Monthly Archives: April 2016

Should Geographic Segmentation Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy?

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.

Putting the Employee Spotlight On … Cathy Millar

We’re pleased to announce that our Senior Account Director, Cathy Millar, has been awarded designation as a Certified Marketing Specialist, an industry credential established and accredited by the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA). Cathy’s accomplishment is no small feat, requiring multiple assignments and rigorous assessments throughout a series of intensive interactive courses.

Designed for adult leaners, the Certified Marketing Specialist designation is intended specifically for marketing professionals, requiring a significant time commitment from busy working professionals, a commitment typically spanning 19-24 months. And it’s quite an honour to receive the designation – in fact, it’s only been awarded to 59 professionals across Canada.

Cathy benefited from a range of comprehensive courses, including Digital Marketing, Digital Marketing Strategy, Direct Response Marketing, Integrated Branding, and Marketing Math. And while many take the courses to advance their career, Cathy’s aim was all about her clients. With industry trends rapidly changing, she recognizes the importance of continually expanding her skills and competencies; with CMA, she knows she’s learning from the industry’s best.

As a believer in lifelong learning, Cathy took only a couple of days to breathe deeply and refresh herself before digging into her next learning experience; the topic: Sustainability.

Congratulations Cathy! You too, are one of the industry’s finest.

USING LINKEDIN TO BRING BIZ IN

Considering that it’s designed specifically for business and boasts networking as a top priority, it makes sense for every professional to take a serious look at LinkedIn as a rich platform for business development.

Many of us are familiar with the basic benefits of LinkedIn. It’s an exceptional source of information on other companies and prospects, and creates endless opportunities to forge new relationships. Used to heighten client acquisition and retention, it offers both the opportunity to network with existing clients and ample opportunity to further expand your network by connecting with your clients’ connections. Think expansion of your business: cultivate your network by leveraging company pages and groups. And, think expansion of your mind – gain business-building ideas by hearing from others in your industry.

Now that we’ve scratched the surface of the broad range of benefits LinkedIn offers us as professionals, let’s get to the point – how to really, and truly, use LinkedIn to generate business. Here are a few simple strategies to get you off to a great start.

Present Well

First impressions matter. Make the most of your profile and company page. You can stand on your soapbox and tell the world what you do. Or, you can really speak to each and every individual by describing exactly what you can do for them. After all, isn’t that what most people like to hear?

Get Real

Along the same lines of a good first impression, how about dropping that generic default message? Yes, they’re handy. Effortless, in fact. But haven’t we all seen, “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn” enough times already? With that lack of effort, one can’t help but wonder, do you really? Relying on generic messages simply does not indicate just how much you’d like to connect, nor does it make you unique, interesting, or engaged. Send a custom connection request and get real.

Expand Your Reach with Premium Tools

And now, backed by your strong profile and genuine attempts at personal engagement, it’s time to expand your reach. If you’re serious about generating business, you likely have a short list of targets and probably a long list, too. Premium target shooting requires premium tools. And you’ll find them in the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions suite. Take a look at Sponsored Updates (basically native advertising on LinkedIn), the LinkedIn Lead Accelerator (which allows you to engage visitors to your website), and Sponsored InMail (which sends targeted emails to prospects).

Ready to reach out? Good, because it’s pretty stimulating to think of the reach you have with LinkedIn. Let’s face it – used well, you can cast a wide net. Start with ensuring your net is strong and supportive, then cast it directly into your target pool.