Regional marketing: Opportunities for advertising in the region

Regional marketing: Opportunities for advertising in the region


Digitalisation has fundamentally changed marketing in recent years. Especially the media discipline “regional marketing” has benefited from this: Nowadays, there is a wealth of target group data and possibilities available that can be used for media planning. And regionality is also becoming more and more important for consumers. But why is this so and what is the real potential of regional media planning?

Our speakers Sebastian Buggert (Member of the Management Board of rheingold Institut), Katharina Wildau (Director Strategy Consulting JOM Group) and Markus Weber (Director Media Consulting JOM Group) addressed these questions during our JOM Impulse event “Regional Marketing: Digitisation in the Region” on 23 March 2023.


Sebastian Buggert: Why is regionality becoming more and more important for consumers?

Why regionality is becoming more and more important can best be understood in the context of the last few years. Since the beginning of the pandemic, one crisis has followed the next. Whether it is Corona, the climate crisis or Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the resulting inflation and energy crisis – consumers feel a great deal of uncertainty and insecurity. In these difficult times, the needs of consumers have also changed.

One’s own region as an anchor in the crisis

One of the basic needs at the moment is for protection and stability. People long for cohesion and belonging. They want more influence and self-efficacy again, and they are currently missing a sustainable perspective for the future. As a result, they are increasingly focusing on what is essential and meaningful to them. All these needs can be found in one’s own region and also explain the success of regionality. Above all, the longing for protection and stability leads people to retreat to where they feel safe and comfortable: to their own region, with which many associate their origins and which is identity-forming for them. During the Corona pandemic, a regional bond was created that led, among other things, to the local restaurant being supported through take-away. This gave consumers the feeling that they were making a difference by “keeping their region alive”. At the same time, the sense of community grew through regional involvement. This feeling continues to this day and the region still stands for trust, reliability and proximity for people. If brands understand regional identities and communicate about them in a credible regional way, they can above all strengthen the closeness, bond and attention of their customers.

Katharina Wildau: How can regional campaigns be integrated into the media strategy?

The return of people to their own region also means that regional advertising is becoming more relevant again. Digitalisation has also changed the possibilities for regional media strategies. Even if, according to current Nielsen figures, the advertising spendings of various regional players in the media mix are still very much in favour of the classic media, similar set-ups are now available for regional campaigns as for national campaigns.

Regional campaigns on the big screen

Whereas TV used to be feasible only for national campaigns, nowadays formats such as Connected TV (CTV) and Addressable TV (ATV) also enable regional campaigns on the big screen. In the meantime, almost 2/3 of the TV sets in Germany are internet-capable. This means that 81 per cent of devices can be controlled via CTV and ATV and are thus also available for efficient use in regional marketing.

Extensive tracking and targeting possibilities thanks to digitalisation

Through intelligent targeting via user IDs, the individual components of regional digital campaigns can be synchronised to address multiple contacts and different touchpoints of a customer journey. In order to enable differentiated targeting, 1st-party data is becoming increasingly relevant, especially when 3rd-party data finally disappears. This is because smartphones are blurring the transition between online and offline channels and these are becoming increasingly interconnected. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the different touchpoints. Advertisers can collect customer data via costumer data platforms and process it into profiles so that they can be used to target media campaigns.

Alternatively, the collected data of each measure in the marketing mix model can be used for a comprehensive analysis of the efficiency of all marketing and media measures. Correlations can then be used to determine the influence of the measures on certain target values.

By the way, in regional marketing, hyper-local advertising media can now also be controlled via smart motive control, e.g. as regionalised advertising media with a navigation element to the nearest branch in online display advertising.

Markus Weber: Why is (D)OOH becoming more and more relevant for regional marketing?

The media discipline of out-of-home (OOH) has also changed greatly in recent years due to digitalisation and thus offers new opportunities for regional marketing. A look at the development of out-of-home channels shows that in the meantime the pre-Corona level of advertising spendings has been reached again. However, the driver is not classic OOH, but rather digital out-of-home (DOOH). Programmatic DOOH in particular has seen strong growth: in 2017, 17 per cent of advertising spend was on DOOH, by 2023 this will be 35 per cent. Of this, 20 per cent will be spent on programmatic DOOH – studies predict a revenue share of 50 per cent for 2030. Today, DOOH already reaches 57 million people per week and generates 1.1 billion contacts.

What is particularly exciting is that DOOH is now also being used to reach areas and niches that were previously difficult to reach, such as retail or gastronomy. Digital spaces now offer numerous opportunities to be digitally and regionally present. This also leads to the fact that 80 percent of the population is reached weekly via (D)OOH. Admittedly, it is currently still mainly the young people in the cities, as (D)OOH is better developed there. But the smaller regions are also increasingly being tapped, so that more rural regions and thus older people can also be reached more.

DOOH vs. Programmatic DOOH

Non-programmatic Digital Out-of-Home allows for a placement based exclusively on time of day and time of day. Historical movement data is used as the basis for planning placements. So-called loops can be booked on the spaces, so that an advertisement appears 10 times per hour, for example.

With programmatic spaces, on the other hand, contacts can be specifically controlled based on real-time data. For example, advertising can only be played in certain weather conditions or with the help of live data to match current sports results. What sounds like a complex effort in media planning can be easily planned and implemented today thanks to tools and databases. First, suitable spaces are selected in the desired radius and then supplemented with specific targeting (interests). The target groups are selected and indexed according to various criteria. Only when a certain value is above the index is an advertisement played.

Another advantage of programmatic spaces is that it is possible to track whether a person who has seen an advertisement has subsequently visited the shop. Using so-called footfall measurements, a Mobile Ad Id (MAID) is assigned to a person with advertising contact. As soon as this person enters the store, it can be traced back whether there is a link to the MAID. Brand lift studies can also be used to examine how certain uplifts have affected the purchase intention of a campaign, for example.

In principle, digital out-of-home campaigns can be used to implement versatile mechanisms such as initial or retargeting via programmatic spaces, so that DOOH can be fully integrated into the media mix.


Above all, the ongoing crises of the past few years have led to people withdrawing more into their own environment again. As a result, the trend towards regionality has intensified and continues to this day.

At the same time, digitalisation in media planning has meant that there are more and more opportunities to implement regional campaigns. Thus, almost the same number of channels are available as for national campaigns: Regional targeting can also take place on the big screen via CTV and ATV, and (programmatic) DOOH not only enables target group targeting almost in real time, but also the reaction to events in a matter of seconds through dynamic advertising media controls. At the same time, programmatic spaces can be used budget-efficiently and evaluated more precisely.