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How to Do Effective Catchment Marketing for Your Local Business

April 22, 2021
Elianne Marcus

Catchment analysis is centered on understanding how the local community interacts with your store locations, allowing you to better understand - and sell to - your customers. Below, we cover how to leverage catchment analysis to perfect your marketing efforts, helping you acquire, retain, and engage your customers.

To get the most from catchment analysis, you’ll need to rely on high-quality point of interest (POI) and foot traffic data. We’ll cover what it is and the best ways to use it for your local marketing efforts.

  • What is catchment analysis?
  • What is catchment marketing?
  • 6 ways catchment analysis improves local marketing strategy
  • How to implement a catchment analysis into your marketing strategy

To start, let’s cover catchment analysis, and explore why it’s so useful for marketing.

What is catchment analysis?

Catchment analysis is the process of examining catchment areas for your store locations. Catchment areas are the areas around your business from which you draw customers, and help you understand customer behavior and foot traffic. In catchment analysis, you will analyze trade areas for your store locations.

3 methods of calculating catchment areas

The end goal of catchment analysis is to have a clear picture of where your customers come from and who they are. With demographics information such as home addresses, age, income, education levels, and more, you can get a good idea of your main audience, allowing you to better serve them, as well as target new locations.

Catchment analysis will show you the coverage of your store locations, revealing any gaps and overlaps. You can use this to inform where to open new locations, close existing locations in underperforming areas, and expand locations to better serve the most successful trade areas.

What is catchment marketing?

Catchment marketing is the process of determining and carrying out your marketing strategy based on the insights you gather from your catchment analysis. This allows you to build a local marketing strategy rooted in customer behavior and mobility patterns around your store locations.

When done properly, it allows you to more effectively market to your customers and save effort and money on wasted marketing materials. The more you know about your customers, the better you can target your audience with marketing, ads, offers, and messaging, helping you drive more traffic and improve conversions!

6 ways catchment analysis improves local marketing strategy

Catchment analysis, by nature, is a method of local analysis and marketing, as it centers on specific store locations. Since catchment area analysis lets you understand where store visitors come from and who they are, it’s specific to the trade area of your store.

Example of SafeGraph drive time catchment area for Costcos

In all cases, trade area analysis will allow you to more effectively market to and serve your customers. With more information on demographics and where your customers come from, you can save on marketing resources and better cater your marketing campaigns to those customers.

We cover the best ways to use catchment analysis to improve your local marketing:

  • Increase personalized marketing: Tailor your marketing activities and verbage to who is visiting your store. See mobility data origin CBG and other places they travel to ascertain demographic and brand affinity information.
  • Define your marketing distribution area: Knowing where your customers come from allows you to focus your marketing materials, saving on wasted marketing for customers that don’t fall in your catchment area.
  • Market to competitors’ customers more effectively: Tailor your marketing activities to target competitor visitors to drive them to your brand instead. Use catchment maps to see where competitor locations are, where your trade areas overlap, and then how to target these customers and bring them over to your brand.
  • Understand the market environment: Demographics data allows you to identify the catchment area, helping you understand if it’s a residential or commercial area, and the average age, income, education level, and home address of potential customers in the area.
  • Improve regional coverage: Perfect local market coverage by identifying gaps and overlaps in your trade areas for your own store locations. You can then expand locations to better serve the areas that are showing growth and success, close areas that are underperforming, and identify the best places for new store locations.
  • Leverage geofences efficiently: Understanding your catchment area allows you to deploy geofences in the right areas for greatest impact. These will automate mobile push notifications to places in your catchment area or in places you want to add to your catchment area.

How to implement a catchment analysis into your marketing strategy

To gain the full benefits of catchment area analysis, you need to effectively integrate it into your overall marketing strategy and process. Be sure to consider how you will implement your analysis into your marketing efforts, including how to develop and distribute content using what you’ve learned about your customers.

Below, we help you integrate catchment analysis into your marketing strategy to gain traction and conversions.

Step 1. See who is currently coming to your store/in your catchment area

Drive/walk time isochrone for a trade area

The main benefit is the information you gather about your customers, including key demographics and brand affinity characteristics. These will be big drivers in determining your marketing preferences and activities, allowing you to leverage your efforts for best results. This can be used to create better marketing materials, but also save on overproducing marketing materials and distributing them to areas where they are unlikely to gain traction.

Ultimately, this lets you maximize the value of the marketing materials that you produce, allowing you to gain the most growth and conversions.

Step 2. Identify other populations you would like to reach (competitor customers, areas you want to expand to)

Beyond serving your existing customers better, good catchment analysis allows you to find new customers that you were missing. Identify key demographic and brand affinity characteristics that can influence their marketing preferences, and use this to better target your outreach to potential customers, helping you steal customers from your competitors.

Step 3. Develop targeted, personalized marketing based on demographic and brand affinity characteristics

Using the insights from your catchment analysis, you can develop a personalized marketing approach. Create tailored ads, offers, coupons, notifications, and messaging to better target your known customers based on personas. This will garner more traction, allowing you to gain new customers and retain existing customers more effectively.

Now that you know what catchment marketing is and how to use catchment analysis to inform your marketing efforts, you can start using these strategies to gain new customers, grow your business, and increase sales. For this to work, you need to use high-quality, reliable point of interest (POI) and foot traffic data for the trade area under analysis.

For an example of how catchment analysis can help you understand store visits and inform your marketing and the variety of ways it can be leveraged, see SafeGraph and Esri’s example of grocery store access in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

SafeGraph’s Places provides insights about competitors, including business listings and store visits. Our mobility pattern data offers a deep dive into movement patterns by census block groups, helping you understand customer behavior by store location. 

With data enriched by demographics data, you’ll be able to analyze customer behavior and improve your coverage and outreach. Check out the SafeGraph Shop to get individual datasets with the attributes you need most.

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