Reach Any Location with Laser-Guided Geographic Targeting, Part I
Geographic targeting is the lifeline for any business that depends on reaching consumers based on physical location. Auto dealerships, retail stores, professional sports teams — these are just a few examples of businesses that rely on geographic targeting to acquire new customers.
For these businesses, the classic direct marketing adage of "Right Offer to the Right Person at the Right Time" needs to add a fourth leg to the stool: the Right Location. Traditional offline marketing channels have been well suited for geographic targeting, but with the recent explosion of online marketing and dramatic new tracking technologies, there are now powerful channels available for geographic targeting in digital channels as well.
The best marketing program in the world will not succeed if the consumers being targeted are not located in the business "trade region." The most important starting point for any geo-marketing program is to define the trade region. In simple terms, think of this as the number of miles an interested prospect would be willing to travel to reach the business.
The best way to identify this "geographic radius" is by analyzing historical customer data to determine where the majority of current customers come from. There is typically a direct correlation between a consumer's likelihood to buy and the distance he is from a business.
So how do you reach consumers who are in the appropriate trade region? Here's an overview of four (five more in the next edition of Inside Direct Mail Weekly) traditional AND digital marketing channels available for geographic targeting to reach any consumer segment in any physical location.
1. Direct Mail
Traditionally, the most effective marketing channel for geographic targeting has been direct mail. Each consumer's physical address and their exact distance to a business is a known quantity, therefore clear radius cutoffs can easily be made.