Why does your business need geographic segmentation to target the right customers? (With examples)

In my last blog post, I gave you an overview of what marketing is, a breakdown of different communication methods, and the different ways you can target your communication to have the most significant impact on your marketing strategy.

Read on to learn more about Geographic Segmentation, including:

  • What factors are involved in Geographic Segmentation?
  • How can you implement Geographic Segmentation to grow your business?
  • Examples of Geographic Segmentation.

What is Geographic Segmentation?

Geographic Segmentation involves dividing and recognising your audience by where they live or work. This can be done using one or more of the six factors of Geographic Segmentation:

  1. Climate And Season
  2. Cultural Preferences
  3. Population Type And Density
  4. Language
  5. Time Zones

What are the Benefits of Geographic Segmentation?

There are a lot of benefits to segmenting your market based on geographic factors. Unlike psychographic or behavioural segmentation, geographic segmentation has fewer factors to consider — making it much easier to implement.

Quick implementation

Geographic segmentation offers you a quick and effective route to segment your target market, allowing you to personalise the messaging directly to your target audience. Driving sales by building relationships with your audience can mean that for every $1 you spend on marketing, you make $40 back.

Targeted Content Development

Using the geographic understanding of people’s problems will help you develop content that they can directly relate to. This will help cement that relationship, and they are more likely to spend their money on your products and services.

Fewer Resources Go To Waste

Because of your more profound understanding of the target audience, you can improve both the customer experience and the user experience (UX) — again, tailoring and targeting your products and services to the specific needs of the people in the localised area.

Again, you’re more likely to drive advertising efficiency and effectiveness by only spending your marketing budget where it’s actually useful.

What Businesses Can Use Geographic Segmentation?

If geographic segmentation is so great and easy to use, then why isn’t every business using it?

Well, it depends on what industry you’re in, what type of business you have and who you’re targeting.

However, that being said, it can be advantageous for the right business and industry. For example, if you’re a small business looking to grow, then geographic segmentation can help you grow your business locally.

Geographic Segmentation for Smaller Businesses?

If you only have a small marketing budget (even if that budget is $0 at the moment), you’re able to focus your spending and use your money wisely.

For example, instead of launching a global marketing strategy encompassing everyone, try to narrow who your target customer is using geographic segmentation. But, again, the pay-off is more beneficial to growing your business sustainably.

What about larger businesses?

Even larger corporations and multi-national companies will benefit from using geographic segmentation to target the right audience. Tailoring the products and services on offer to specific regions will help sell these products faster. This is because (geographically speaking) it solves certain people’s problems due to cultural differences, locational variations, or climate.

For example, a farm equipment supplier (the same example I gave in my previous post found here) will massively increase sales and save money on marketing by targeting a rural segment than those living in a city. This is because those that live in an urban environment will not need agricultural equipment.

If you are in a business or industry where your products and services are not dependant on regional specific variations, then geographic segmentation may not be for you.

Geographic Segmentation for Startups

If you’re just starting your business, then not only will geographic segmentation help you to target the right audience for your business — it will also improve your reputation in a smaller area. This will have the additional benefit of providing your business with an income and then expand your reach and profits as you grow from a local area.

What Exactly Are The Six Geographic Segmentation Factors?

As I’ve already mentioned, there are six factors for geographic segmentation. Here you can find a more detailed explanation of each one and an example to help you see if geographic segmentation is right for your business.

1. Location

This one seems pretty obvious; it’s all about the physical location of where your target market lives and/or works. However, the factor of location does provide your business with lots of options:

There’s no limit to how you can choose to target your customers based on location. However, you need to think about who your products and services are intended for and how best to convey that message.

Example of Location as Geographic Segmentation

Oddbox began life as a food subscription service in London. They were limited to the infrastructure they had in place when it came to selling their subscription deliveries. Nevertheless, they managed to put in place what they needed to expand to Brighton.

When it came time to advertise to their new market, they made sure to use a successful social media campaign that targeted people solely identified as living in Brighton. The campaign was so successful that they are (at the time of writing this) opening a base in Birmingham too.

2. Climate

There are six major climate zones worldwide, and within each one, you have sub climates that change on a local level.

Tropical — Located around the equator, tropical climates are hot and humid, home to luscious rainforests and diverse ecosystems.

Arid — These climates are found dotted all over the world and are dry areas, such as deserts.

Mediterranean — Long, hot and dry summers with cooler, wetter winters

Temperate — Mild summers and cool winters, temperate climates tend to experience four seasons a year.

Continental — Being the furthest point from the sea, the summers are short and hot, whilst the winters are long and cold.

Polar — Then there are polar climates, where they experience long periods of extreme cold.

Understanding the climate that your target customer lives in can give you an insight into their lifestyle, their pain points, and what would work for them.

