marketing campaigns focused on consumers within a 5-7-minute drive.
A better practice may be to create a custom trade area based on the actual amount of time it takes to drive to your store from anywhere within your desired radius. Below is an example of this using DBM Group’s proprietary geotargeting tool:
Every business has unique geographical features that should be considered when identifying the best trade areas. For some businesses, it could be a body of water, a bridge, or highway that acts as a natural psychological barrier. This means customers rarely go out of their way to drive past these barriers when they can go somewhere on their side. These barriers also include nearby stadiums or national landmarks that residents avoid due to heavy traffic. Or, in urban locations, there may be factors like one-way streets, cemeteries, and railways that can sway a consumer shopping or dining decision. Using DBM Group’s proprietary geotargeting tool, we are able to draw custom maps around a given location to know exactly how many households and businesses are within these geographically boundaries:
We’ve previously mentioned consumers becoming accustomed to convenient shopping. One way to offer tremendous value to your customers is by offering and promoting delivery services. That being said, it’s important to only market it to consumers within your delivery boundaries. If a consumer is being bombarded with messaging for a service they cannot use, they can become disgruntled with a business for inadequate marketing. Imagine how frustrating a customer might find it to receive an offer promoting delivery and have already decided what they want to eat, only to find out that they are not eligible for service in their area.
When considering an agency to implement geotargeting, choose one who has the experience and technology to take these practices and strategies and create more effective marketing campaigns.