Geomarketing strategies you need to know

The world is your oyster when it comes to consumer insight. 

For many marketers, reaching out to audiences is like walking through a labyrinth.  The consumers are at the end of the maze, but getting to them is often a complicated and arduous journey.

Psychographics and demographics are useful hints that guide us on the right path, but like pieces of a broken map, they don’t make up the whole picture. Fortunately, companies have discovered another solution that would shed more light on where consumers stand –  By literally finding out where they are standing at the moment.

Utilising the location of a user to push content, geomarketing has been gaining momentum for its ability to gain real-time access into the user’s world. Not only does it provide users with an enhanced, personalised experience, this bridge into the physical also allows brands to gain valuable insights on the daily movements and habits of its audiences.

After all, we are the places where we go – Here are three geomarketing strategies that will help a marketer understand and reach out to his/her audiences better. 

Geo-Targeting

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What is it?

Based on the premise that people from different places have different preferences or needs, marketers can send multiple custom content targeted to various areas, instead of one mass message. Geotargeting is a great way to accommodate readers and for marketers to test the waters on cultural nuances.

How does it work? 

Geotargeting may encompass traditional and digital media. In terms of traditional formats like print, targeting is more intuitive and simply means segmenting mass audiences based on larger scopes like cities or countries.

Online formats are much more detailed, however. By sourcing from databases provided by geolocation services like Maxmind or even manually tracking, brands can determine the exact location of a user based on the IP addresses of their devices. From there, marketers can sort users into various geographic channels, providing personalised, culturally sensitive messages.

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Side by side comparisons of Urban Outfitters’ US and UK sites. 

Examples of Geotargeting 

Widely circulated traditional media, like magazines or cable channels have international editions for different countries. Webpage prompts asking to select the country of origin is one way that brands can geotarget. Other times, web users are automatically redirected into a regional site, based on their device location. Changes may come in the form of content offerings, layout and aesthetic, languages and even promotions.

Geo-Fencing

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What is it?

It is as the name suggests; Creating a boundary where specific messages can be broadcast and would make sense within an area.  The basis of this strategy is that proximity may equate to interest, and that potential users just need a relevant push to convince and divert them into a physical location. Even if that isn’t the case, geofencing is still an insightful tool for tracking movement patterns, useful for refining targeting ranges for future campaigns.

How does it work? 

Companies use Global Positioning System (GPS) or Radio Frequency ID (RFID) technologies to create virtual ‘fences’ around a geographical space, tagging these borders to a program or an application. Like a tracking chip, when a user opts to enable notifications, the same program is then able to track his/her location. So, whenever the application senses a user entering these boundaries, it triggers a response in the form of push messages.

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Photo credit: Apple iTunes store

Examples of Geofencing

One great example is Tring313, a mobile app developed for Somerset 313, a shopping centre in Singapore. By using geofencing strategies in their technology, users who download the app are notified when they are within walking distance, receiving exclusive deals or updates from participating vendors.

Beacons

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What is it?

Like shining lights that guide a ship to shore, beacons similarly help consumers navigate through their buying process by providing value-adding info. Communicating with users on a hyper-local level, this form of geomarketing is usually found in stores, where they act as virtual shop assistants. Consumers don’t have to demand for information; Instead this is given instantly, where and when they need it.

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Photo credit: Visualisation from Estimote, a beacon provider.

How does it work? 

Essentially, beacons are not content producers or trackers. They are merely middlemen devices with Bluetooth connectivity physically placed about an area. Using low level Bluetooth signals, beacons detect users within a small range to transmit information from an existing application (with all the content) to the receiving smartphone.

Examples of Beacon Technology

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Photo credit: Geomarketing 

Barneys New York, an upscale luxury retailer, implemented this technology into their flagship store in Manhattan. Syncing information from their smartphone app, users who are detected to be in store are notified of product stocks for items in their personal shopping bag.

This initiative went beyond solely pushing the brand, as Barneys utilised beacons to include content that may be relevant to their customer’s needs. For instance, users that may have been in the premises for a period of time may receive eating recommendations from around the neighbourhood. A small, yet thoughtful gesture that speaks volumes to the viewer.

Written by: (www.script.com.sg) 

Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd

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