Many brands employ a standardized nationwide marketing approach with insufficient regard for the peculiarities and specificities of individual local markets. While creating at scale makes economic and operational sense, the danger in going with a one-size-fits-all approach is not insignificant. Evidence suggests over half of such “national” initiatives fail.
Luckily, nowadays, location intelligence platforms offer versatile tools to layer local insights without diluting or even sacrificing the core brand essence.
For example, a leading pharmacy brand promoted nutrition bars in a nationwide campaign, targeted at “on-the-go” working commuters. Utilizing the Polaris Real-time DSP, the campaign was very successful, generating an impressive overall lift in visit rate of about 31%.
Breaking the numbers down, the brand discovered that the control group, which visited the store but was not exposed to the ad, registered a 26% visit rate, while the exposed group recorded a visit rate of 34%, a lift of 31%.
However, when diving deeper into the attribution report, we realize that not all regions performed in the same manner: the highest lift (60%) was achieved in the West, while the lowest (17%) came in the Northeast.
What led one standardized nationwide campaign to overperform in the West while the same setup under-delivered in the Northeast?
A deeper dive reveals that the difference in demographics between shoppers in the West and Northeast was notable. This analysis indicates that the national triggering events set for the campaign failed to account for regional demographic differences.
Let’s take a look at some of those demographic differences.
1. Gender: 55% of the pharmacy’s shoppers nationwide are female. However, we see that in the West, where the campaign overperformed, there are more female shoppers, who are the pharmacy’s prime prospects.
2. Age: Shoppers 45 years old and above are over-indexed in the West while younger shopper are over-indexed in the Northeast. Older populations, who tend to buy more medications, are typically the pharmacy’s best prospects. Food is often a spontaneous purchase for pharmacy shoppers and may most effectively capture the dollars of shoppers who frequently stop by the pharmacy.
3. Family size: Food is not the core business of pharmacies. The campaign targeted shoppers on the go. Large families tend to buy food at big-box retailers, while smaller families and singles may buy food on the go. It is no surprise that in the West there is an over index for shoppers with no kids (+32% vs. the panel). To complete this picture, the Northeast over-indexes for families with two kids and more.
Based on these insights, we might ask ourselves how this campaign could have been further optimized.
For starters, the answer would not include giving up on entire regions (in this case, the Northeast) or specific demographics altogether. Rather, the best path would be to prioritize individual markets based on how they fit the target audience profile of the particular campaign.
Every local market has its own unique challenges and opportunities. Therefore, it is wise, when feasible, to conduct analyses of a market’s potential from a more granular perspective—at a state, city, district, or store group level.
I advocate harnessing the potential of location intelligence in two ways. First, diving deeper and embracing a localized approach unlocks a granular understanding of the consumer journey and the receptivity points within a competitive landscape. Second, when activating a media campaign, these insights can be converted into multiple creative strategies working within different timing and at different receptivity points.
Gal is head of marketing at Ubimo. He has held leadership positions in the military and telecom industry. He served as a Brands Manager within P&G. Prior to Ubimo, Gal served as VP of Marketing, Sales, and BizDev and later as CEO of OriginGPS, a world-leading designer, manufacturer, and supplier of miniaturized GPS modules where he led the company to significant achievements and exceeded company goals for growth. Gal is a graduate of the Tel Aviv University Law and Business Administration schools and is a certified attorney at law.