Example of Climate as Geographic Segmentation

There are many ways that a company will target customers based on climate. For example, McDonald’s launched a national digital outdoor campaign that uses MET Office real-time weather data to entice people in for some food and refreshments.

In the US, using the warm summer temperatures to lure people in for ice-cold refreshments is nothing new for McDonald’s.

Coca Cola, for another example, has run a successful campaign for years to announce the arrival of the festive season. This marketing strategy uses lots of warm lights, log fires, reds and greens, and most importantly, snow to indicate it’s Christmas.

Imagine if they decided to use a beach for Christmas instead — do you think the campaign would be as successful

3. Culture

Understanding cultural differences can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign. For example, the colour red in western culture can signify passion, danger, or heat. Whereas in some Asian cultures, that same colour represents fortune, luck, or wealth.

Being aware of these subtle cultural differences will help you attract the right customers for your business. In addition, more people will respond positively to your brand if they feel that you understand and respect their cultures.

Example of Culture as Geographic Segmentation

Food is at the heart of every culture on the planet, and Haribo has recognised that what might be perfect for one culture may not be for another. So they tend to use pork gelatine in a lot of their products. But when the product needs to be Halal — they use beef.

Likewise, with the growing need for vegan and vegetarian options, Haribo has developed plant-based alternatives to market to these particular cultures.

4. Population Type and Population Density

When you focus on Population Type as part of your geographic segmentation, you focus on the wants, needs, and desires of people living in different environments. For example, the way someone will live in a city will be very different from living in suburbia or rural areas.

Out of those three locations, what is their accommodation likely to be like? What is their mode of transport? What does their commute to work look like? Or even the style of clothing that they’d wear?

Example of Population in Geographic Segmentation

Where would you expect to find a Home Depot or B&Q? Both of these homes improvement giants tailor their products based on where they are located. If they want to sell lawn care to their customers, then it’s pointless selling it in a city.

Instead, they focus on selling lawn care products to those living in the suburbs. Why? Because in the suburbs, you’re more likely to find people with a garden that needs to be looked after and maintained.

5. Language

Language is very specific when targeting your customers this way. For example, English, Spanish, and French are languages spoken in many different countries around the world. However, not every country, nor do every person in those countries, speaks those same languages.

In the continent of Africa, there are 54 countries, but there are an estimated 2,000 spoken languages across the entire continent. Some are far more popular than others.

The same can be said about China, where there are 302 spoken languages in that one country alone — the most popular three being Mandarin, Cantonese, and Shanghainese.

Choosing the correct language for your target customers will skyrocket your business. Remember, not everyone speaks English.

Example of Language as Geographic Segmentation

To be inclusive of different communities within a country, a bank may decide to use a foreign language to appeal to a larger audience. As an example of this, Santander has used Polish within their written communication to appeal to a large Polish population in Birmingham for a few years now. The results are that more people from Poland bank with them than any other bank in the UK.

6. Time Zones

There are 24 different time zones in the world — even the USA has six different time zones. So why would you need to focus on time zones?

Understanding the different time zones can help you get the message out there fast and maximise the number of people that see it. You see, it would be pointless releasing the news at the exact same time in Sydney as you would in London.

Imagine a social media campaign that focuses on different countries. You wouldn’t want to schedule it at 9 am in London as this would be 7 pm in Sydney, and 2 am in LA. So instead, you schedule it for 9 am in all of the locations to roll out correctly.

Example of Time Zones as Geographic Segmentation

Justeat takes time zones seriously when it comes to advertising. You’ll likely see breakfasts in the morning, lunches in the afternoon, and desserts in the evening. On top of this, an international email campaign works best when people are opening their emails. To do this, you’ll need to schedule the emails to arrive in the inbox at around 08:30 am for everyone — no matter the country.

Final Thoughts

Geographic Segmentation will help you stand out from your competitors by targeting who you want to have as your customers and selling directly to them. There are a few factors to consider, but ultimately, it will save your business time, money and effort to get this right.

You must understand how each factor works and how your business will help solve the pain points of your target market. For example, are you a small startup seeking to grow? Or an established corporation that could do with different messaging techniques to target different audiences?

Have a go at creating a segmented geographic market and see what it can do for your business.


The Importance Of Marketing Segmentation Evaluating Different Bases for Market Segmentation The role of geodemographic segmentation in retail location strategy The basis of market segmentation Starbucks Market Segmentation and Targeting Factors Influencing Segmentation and Demographics of Mobile-Customers

Originally published at https://www.spwcopywriting.com.



Successful Copywriter with more than 10 years of converting casual browsers into loyal customers.

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Steven Westwood

Successful Copywriter with more than 10 years of converting casual browsers into loyal customers.