For many businesses, hyperlocal marketing can be a highly effective way to target a specific group of potential customers within a particular location.
A US-based marketing management agency that wishes to remain anonymous was looking for a more effective way to help its clients locate prospective customers. The agency specialises in delivering hyperlocal marketing campaigns, working with businesses whose customer base is primarily within a 20 to 30-minute drive time area.
Creating travel time catchment areas with the TravelTime API
The agency has been using the TravelTime API since 2016. With the API, the team can create travel time catchment areas to identify the local areas in which potential customers are located.
This area of potential customers is often referred to as the “trade area”. Using these travel time catchment areas, the agency can best advise clients on how and where to push local marketing efforts.
An example travel time catchment area based on public transport
To create a travel time catchment area, the team simply selects a location, transport mode and maximum travel time using the API. The tool will then create a shape, known as an isochrone, showing all of the reachable locations within the chosen travel time.
Before using the TravelTime API, the team used a traditional distance radius to map out the location of prospective customers. However, this approach doesn’t consider the local transport infrastructure and geography of an area and, as a result, doesn’t give a full picture of customer access.
In contrast, travel time data takes these factors into account and therefore offers a complete view of customer access to a location. By using this data, the agency is able to help its clients deliver hyper-targeted local marketing campaigns.
A travel time catchment area gives a more accurate analysis of locations that are actually reachable within a time limit
Delivering hyperlocal marketing campaigns with travel time data
One of the agency’s biggest use cases is helping clients market to new customers within a local area.
For example, a local chiropractor business may come to the agency looking to expand their client base in the surrounding area. To understand who best to market to, one of the first steps would be to target prospects based on their proximity to the clinic.
The team can use the TravelTime API to create a travel time catchment area filtering all reachable locations within their chosen time frame and mode of transport. For instance, the team might choose to filter all reachable locations within a 25-minute drive of the chiropractor’s address.
The resulting isochrone will map out all addresses within a 25-minute drive, reflecting the chiropractor’s local prospective customer base. They can then run their own data alongside the API to create a highly targeted customer pool. With this information, the team can advise the chiropractor on how best to reach prospects.
Example 25-minute drive time area created with the TravelTime API
"The API helps us to develop a really accurate understanding of a business's local prospective customers. The tool can be used for any company looking to improve their hyperlocal marketing efforts, even down to deciding which bus benches to put ads on," says the agency’s CTO.
While the agency uses the TravelTime API to calculate drive time catchment areas, the tool can also be used to calculate other transport modes such as cycling, walking, public transport or even a combination of modes. The tool uses live public transport timetable data to ensure travel times are as accurate as possible.
How travel time data can enhance hyperlocal marketing campaigns
Thanks to travel time data, the agency’s marketing plans are now based on true-to-life geospatial information. With data that reflects the reality of customer proximity, the team can optimise hyperlocal marketing plans for their clients. The API is also simple to use, meaning this can all be done in a few clicks.
“We find filtering potential clients by drive time to be far more effective than filtering them purely by distance radius. The TravelTime API has also been one of the most consistent and easy-to-maintain APIs we’ve used. It makes keeping it a core component of our process safe and reliable.” says the CTO.
To get started with the TravelTime API, sign up for a free API key.