June 25, 2019 Videos

Connecting With Consumers On A Personal And Hyper-Local Level

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Forbes, Soo Jin Oh

The saying, “out with the old and in with the new,” doesn’t apply when looking at hyper-local marketing, which is both the oldest form of marketing and a growing trend in digital. According to research, 93% of consumers typically travel less than 20 minutes for everyday errands like the gym, auto repair, grocery shopping, etc., and 63% of consumers say they think more positively of brands that offer valuable and relevant promotions. In fact, in a survey of 3,511 marketers, 63% reported that they are turning their attention to local digital advertising and planning to increase budget spending for local advertising.

As consumers’ demand for streaming accelerates, OTT advertising, something our agency specializes in, becomes an increasingly important platform to master. Media budgets are starting to reflect that growing importance, with OTT marketing forecasted to hit somewhere between $20-50 billion by 2020. As the number of people using smart TVs and content services skyrockets, marketers are determined to make the most of OTT.

OTT also comes with the ability to track and analyze campaign data and results in real time, a new opportunity the TV industry lacked in the past. This provides marketers with live windows into consumer reactions and responses, and a steady flow of feedback to work with. Brands are leveraging real-time data in all kinds of ways, including as a means to fight competition.

The marketers that strategically shift their attention and dollars to hyper-local campaigns will come out on top. Here’s why:

Power Of Personalization

A 2018 consumer content study by Adobe reinforces the importance of offering up relevant and personalized content. They found that irrelevant content negatively impacts brand loyalty and decreases the likelihood that a new consumer would select that brand. Two-thirds of consumers will go to the extent of not purchasing from a brand if they experience poor and/or irrelevant content. The survey also found that marketing experiences that are timely and relevant are the second most important brand content characteristic.

For marketers of an auto brand, hyper-local targeting enables them to push different models or sales promotions based on a specific region or audience. Marketers can showcase a brand’s latest high-end convertible model to an audience in a coastal region with warm weather or target certain household income ranges, while predominately marketing a pick-up truck to the more rural Midwest or to people looking for off-road or home construction activities. Personalized communications can create a more authentic connection, which can increase the odds of engagement or purchase.

Determining in-depth consumer characteristics around age, lifestyle, environment, profession, income, habits, preferences and interest can create brand loyalty and increased revenue.

Bolstering Brand Affinity

Humans love getting special treatment, so it’s no surprise that consumers are most loyal to the companies that curate thoughtful brand experiences specifically for them. The more specialized and relevant the message, the less consumers feel like a victim of advertising. Great usage of hyper-local targeting is Burger King’s use of geo-fencing to give consumers a coupon for a free Whopper whenever they’re in the vicinity of a McDonald’s location.

Too often, brands categorize people into large groups and broadly characterize their audience in a blanketed way. Whether we’re declaring that boomers are less tech-savvy, millennials don’t want to purchase homes, or that Gen Z is technology-dependent, the truth is that, upon further dissection, these characteristics are endlessly complex and nuanced. Millennials are a perfect example, a group that’s popularly defined as the generation born between 1981 and 1996: single, tech enthusiasts that are highly focused on their careers. In a New Heartland Group survey, 95% of surveyed millennials in the New Heartland area said that marketers and brands don’t understand them and their values, which are mainly focused on faith, community and family. A marketer must use data and insights to go beyond stereotypes to reach consumers on a personal level so they feel seen, heard and respected.

Looking Forward

Consumers have more options than ever when it comes to consuming media and content. Therefore, companies must keep in mind that customers will increasingly demand that brands cater to their needs. With the technology to run hyper-local targeting at massive scales, new doors have opened to achieve multi-market reach with the sophistication of local targeting.

Marketers and brands that understand the power of digital targeting are reaping the benefits by effectively targeting audiences and benchmarking success. If we become more advanced in how we combine storytelling with hyper-local data, the resulting personalized experience will cultivate meaningful and timely experiences.

By Soo Jin Oh, Senior Vice President, Client Strategy and Solutions, Gamut.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.

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