How to use maps for local marketing

This article is the last in our “Mapping the Future” series. This will be an editorial focus for the month of July, and you can see the rest of the series here.


Digital marketers are always looking for ways to give their local campaigns an edge. Although people travel less frequently during the Covid-19 pandemic, digital outdoor advertising (DOOH) has seen a resurgence, and brand marketers are now looking for creative ways to better leverage mapping technology in their businesses. local campaigns.

Exposure measurement techniques and DOOH mapping to make cross-device measurements more meaningful are used by bigger brands, but small businesses are also getting into the game and finding innovative ways to overlay maps. to their local strategies.

Here are five ways marketers can use mapping technology in their local campaigns.

1. Map social audiences
How do you assess the impact of a Facebook campaign? If you’re a brand marketer interested in location technology, you can start by adjusting your campaigns to target a certain radius – 10 miles or 25 miles are industry standards – around the areas with the highest concentration. existing customers. Executing this strategy requires being able to map sales data, either automatically using the right point of sale (POS) tools or manually by asking customers for their zip codes. With the information in hand, retailers can run higher quality Facebook campaigns with targeted ads within 10 miles of their most loyal customers.

2. Launch smarter proximity marketing campaigns
Anyone can put a geofence around a store and target customers who are already entering it. The smartest way to run proximity marketing campaigns is to use map data to define the areas that potential customers go to most often before or after visiting the business. For example, using cartography and foot traffic data, brands can see where customers go most often before visiting their stores. These are the real places where brands should target their mobile campaigns. For example, a sporting goods retailer may notice that a high percentage of customers come after visiting a nearby playground. The retailer could use this information, combined with the latest mapping technology, to create hyperlocal catchment areas for future mobile campaigns.

3. Get higher rankings in local search
We all used Google Maps for directions. Savvy marketers also use the Maps platform to achieve better positioning in local search results. Google Maps marketing aims to make it easier to find a business. In addition to ranking higher on Google Maps, brands also see better placement in local business listings in traditional search. How do brands do it? They can start by claiming the business on Google My Business and verify its precise geolocation. The more a Google My Business listing is optimized, the greater the chance that the business will rank first or second in Maps results. Other ways to get better placement in Google Maps results include having a high number of positive customer reviews and the inclusion of optimized photos of the business.

4. Improve promotional content
People love cards. With the right location technology platforms, brands can incorporate maps into their direct mail, social media, and email marketing campaigns. At the most basic level, this can mean adding a map showing all of the nearest stores to a direct mail. It could also mean getting a little more creative and developing a map that customers can add or edit themselves. Interactive maps are especially popular when used as part of a digital campaign. Emails and webpages with cards have high levels of engagement, and social media posts with cards are more likely to be shared than many other types of posts.

5. Proving ROI for local marketing
It’s notoriously difficult to accurately track the return on investment (ROI) of digital campaigns. Mapping technology can help, however, especially when paired with purchase information. Cloud-based point of sale platforms that combine location information with sales data can show brands how their digital campaigns have influenced offline sales. Suppose a brand launches a mobile campaign targeting customers within a certain 10 mile radius. Cloud-based point of sale platforms can be configured to pull location data from individual transactions, so branded retailers can see if there has been an increase in traffic from customers living within that targeted radius. . With real ROI data in hand, brands should feel even more comfortable raising the stake and spending more on their local marketing campaigns.

Stephanie Miles is Editor-in-Chief at Street Fight.