Location! Location! Location!
If there is one thing that has stayed constant in the world of commerce, it’s the importance of being where the customer is looking. From brick and mortar enterprises struggling for the best locations in town to brands spending big bucks on an ad campaign during the big game, marketers have tried to capture the customer where they would be. The medium changes, but the rules stay the same.
Today, the presence of Web-based mobile technology, satellite positioning, and data analytics have allowed marketers to hone in on the needs of their customer base with even greater precision. More people are online on their smartphones, making mobile ads and applications critical point of expansion for advertisers.
The captive audience
Targeted marketing campaigns are based on the principle of efficiency. By focusing most marketing campaigns on customers both interested and capable of purchasing their products or services with regularity. For brick-and-mortar retailers, this would involve people who already live within a specific radius—a captive customer base that can readily be catered to.
In modern e-Commerce, this would also include customers who were already going to buy a specific item and users who already agreed to receive updates on a brand’s mobile app or website.
In the mobile age, the best ways to hone into a captive audience is to identify where customers are going (rather than where they live), which is often a more accurate picture of their behaviors. One way of targeting ads to customers based on proximity is through geofencing, which involves setting up a virtual fence around a location that alerts customers who opted in that they have entered the area.
Many businesses have already reaped the benefits of targeting customers at the local level, with interesting results. Many first adopters have found many creative and effective uses for geofences, enticing nearby customers of special offers that might come their way once they approach the premises.
Going local is also a good campaign for content marketers. Small and medium-scale businesses often have this as their edge over their larger counterparts, being more acutely aware of the communities they are a part of. They may capitalize on their local expertise to create meaningful content for their client base.
Casting the net
Businesses must choose, however, whether their targeted campaigns should cast a bigger net or a smaller one. Extremely specific market niches may attract more of a particular type of customer, but may not produce a large volume of customers. Large nets may reach thousands but not accurately target anyone who might be interested in a purchase.
Although there is no effective middle ground between the two, businesses may still take advantage of both strategies depending on their needs. Special events and niche products may benefit targeted marketing, whereas grand sales and a broader product range may favor larger, more general strategies.
The size of the geographic area to cater also matter. While catering to a specific radius may avoid direct competition with other businesses in the area, increasing the size of your reach by another mile or so will not hurt. Businesses should also be wary of overextending their geofences to beyond what their customers consider convenient.
The higher penetration of smartphones in the market opens up new doors for local businesses to cater to the customer’s need for greater convenience. Brands that take advantage of location awareness in their greater mobile marketing stand to gain from attracting an audience that’s there to stay and will keep coming back.