Say a company wants to offer its products to customers from a variety of markets online. Each of these markets will have customers with differences in tastes, preferences and languages spoken. Hence, a common marketing strategy will not work for all of these markets. The marketing strategy for each market must be optimised according to the aforementioned tastes, preferences and the languages which are spoken by the customers from these markets. This is where geo-targeting comes in.
What is geo-targeting?
It is a type of online marketing where a company tries to sell a product (or service) by personalising its online content depending on the physical location of the customer. This way, a company is able to offer people from different countries and regions content specific to their interests.
How does it work?
Geo-targeting uses the IP address of the customer to pinpoint their location. In an IP address, the first three digits represent the country from which the customer is accessing the website, and the subsequent digits represent different regions within that country. Using this information, the content shown to customers can be personalised according to the region they are from.
Nowadays, even small companies can use geo-targeting to personalise their content marketing according to the region through services like Google Adwords. Research has shown that content creators get more hits on their website if their pages are optimised according to the area from which a user accesses it. In some cases, there can be small discrepancies due to customers using a proxy address or an IP blocker, but these cases only constitute a very small percentage to the total customers reached and can, therefore, be considered as negligible.
What are the benefits of Geo-targeting?
There are several ways in which geo-targeting can be very beneficial to your company’s operations. A few of them are as follows:
1. Offer location-specific advertising
As we discussed before, people from different regions will have different tastes, preferences and speak different languages. Knowing the location of the customer can help you push ads for products that they are likely to be interested in through your website. This will result in more people clicking on your ads and subsequently generating more advertising revenue for your company.
2. Show customers personalised offers
After determining their location, customers can be sent alerts containing information about where they can purchase the products that they are looking for. Offers and discounts can also be shown to the customer depending on their location in the same manner. In case of a shortage of stocks, the customer can be informed about the nearest store where they can go pick the product up.
3. Improve the overall customer experience
Your content marketing strategy can be modified according to the location from which users access your website. This can include everything from your website design to writing your content in the language specific to that region. This will improve the overall customer experience significantly, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and increasing the likelihood that they will return to your website. Some search engines like Google and Bing even offer the option to search for content in websites originating from the same country as the user.
4. Provide content according to interest
Since geo-targeting allows you to separate your target audience into different segments, you can choose how to personalise the content according to each user's tastes and what they are interested in. For example, people living in urban areas would be more interested in door to door services rather than ones in rural areas. This increases the reach and probability of more users receiving your content and this, in turn, increases your brand value. Not only does this increase customer satisfaction, but it also increases the chances of getting more customers through word of mouth.
5. Decreases wait time for users
By knowing the location of the user, your website can be designed to fetch whatever information the user requests from a server closest to his geographical location. This massively decreases the time wasted by users waiting for the relevant information to come through and increases the speed of the service as a whole.
6. Advertise products according to local events
Every place has their own set of cultural and other celebratory events like religious festivals or national holidays. Each event will undoubtedly provide you with the opportunity to offer products or services related to the event to the participants. Thus, using geo-targeting, you will know which users are likely to participate in such events according to their location and you can use the event to promote those products and services to these users at the specific time.
7. Fraud Prevention
Geo-targeting can be a great help when it comes to detecting fraud. Financial data such as credit card numbers are often stolen by hackers residing in another country from users. Once geo-targeting is enabled, if a hacker uses a customer’s credit card from a location different from that of the customer’s usual one, a security alert can be raised and the customer can immediately be informed of the fraud, thus averting a major crisis.
8. Identify the best and worst performing locations
As a business enterprise selling in a global market, geo-targeting can help you identify which are the locations where your strategy is working and where it isn’t. Since the same strategy need not work in every location, it is very helpful to know the regions in which it isn’t working so that you can make the required changes and rack up more sales and increase your brand value.
Geo-targeting is an excellent method of identifying which parts of your online marketing strategy needs work. People from different geographical locations belong to different niches and knowing what each niche wants can significantly increase your visitor count, increase your brand value and subsequently increase your revenue. Tailoring the browsing experience to suit each customer individually also leads to a growth in customer satisfaction. Customers ultimately get faster service, better deals and offers, an improved user experience and are protected from fraud when you use geo-targeting.
Do you know of any more benefits that could be added to this list? Do let us know.