To answer that question, let’s start by defining it. Geographic segmentation is simply dividing your target market based on geography. And when you think of “geography”, think of the map and beyond, because geographic segmentation can involve dividing your market in several ways. But no matter how you slice it, once you’ve segmented your market, it makes targeting your customers that much more efficient and effective.
To look at the map and beyond, you could divide your market:
- by what you might have expected – geographic area – city, region, province, country, or even international region
- into rural, urban, and suburban segments
- by climate or population
So, geographic segmentation sounds simple enough, but what’s in it for you?
If you own a small business with a limited budget, segmentation allows you to focus on your defined area. No more wasted dollars on marketing approaches for any other segment.
On the other hand, if you’re part of a large national or international company, geographic segmentation is a highly effective approach for you, too. Different consumers in largely different areas have different needs and wants. Consider cultural differences and market to suit.
What’s more, geographic segmentation goes hand-in-hand with population density; urban consumers tend to have different preferences than rural ones.
And finally, to bring geographic segmentation into focus, let’s look at a few simple examples of it in action. You might find that one of these resonates with you and your business.
- Local Retailer – Although they often shelve a wide variety of products that appeal to the masses, it’s still wise to market with geography in mind. Smaller, independent retailers do well to flood the local market with radio and newspaper ads. Think local reach, reasonable rates!
- Seasonal – As Canadians, we swing from ski suits to swim suits in a snap. But it’s awfully hard to interest us in blowout parka sales in mid May. So geographically speaking, it’s common sense to market ski wear in the fall and swimwear in the spring, eh? As for those sunny southerners, well they seem to be thinking about shorts and swim suits all year long, so market away, in spite of the calendar. Even Santa slips into board shorts when he stops by Florida.
- New Territory, New Strategy – Even large franchises will target locally. Lowes opened a new location in our area recently, and low and behold, we seemed to be constantly reading and hearing about their “grand opening sale” everywhere we went in this small town.
So back to the original question – should geographic segmentation be part of your marketing strategy? We think so. It’s easy, effective, and suitable for every budget. Sure sounds like a win-win-win strategy to us.