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  • Helen Pritchett

What Role Can Geography Play in Marketing?

Location has always played a significant role in marketing; however, during the digital age it has become even more critical. As consumers become more discerning (and more adept researchers), advertising and marketing strategies need to become more precise, personalised, and relevant. Once upon a time, location focused on national vs regional newspaper or radio advertising but today’s marketers are increasingly using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology such as spatial visualisation software, analytics and predictive models to leverage location further.

GIS is a technology that analyses and displays geographically referenced information with data that is specific to a unique location. Such location intelligence, means brands can make more informed decisions about marketing and advertising opportunities and content strategies. Effective using of GIS marketing can be key to ensuring the right people get the right messages at the right time and according to the Global BCG survey, 95% of executives across the globe consider mapping and geospatial data critical for achieving desired business goals.

Consider how much more successful your marketing activities could be if you divided your target market into segments on the basis of factors such as economics, habits, language, culture, and traditions. The precise use of location data in personalised marketing creates positive customer experiences and leads to brand trust and brand loyalty.

Why is geographic segmentation so important in marketing?

Geographic segmentation allows smaller businesses with limited budgets to be cost effective but have significant reach and impact. Such segmentation provides the type of insights that enable small businesses to focus marketing activities on defined area of interest, thus avoiding inefficient spend.

It is important to segment customers based on geographical variables because; it makes your brand current and relevant, you save money, it’s simple, it negates the need for a blanket approach and enables budget efficient targeting.

Advantages of geographic segmentation:

  1. Increase profits: targeting specific audiences and delivering tailored marketing campaigns will generate profits faster while saving time and money

  2. Drive growth: with accurate targeting you increase sales and drive business growth

  3. Focus efforts: target location-specific keywords and demands

  4. Improve communication: ensure a high engagement rate from the start by understanding your target audience

It is common for companies to align sales and marketing resources by market sector in order to provide a customised service. Adding the geographic element makes it possible to target locations where additional marketing may result in more sales and also help improve productivity in customer service, therefore building brand trust and loyalty.

However, using geography to your advantage is not just about spatial technology, mapping, and analytics. Concentrating on a data set in local area – i.e., being a local business supporting other local businesses – can also bring huge dividends.

Think global, buy local

By all means have big ideas but focus on how you can build your business at a local level, offering what people need when and where they need it.

Building relationships and rapport with other businesses or prospects in your local vicinity will create a sense of community.

Taking out the virtual and meeting customers and prospects face-to-face will help with relationship building and also give you the chance to demo your products – there is no better way of getting to know your marketplace or becoming more widely known and appreciated.

This last point is especially true if you can offer hands on support, particularly important in the IT space. Build a reputation for reliability and being helpful and brand loyalty will follow.

Finally, capitalise on your local knowledge, including knowledge of accents and colloquialisms – you know best!

In conclusion, using geographical data can boost lead generation and sales by giving you additional insight and your customers the reassurance that you will be there if they need you for support or to access your expertise. Even in this digital age, people still buy people!

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