The idea of being in “the right place at the right time” is an age-old saying that many have attributed to positive coincidence and lucky findings. But, what if we could credit ‘right place, right time’ to more than luck? Geotargeting is a tactic that takes personalized marketing to the next level by leveraging real-time data to deliver relevant content to a target audience at each stage of the sales funnel.
Marketers of today have begun to capitalize on web-based ‘hot spots’ or desirable locations as a way to target consumers and leverage that “right place, right time” experience for users.
Spotify is the latest brand to explore this tactic, as it applies geo-marketing to create a multi-touchpoint experience informed by online and offline behavior. While this strategy is commonly used among consumer brands, that doesn't mean B2B organizations don’t realize its value. On the contrary, B2B marketers can take a page out of Spotify’s book and use valuable user data to implement a similar strategy.
B2B marketers who haven’t yet explored this approach are bypassing a huge opportunity. With the right tools in place, a company can leverage geotargeting tactics to gain valuable information about its target audience, such as location and data, and use that information to optimize its communication approach by delivering the right content at the right place and time.
Ultimately, geotargeting builds a digital footprint of where users are spending time while creating a greater picture of their personas and their journey maps, both of which are essential strategic tools for building a customer-centric business. The insights from this marketing method allow B2B organizations to have a better understanding of who their customers are, their needs, pain points, and how they might interact with a company across all touchpoints. Using this information, companies can personalize their outreach based on the products and services each customer might consider.
What are the benefits of geo-marketing?
There are three key reasons why B2B marketers should consider a geomarketing strategy.
Collecting customer information
Geomarketing tools collect customer data — allowing an organization to create insights and understand a consumer’s spending/buying habits. A more holistic view of the customer can enable organizations to boost personalization, which ultimately comes in handy for tactics such as trigger-based email marketing. Buyers want to build a trusted and sustainable relationship with their providers, and the B2B world is no different. In fact, the sector is known for having longer sales cycles than the consumer space -- which leaves more opportunity for lead nurturing. Geomarketing tools can provide valuable insights for building buy-in and helping teams take a targeted approach to improving the customer experience.
Providing insight into competition
With geomarketing tools, businesses can build competitive analyses. This data can allow organizations to see who they are competing with for specific locations and how their performance stacks up in comparison.
Using collected customer data allows marketers to run multiple marketing campaigns in various locations while geotargeting their audience. Changing the location of the campaign is simple, pain-free and essential for optimizing the likelihood of success.
For example, it’s not uncommon to adjust bids on ads to prioritize the best-performing locations. Additionally, with geomarketing, teams have the ability to perform a/b testing to identify top-performing content platforms in a given region or the best messages for a set target audience.
Geotargeting relies on compiling and tabulating past location data with particular audience attributes. It also looks at behaviors and interests, but it is largely based on demographics and keywords.
By targeting destinations, such as conferences, a potential customer’s office building, or trade shows, B2B marketers can leverage location data to grab the attention of new prospects. For instance, in the case of trade shows or conventions, marketers could drive customers to visit their booth and initiate the first conversation in the sales cycle.
The success of a geomarketing strategy largely depends on your target audience’s mobile use. That contingency could pose a challenge if a company’s intended buyers don’t spend much time on the phone. While 77% of B2B buyers bought more products online for their companies in the past year, these buyers won’t purchase in the moment via mobile. Commonly targeted locations for geomarketing campaigns are work-related, and yet customers are less likely to be on their phones at work.
B2B marketers are still working out a few kinks to achieve the caliber of results that consumer brands like Spotify have.
The solution? Developing strategies that rely heavily on research. To be successful, marketers must know their target audience’s habits, routines, and the services or products they’re likely seeking. Marketers could actually use the traditionally lengthy B2B sales cycle to their advantage by conducting awareness campaigns when they target mobile. The likelihood of success increases as marketers use a deep knowledge of buyer behaviors to inform their approach.
Geotargeting is just one example of how location data can contribute to more meaningful marketing outcomes. With careful planning, B2B marketers can leverage location data and the insights it affords to identify untapped opportunities. Ultimately, this artful approach to connecting with buyers at the right place and time stands to benefit a company’s bottom line in terms of considerable time and cost savings.
Keka Cobb is the director of Demand Generation.