Are Nielsen’s DMAs for TV and radio synonymous with market areas for your Internet audience? This is an important question because it appears that Google may be testing local geo-targeted advertising based on these DMAs. This is from the PPC Hero blog:
Throughout the presentation Mr. Koehler focused his presentation on testing that Google has been doing at the DMA level (Designated Market Area).
The question is, will local geographic pay per click advertising move toward the DMA model of advertising? I don’t see how it can and here’s why.
The DMAs are defined by the geographic coverage area of TV and radio stations. That is, anyone who can listen to or watch a particular radio or TV station’s programming is considered a part of that DMA. This won’t work for the Internet because there is no defined DMA, nor can there be, due to the nature of search itself.
For instance, if a person is searching for real estate in the Burbank, California area they may or may not be located in the Burbank area DMA. What if that person is in Tokyo, Japan and considering a move to Burbank some time in the near future? That would certainly defy the DMA model, wouldn’t it?
Or what if someone in Dade County, Florida was in need of automotive services. Dade County is a fairly large piece of real estate. If you’re broke down on the east side of the county you likely don’t care about automotive services located on the west side of the county. You want something a little closer in proximity. That problem becomes an even bigger issue if you are broke down somewhere in West Texas where the counties cover a huge area of land.
You can see where this could be a problem with local pay per click (PPC) advertising. It is and always has been keyword-based. Why would it be anything else?
Of course, local geo-targeting is still about the keywords, but it’s also about the geographic area. But if the geographic area of the search query is defined by anyone other than the search user then it’s a model with far too many shortcomings. I just don’t see how DMAs are going to work for the online advertising market. I hope I’m understand the Hero’s post correctly.