What’s the Deal with Geo-Targeting?

Geo-targeting allows marketers to deliver customized content based on an individual’s geo-location. Mobile devices have made geo-targeting the success that it is today, with more people utilizing services and apps that continuously share their location. People are even voluntarily sharing their location through status updates on social media. This allows brands to easily capture location data. The more value that a brand is offering to the user, the more willing people are to share personal details to gain those incentives. Consumers not only accept this form of advertisement, but also respond to it. According to a survey by Valasis, 57% of consumers said they have visited a store after receiving an offer on their mobile device while they were close to that business. This form of advertising allows marketers to reach consumers at the right time and place. Often resulting in higher responses and more conversions.



There are many different strategies that you can use for geo-targeting. One that we will explain is geo-aware ads. These are ads based on the real-time location of mobile users. Customers can be targeted by locations associated with specific behaviors. Each industry has location categories that indicate the potential buying behaviors of consumers. In the home services industry, it’s assumed that users who visit a home improvement store are working on a home renovation or a DIY project. Ads can then be created based on the DIY persona to target that user. Content on a site can also be adapted based on the location of visitors. For instance, if one part of a city is known to have higher income rates, a company might want to direct that traffic to their luxury items. Whereas if the visitor was from a lower income area, they might want to present their sales.



Geo-fencing is another form of targeting where you establish a perimeter around a physical location using latitude and longitude. An example of this would be a restaurant displaying mobile ads around a nearby airport to attract travelers. To segment users even more, they could adjust their ads based on the day of the week. Weekdays will typically bring more people traveling for business. While weekends will bring families and leisure travelers. Businesses could also define their target locations based on time or distance from their store location. Many consumers look for restaurants and retailers based on their nearest location. By defining how far consumers are willing to travel for your business, you can decrease dollars spent targeting a large area and end up reaching a better audience in the process. Marketers can also target users based on venue locations or events that bring together people with distinct interests.



Geo-conquesting is a variation of geo-fencing but instead the perimeter is set around a competitor’s location. Bid amounts are also an important consideration when targeting specific locations, and even the locations of competitors. For areas where there is high demand for your product or service, it would be beneficial to beat out the other competition in that area in order to win that impression. Companies can plan their bids by raising their bid amount for high demand areas, and lower it for areas where it wouldn’t be as beneficial. It’s important to pay attention to the geographic location of your competitors and potential customers to better target content to your ideal target audience.


Case Study Using Geo-Location Strategies

An auto dealership wanted a campaign that would engage prospective auto shoppers and drive foot traffic to their location. By utilizing geo-targeting, they were able to accomplish their objectives for the program and exceed the industry average for responses. They used geo-precise targeting, a location based targeting method that allows you to target specific users in a location based on their interest and online behaviors. Their strategy was to serve targeted mobile ads near competitor dealerships and to users identified as looking for a vehicle. This program also used geo-aware city targeting to raise brand awareness for specific automotive brands. After a nine-month campaign, this program delivered around 63 million impressions, 444,000 clicks, and 36,000 secondary actions. The complementary strategy using both geo-precise and geo-aware targeting resulted in an overall secondary action rate that was 2.5x higher than industry average.