Geo-targeting and data visualization improve ROI

Proponents of mobile marketing hang their hats on push marketing by location. For now, the possibilities seem endless.

However, the benefits of pinpoint location marketing are no longer the exclusive domain of mobile marketers. For direct mail marketers, the future is here and now.

New geo-targeting tools wed data analytics with satellite mapping technology to locate and identify prospects and customers on a micro level. The combination of data and mapping gives marketers the ability to move beyond traditional geographic segmentation and enter the realm of more complex targeting using longitude and latitude. Then, database technologies with data visualization capabilities allow marketers to see where current or potential customers work, live and play.

Marketers possessing on-the-ground knowledge regarding their specific retail location vastly improve their targeting efforts. Radius targeting cannot factor in geographical obstacles such as rivers, bridges, mountains or heavily traveled roads (with prolonged drive times). A map interface can, and every marketer knows that consumers with easy access to a location are more likely to buy there. Then, too, visualization of mapped views of customers provides insight into data relationships that would be almost impossible to identify using lists or traditional data reports. Trends, concentrations of certain segments and underserved areas almost jump off the page with the new technology.

In particular, data visualization comprises one of the most enlightening and powerful segmentation tools now available.

It offers the ability to see clusters of customers and prospects and identify underlying geographic and demographic insights, creating a whole new level of segmentation possibilities for direct marketers. Moreover, plotting customers to a map and drawing custom geographic selects—irrespective of any fixed geo-determinate like ZIP code or carrier route—eliminate wasted mailings and associated costs.

Robert Salta is a principal of Reach him at [email protected].

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