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July 8th, 2015

Leverage Location: 6 Tips to Optimize Regional Marketing

In marketing, as in real estate, location matters. Yet many marketers don’t realize how location influences marketing effectiveness. Different markets require their own media mix and spend levels—and present unique challenges. This means that brands looking to optimize marketing at a national or global level need to consider regional differences, too.

Want to drive more impact across every location? Read on for six ways that the right analytics can help regional marketing work.

1. Get more granular with your data and analytics. As the size of the region you’re working with shrinks, so does the pool of available data. The smaller your regions, the more you’ll need to refine your analytics to compensate for data quantity (or even quality) that you may not have. When you execute media at the national level, for instance, be sure to tap local response data as much as possible—such as tracking clickthroughs and conversions to the city or DMA. It's also critical to conduct statistical “sense-checks” to be sure you're on the right track—such as comparing local-level analytics with national benchmarks. And, of course, be sure to work with analytics tools that are sensitive enough to register local nuance.

2. Consider the regional environment. Numerous local factors—such as taxes, regional competition, employment, weather, and gas prices—influence marketing effectiveness. Think about it: if a competitor puts massive marketing resources into one region, or you're selling summer gear in an area where there's a cold snap, you may need to double down on marketing investments just to maintain your current position. To determine the right marketing investment levels for regional success, be sure to consider the entire local environment.

3. Don’t confuse size with impact. A large market doesn’t always require heavy investment—and sometimes your highest-yield market can be quite small. You’re looking for the most cost-effective outlet, not necessarily the largest one—by either population or geography. The right marketing analytics can show the best spend levels in a given region.

4. Apply learnings from established markets. Every new territory stands to benefit from your knowledge of others—from the spend levels you need, to the media mix that works best. Start with what you know and optimize from there.

5. Think locally, act globally. What you learn at the regional level can help guide strategies at the national and global level, too. Look to regional success—and failure—for clues as to what’s most effective for the rest of your marketing program. Small regions can become “labs” for broader strategies.

6. Get comfortable with surprises. Many MarketShare clients are surprised to finally see how much their marketing effectiveness—and the right marketing allocation—varies from region to region. To truly succeed at geo-optimization, be open to the surprises that the data reveals—across any location.

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