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Monday, March 22, 2010

How far should your marketing message reach?

Most people have cell phones. Cell phone data is starting to be used to develop insights into human behavior.

In 2007, the number of cell phone accounts worldwide passed 3.3 billion -- half the number of people on the planet. Researchers are starting to leverage available data to uncover human behaviors.

According to a study conducted by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi and colleagues at Northeastern University people in one European country rarely strayed outside a six-mile circle (50%). Seventy-five percent stayed within a 20-mile circle during a six-month time period.

While this is helpful to urban planning, traffic congestion, evacuation planning and disease tracking, a marketer would be wise to consider the information in light of their marketing efforts.

One Adsoka client sought to entice buyers to a new condominimum building with a metro-wide media buy. If challenged to reach the consumer with a smaller media buy they could have focused efforts more directly around the development and likely found similar results.

This idea was supported by their own data. Adsoka's research uncovered a typical buyer as someone who lived within five miles of the new development. This included developments in both Minneapolis, St. Paul and greater Minnesota.

This is also consistent with other industry data we've seen or developed for other clients. So, if you are a business that has a natural local geographic client base you would do well to saturate the area within five or six miles.

Read more about the study here.

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