Web marketing presents an ongoing challenge for companies to stay on top of the latest upgrades. It also creates a constant learning curve for companies that want to effectively seize the opportunities available through the web.
Geo Targeting, for example, is one effective tool and, when coordinated with traditional marketing, can create a powerful “one-two punch,” says Shane Frost, digital marketing specialist at TaigMarks. “Marketing has always been about ‘targeting’ your audience in ways that maximize returns on your marketing and advertising dollars. That is precisely what Geo Targeting does.”
Geo Targeting uses databases of individual computer IP addresses, mobile telephone numbers and GPS information to reach people’s computers, smart phones and other Internet devices in specific geographic areas, even if they’re just passing through. So a big box store, for instance, can reach all potential customers within a certain radius to announce a promotion without advertising everywhere on the web.
“Given the scope of the Internet and deep collection of information we can access, companies can generate some big numbers in terms of prospects,” says Frost. Results typically come in the form of “impressions” or “clicks,” and companies pay on the basis of how many of either or each they obtain. The message, for example, can be a static image with a few words, a video, or keywords and phrases. Applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo, Google Search, Twitter and YouTube remain among the most used for Geo Targeting.
Now, while only a small percentage of those targeted may respond by clicking to a landing page, the analytics compiled on the characteristics of those who do respond can be very helpful in getting to know who are your potential customers. This information can provide a blueprint for subsequent digital targeting of very qualified prospects that you can also address with direct mail, email or other communications. This makes more efficient use of your marketing budget to reach your most likely customers and “close the sale.”
“However, while web marketing generates a lot of information, how to best use that information remains the challenge,” says Frost. “It still takes a message-coordinated mix of digital and traditional tools. The companies that successfully integrate these tools will be the ones that really move the sales needle.”
TaigMarks finds Geo Targeting can generate big numbers
TaigMarks works with several clients that embrace web marketing. Geo Demographic Targeting, for instance, gave one TaigMarks client the ability to focus on RVers who were visiting specific geographic locations served by RV dealerships that sell and service the client’s products. Web ads about the dealership’s promotion appeared on the browsers of all RV owners in their areas.
Shane Frost, TM’s digital marketing specialist, also used Geo Targeting to help the Elkhart Jazz Festival reach a database of potential attendees that exhibit the typical characteristics of jazz aficionados in geographic markets, such as Indianapolis, Detroit, Chicago and other Midwestern cities. This strategy excelled with a 25 percent increase in out-of-town ticket sales.
Geo Targeting in 10 markets for its RV client, TaigMarks helped deliver more than five million impressions in a Google AdWords and Google Display Network campaign. An impression is any time a highly-targeted person was shown the company’s specific message or image. The campaign also recorded 12,325 landing page visits — an indication of the RVer’s interest and a qualified lead for further communications.
“At TaigMarks, we treat digital marketing as a complement to an array of other marketing approaches that can become more efficiently targeted,” says Frost. “This is the ‘one-two punch.’ It is important to use a consistent message and design on the web, in emails, in mailers, in brochures and ads, so that your potential customer is seeing the same thing in different places. The goal is to get your message and your product noticed and implanted into the minds of prospective customers, helping to move your prospect from a ‘lead’ to a ‘buyer.’ “
Such a plan needs to be well researched, interconnected and well-coordinated to significantly move the actual sales numbers, says Frost. Unfortunately, most companies don’t do this. “They take a look at the Internet and, outside of a few key words, it’s still a mystery. They often hire specialists in social media who can generate impressions and clicks, but who don’t know what to do after that, nor how to develop the right message and images to begin with.”