Geographics and Small Business Marketing - dummies

By Consumer Dummies

Marketing by country, region, state, city, zip code, or even neighborhood is the key for location-based social media outlets, such as Foursquare, or any other form of online marketing that involves local search.

Geographic segmentation also makes sense if your business draws its primary target audience from within a certain distance from your brick-and-mortar storefront. For example, geographic segmentation makes sense for grocery stores, barber shops, gas stations, restaurants, movie theaters, and many other service providers, whether or not your social media service itself is location-based.

Many social media services offer a location search function to assess the number of users within your geographical target area:

  • Twitter users near a specified location: Enter a zip code or place name in the Near This Place text box to find users within 15 miles of your designated location. On the search results page that appears, select both People and Near You in the left column. You may be able to alter the 15-mile default distance in the search box at the top of the results page.
  • LinkedIn users within a certain radius: In the Location drop-down list in the left column, select Located In or Near in the Location drop-down list. Additional options appear, including a Country drop-down list, a Postal Code text box, and a Within drop-down list, with choices of radius from 10 to 100 miles. After clicking Search, the number of results appears at the upper left of the center column, above the list of names. You can filter further by the degree of connection, if you want.
  • Facebook users near a certain location: Click the Find Friends link at the top of the page. In the option box that appears in the right column, type the location where you want to search in the Current City area (for example, Albuquerque). Select other filters you want to search by in the other option areas. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t give you a total number of the potential people you may want to reach.

If you can’t determine the number of potential users for a social media channel within your specific geographic location, use the Help function on the social media channel, check the blog, or contact the company.

Several companies combine geographical information with demographics and behavioral characteristics to segment the market more finely. For example, the Nielsen Claritas PRIZM system, available from Tetrad, offers demo-geographic data organized into 66 distinct sub-segments, some of which are described in the table. These segments, shown in the figure, can be viewed at the zip-code level using the tool at Claritas.

Top-Level Demo-Geographic Social Groups from Nielsen PRIZM

Name Description
Urban Uptown Wealthiest urban (highest-density) consumers (five sub­segments)
Midtown Mix Midscale, ethnically diverse, urban population (three sub-segments)
Urban Cores Modest income, affordable housing, urban living (four sub-segments)
Elite Suburbs Affluent, suburban elite (four sub-segments)
The Affluentials Comfortable suburban lifestyle (six sub-segments)
Middleburbs Middle-class suburbs (five sub-segments)
Inner Suburbs Downscale inner suburbs of metropolitan areas (four sub-segments)
Second City Society Wealthy families in smaller cities on fringes of metro areas (three sub-segments)
City Centers Middle-class, satellite cities with mixed demographics (five sub-segments)
Micro-City Blues Downscale residents in second cities (five sub-segments)
Landed Gentry Wealthy Americans in small towns (five sub-segments)
Country Comfort Upper-middle-class homeowners in bedroom communities (five sub-segments)
Middle America Middle-class homeowners in small towns and exurbs (six sub-segments)
Rustic Living Most isolated towns and rural areas (six sub-segments)
market-segmentation
Reproduced with permission of The Nielsen Company; Source: Nielsen Claritas
Nielsen’s Claritas tool allows you view market segmentation at the zip-code level.