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Support Services: Targeting Customers More Effectively

1 Jul, 2009 By: Al Beery, Brian Hill Response

I dentifying and understanding your target customers — and finding more like them — are critical to the success of marketing campaigns. Being "location intelligent" by using location-based information and consumer psychographic data enables marketers across any industry to more accurately profile their target consumers. By taking into account lifestyle characteristics, purchase behaviors and consumer demographics, marketers can optimize merchandising strategies and increase sales.

 Brian Hill
Brian Hill

Combining multiple variables lets marketers identify high-level attributes associated with a particular consumer group. Psychographics and neighborhood segmentation help target the most receptive consumers to a particular product. What's more, mapping capabilities allow marketers to pinpoint exactly where these ideal consumers live.

Al Beery
Al Beery

To become more location intelligent, consider the following:

•Which consumer groups are your strongest targets? Direct marketers should analyze consumer expenditures within defined geographies to identify the most promising segments, as well as the most unproductive targets, and where each of these segments resides.

Demographics paint a more accurate picture of the targeted customer. Are your most promising targets male or female? Young or old? White or blue collar? High school- or college-educated?

Psychographics and segmentation tell us the most effective means of reaching consumers. Unlike demographics, psychographics and segmentation reveal an additional layer of information on key aspects of a consumer population. Psychographics take this concept further by describing lifestyles and behaviors, such as consumers' propensity to travel internationally, go downhill skiing or visit coffee shops. Segmentation combines demographic and psychographic attributes to group consumers into similar "clusters." This process allows for a better description of the targeted consumer and provides marketers with key lifestyle and behavioral attributes that help in targeting marketing campaigns more effectively.

Macroeconomics has a profound impact on customer behavior. Traditional purchase patterns are altered in times of fluctuating economic conditions. In boom times, consumers spend more and are less sensitive to price. In times of economic hardship, the converse can often be seen. Having a good understanding of the macroeconomics of the marketplace and your specific trade areas can translate to the right message for the right consumer. The same prospective consumer group in El Centro, Calif., experiencing 23-percent unemployment will likely garner a different approach than Morgantown, W.V., which is experiencing only 3-percent unemployment.

Quality in, quality out. Put the power of location intelligence to work and maximize your targeting campaigns by mining your existing databases. Ask yourself the following:

  • 1.
    Who are your customer segments, and what are their response rates? How much do they spend, and how often?
  • 2. Where should I focus my direct marketing and advertising efforts, and how do current macroeconomics impact my message and which consumer groups I target?
  • 3. If you're a multi-channel business, do your mail-order consumers look different than your brick-and-mortar consumers?

Use location intelligence to craft, track and recalibrate your campaigns over time. Get the full picture of consumer behavior, and know exactly where to best target marketing efforts.

Brian V. Hill is restaurant practice leader for predictive analytics and Alan W. Beery is retail practice leader for predictive analytics at Pitney Bowes Business Insight (, a global provider of location intelligence solutions to help companies make more informed and strategic business decisions.

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