Time Is Money.
When it comes to drawing traffic to a business location, direct marketers can now take advantage of a fresh way to look at building a prospect file. Instead of (logically?) drawing a circle of a given radius with a business location at the center, there is another approach.
Distance is just...distance. A number. A more relevant dimension that expresses “true” proximity to prospective customers is time. Few if any cities, towns or zip codes are evenly populated. Available modes of transportation affect travel time, as does road type. An urban mile is not a country mile, so to speak.
When a direct marketer can segment records based on drive time radius to a location, the targeting possibilities morph into something more realistic. Instead of people who live or work within a 5 mile circle, the list could select for people 20 minutes away. That may just be a matter of blocks, but it reflects their situation. Depending on the locale, a visualization of such a list might resemble a paint splatter more than a circle. But for each recipient, it shows an awareness of their location and what that means. By marketing to real-time “distance,” it more accurately determines time to a destination. That’s good business.
Of course drive time radius is not the whole story. It is advantageous to have the right data partners for sourcing the finest data. A full range of complementary selects enrich the target profile, with phone numbers and email addresses available for cross-channel promotions. Plus rigorous data hygiene still holds sway, including NCOA updates and de-duplication. Add a simple ordering platform and end users of this drive time radius data can see greater response to direct marketing campaigns through relevance, leading to more customers at their locations.
Who could benefit from drive time radius data usage? Imagine a city-based hospital network opening a new urgent care center in a suburban community. The target audience is victims of accidents, emergency childbirths, cardiac and stroke events, anything that is time critical. A direct marketing campaign sent to a population living and working within a certain drive time radius of the facility could underscore the proximity of life and death care.
Dramatic? Maybe, but it makes the point. Distance expressed in time has great personal and business value, whether grabbing coffee or saving lives.