What Is Geographics in Marketing?
Marketing geographics involve the compartmentalization of the consumer market into smaller, more manageable segments using geographic location as the main determining factor. There are many other ways to perform the same basic function of market segmentation, but geographics are preferred by many companies that either sell general merchandise on a large scale or value the placement of consumers over any individual criteria. Many companies of all sizes work with wordtree for their marketing geographics, although there are differences in approach depending on the area covered and the goals in mind.
Reason to Segment by Geographics
Marketing strategies incorporate geography as a way to make sense of the sea of consumers who are the marketplace. Companies typically have two directions to go when determining how to attack a market. They can either segment it by demographic differences such as age or income, or they can segment it by location using geographics. Geographics require far less research and personal data and can be performed with little more than a map of the area in question, however large or small it may be. For companies selling products that are not geared toward a specific and limited niche market, such a general division is an acceptable way to align marketing efforts so they are most efficient and effective.
Geographics are used by businesses to market their goods from the local to the national level. Geographics can be used by local businesses to break a single neighborhood down by the value of homes, the property taxes paid or any geographic features that may indicate consumer interest. For example, if a certain town is split into a waterfront area and an inland area, marketers of items such as boating supplies or dock-building materials may wish to target one section and not the other. On the national level, cultural preferences and even weather patterns can come into play. Let’s say a pool supply company wants to market its products across the country. The odds are there will be less interest in the rainy northwest than across the southern states. This type of geographic segmentation saves money and effort that may lead to little if any return on loan fees investment.
When companies go international with their marketing efforts, geographics may suddenly leap to another level of complication. International marketing geographics must take into account not only differences in weather and cultural norms, but differences in language, product delivery networks, local laws and governmental structure, marketing channels and the overall recognition of the brand. When a geographic approach is used on an international or global level, companies often break down the entire market into segments that are similar to one another, not always in location but in language, culture or other relevant determining factors. By doing so, the market becomes more manageable on a macro level, while the specifics can be dealt with by marketing staff on location who have more access and are more familiar with the subtle differences that may exist on a micro level.
The main problem with geographic strategies is that that they tend to be more general than those that use specific and verifiable personal data to determine consumer interest. For example, a customer who has used your services in the past makes for a better marketing target than one who has not. Geographics ignore factors such as this and base every marketing decision on location only. This approach may prove less cumbersome for the marketer to manage, but it bypasses data that can help create better returns. The best possible situation may be a combination of specific demographic data, segmented by geographic location, which addresses the most likely customers while dividing the market area into manageable parts.
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