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Commentary & Analysis

Locating Who to Talk To… It’s an Art and a Science!

Having a list of addresses simply isn’t enough in this modern age. Modern marketers are obligated to create an easy path to purchase, especially in an age where brick-and-mortar stores must compete with easy online purchases. This article explores how Geoservices tools can guide people to products by defining clear targeted areas for marketing campaigns.

By Pat McGrew
Published: July 27, 2017

Keypoints

  • When Geoservices are paired with Geoanalytics, you can build a fence around where to target campaigns, optimizing your spend and connecting customers with products more efficiently.
  • Location intelligence and location-based services use the same technology as a car’s navigation system, but with a marketing twist—Geoservices guide target customers to the location of specific products or services using personalized maps.
  • When McNellie’s opened an additional location in South Tulsa, it worked with TPSi to target relevant addresses, provided recipients with directions from their homes to McNellie’s, and included a $10 food voucher to be redeemed within two months. The 24% response rate was directly attributed to the power of the personalized maps.

Introduction

Using data to locate customers is not a new idea. Marketers have been doing this for years, typically purchasing lists from companies that specialize in gathering names and addresses, sometimes with some added demographic information. If you’ve have run a campaign like this in the past, you know that the response rates can be hit or miss. That’s because having a list of addresses simply isn’t enough in this modern age. Two addresses right next to each other can have very different demographics, needs, and buying cycles. Furthermore, merely letting a recipient know that you exist is often not enough. Modern marketers are obligated to create an easy path to purchase, especially in an age where brick-and-mortar stores must compete with easy online purchases. The most visual approach is to provide a map that guides the marketing target to the product, and maps driven by smart location services can create opportunities for marketers as well as the communication service providers who deliver print and mobile solutions.

Geoservices and Geoanalytics

According to an Adobe-sponsored study conducted in 2016, 53% of respondents said that data-driven marketing was a strategic priority in 2016, but turning their strategy into executable plans required data they didn’t have. A similar Verve study from June 2017 highlighted that targeting and finding ways to use data can present major obstacles for today’s marketers. Many marketers give up because they believe that without access to big data (deep profile data that is context-sensitive), there is no hope for creating campaigns that are data-driven, personalized, and cost-effective. In cases like these, service providers miss out on opportunities because their marketers lack the required tools. Fortunately, both of these conditions can be solved!

The solution lies in a bit of education and investigation, followed by some integration and programming. The starting point is in the world of Geoservices. These services frame the marketing practices that take advantage of the same location data used by cartographers and GPS systems to identify specific points on the ground. These points include locations on both sides of the buyer/seller equation, and they can be used in a variety of ways to bring location intelligence to the marketing plan. Geoservices tools can enable you to guide people to products by defining clear targeted areas for marketing campaigns. When Geoservices are paired with Geoanalytics, you can build a fence around where to target campaigns, optimizing your spend and connecting customers with products more efficiently.

It All Starts with an Address!

When a client approaches a service provider with a project, they often have a plan, including a design, a mailing list, and a budget. This is where the opportunity begins. The service provider evaluates the tool kit to determine which services can be offered to intrigue the marketer. Print, online, mobile, and social media can all play a role, but tying everything together with location intelligence can create a winning campaign. Location intelligence and location-based services use the same technology that your car’s navigation system uses to guide you from your home to an unfamiliar address, but with a marketing twist—Geoservices guide target customers to the location of specific products or services using personalized maps.

Headquartered in Braunschweig, Germany, locr is a leader in this market. The company was early to market with technology that created personalized maps that to guide consumers from their homes to a business on paper, in a mobile app, or online in static or video formats. The firm leveraged its mapping experience to create a Geoservices solution that does more than add a map to a marketing message; it provides the context to the target message.

How Does It Work?

The McNellie’s Group, a small restaurant chain based in Oklahoma, provides an excellent example of the effectiveness of these efforts. The chain’s expansion plans for the flagship McNellie’s called for an additional location in South Tulsa. The restaurant started with its usual method of taking out advertising to promote the new location, but this was not working as well as was hoped. The requirement for a uniquely local feel in the new location meant that the marketing plan needed an update. McNellie’s worked with TPSi, a local marketing services agency, to develop a plan that focused specifically on South Tulsa.

A key element of the new direct mail campaign came from personalized maps from locr to show South Tulsa residents that they now had a McNellie’s right in the neighborhood. Using Geoanalytics, TPSi targeted relevant addresses within the South Tulsa area, provided recipients with directions from their homes to McNellie’s, and included a $10 food voucher to be redeemed within two months. The 24% response rate was directly attributed to the power of the personalized maps.

Direct Mail Campaign for McNellie’s Restaurant

You might be thinking that you could do this on your own with Apple Map, Google Maps, or one of the other free map sources, and you’d be right! Adding a static map to your marketing message provides people with insight on where you are located, but having more control can yield much better results. For example, designing map styles and colors, getting the right degree of context by identifying landmarks, and further highlighting your specific location can increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in print, online, or mobile format.

locr LOCALmaps (top left), NAVImaps (top right), or MULTImaps (bottom) Are Built Using Your Data

Map solutions from locr are provided as a service, so there are a variety of ways that service providers can add mapping and Geoservices to campaigns as a value-added service. For example, XMPie users can use the self-service XMPie Mapping Service. Customers buy credits, upload data files, select map types and formatting, and download the resulting maps for inclusion in the campaign. Other solutions like GMC Inspire, HP SmartStream Designer, EFI DirectSmile, and Pageflex are equally easy to implement, but there are some rules for all of the composition engines. 

What Is Involved?

How can a service provider take advantage of this type of technology? There is some work involved with preparing the files, but the requirements are common and shouldn’t pose many problems. You can specify the resolutions and file formats that you require for your workflow, though most commonly they are 300dpi JPEG RGB files for print or 72dpi JPEG RGB files for use in online or mobile applications. Animated video files are a great addition to online and mobile communications, and locr can deliver these as MP4 files. For companies that like to build their own workflows, there is a REST Application  Program Interface (API) that enables the service team to provide fresh maps every hour of every day.

The Bottom Line

For print providers that are seeking an advantage, marketing service providers looking to extend their analytics-based offerings, and marketers that want to optimize their spending, location-based Geoservices could be the way to expand market reach!

Leveraging more than three decades as an evangelist for technology in communication, Pat McGrew uses her technical and marketing background to lead the industry toward optimized business process and information workflows. She has worked with companies to help them define their five-year plans, audited workflow processes, and developed sales team interventions and education programs. Working with customers and their clients, she educates the industry in production workflows to promote effective communication. McGrew is the Co-Author of 8 industry books, editor of A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge, and a regular writer in the industry trade press.

 

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