Last Updated on September 1, 2021 by James Ewen
Recent innovations in modern technology have made geotargeting one of the most effective ways to improve your marketing campaigns.
In this article, you’ll get some insight into brands that launched more successful marketing campaigns by using geotargeting. You’ll also discover related information about the results they achieve with their campaigns, as well as strategies to help you when you launch your marketing ads.
In addition, you’ll find tips on how to implement geotargeting effectively in your next marketing campaign.
Why Use Geotargeting?
Thanks to location-based technology, such as geo-filters and location data, geotargeting has become very precise. In other words, digital marketers no longer have to gamble on local pay-per-click advertisements.
It’s now more practical and cost-effective to include geotargeting in your marketing campaign, especially if you’re a local business.
This explains why more brands are investing in geotargeting marketing strategies.
Customers are also joining in as many say they don’t mind brands knowing their real-time locations if it helps them achieve a more satisfying shopping experience.
It’s a win-win.
Companies utilize geotargeting marketing to provide a more rewarding way to advertise their products and services. And customers are also embracing the technology as a quick and reliable way to find the products and services they need from their mobile devices wherever they are.
Let’s dig a bit deeper and explore what precisely geotargeting is, its applications, benefits, and look at some successful geo-targeting campaigns.
What is Geotargeting?
Geotargeting (or local PPC) is the term that encompasses the practice of delivering adverts or content to consumers (or potential consumers) based on their geographical locations.
For businesses, it means advertising products and services to local prospects.
There are several methods through which geotargeting can be utilized — from the zip code level using device IDs or IP addresses to geo-fencing, GPS signals, and more.
The idea behind the technology is to understand a user’s needs in real-time so relevant ad content can be delivered at the right place and time. With those in place, the circumstances are right for the consumer to take the desired action — make a purchase.
Moreover, sending relevant ads to consumers creates a bond between themselves and the brand. A 2019 survey shows that 75% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand they feel understands them. Geotargeting is that bridge to better understanding.
With that said, let’s look at some of the top benefits geotargeting provides to businesses.
Top 5 Benefits Geotargeting can Provide Your Business
Adding geotargeting to your marketing campaign comes with several key benefits. Here are the top five you can expect:
A key advantage of geotargeting is that it allows you to create advertising content relevant to those who see them. You see, personalized ads create a better experience for users and a higher chance of a conversion.
When you know where your ads will be displayed, you can push specific products, stores, events, etc., that are unique to the people in those areas.
Effective Marketing Budgets
By restricting your ads to only the areas you want (places your products are available, popular, or already successful), your marketing campaigns can be more effective and cost-efficient.
Product and Market Development
Another advantage geotargeting offers is that it helps brands test new products or services in a more controlled market.
By displaying ads for new products in a specific location, variables can be better accounted for, providing you with cleaner data. You can then observe the results and fine-tune your offer for a larger audience.
If you want to build a reputation as the go-to brand for the product or service you offer in your neighborhood, geotargeting can help you achieve that.
By using your ads to showcase relevant community events, answer questions your customers have, and more, you can naturally connect with your local community and attract more customers.
Hide Ads from Competitors
Finally, geotargeting can give you an advantage over the competition. How? Exclude the locations where your closest competitors are from your advertising campaigns. This way, your ads can gain a headstart before competitors see them.
Where Does Geotargeting Fit?
While a geotargeting marketing campaign is effective for many businesses, certain limitations can affect others. For instance, using a local pay-per-click (PPC) may not be the best option for products that can be bought almost anywhere (e.g., milk, soda, etc.).
What to Avoid When Geotargeting
Before we dive into examples of real-life marketing campaigns that got better with geotargeting, let touch on pitfalls to be aware of:
Locations that don’t scale
Locations that cannot scale to generate adequate audiences for geotargeting are among the most common challenges to the practice. Some reasons this could happen include choosing a stand-alone location that does not have enough foot traffic to analyze, short-lived events that do not give enough time for audience capturing, etc.
Locations with multiple tightly clustered businesses (such as malls or multipurpose buildings) can also make geotargeting challenging.
Products or services available everywhere
Products that are generally available everywhere are not a good fit for location-based marketing.
Businesses with sensitive data
Another challenge for geotargeting market campaigns is businesses that deal with sensitive data.
A typical example is healthcare offices. In cases like this, such businesses must fulfill the requirements of privacy compliance firms such as Network Advertising Initiative, TrustArc and the Digital Advertising Alliance, and TrustArc. Such conditions ensure privacy for consumers.
5 Successful Real-World Marketing Campaigns Aided by geotargeting
Many notable brands have used geotargeting in their campaigns to great success. Here are five notable examples.
UNIQLO is a company that deals in casual clothing apparel for men, women, kids, and babies. It has more than 1000 stores scattered across the world.
The marketing campaign challenge
In 2012, UNIQLO was about to launch its yearly sales campaign, but they wanted better results. They decided to promote it using Facebook — which was the most popular social networking channel among the brand’s target audience of young people at the time.
To push their sales, the brand created a ‘UNIQLO Check-in Chance’ campaign, which gave everyone who checked in (on Facebook) at any one of their stores a chance to win 100 yen. After checking in, their details would go into a prize draw with 100 yen as the prize. However, the 100 yen could only be used during the sales period in a UNIQLO store.
Also, UNIQLO made all check-ins at their stores visible to all as entertainment rather than make the check-ins on Facebook only visible to friends.
The excitement created at the individual stores due to the Facebook check-ins quickly became a global event. The prize draw and the possibility of winning a cash coupon encouraged check-in participation and drove traffic to the stores.
In other words, the Facebook check-ins served as a geotargeting campaign for people in that area.
Over three days, the UNIQLO yearly sales garnered an impressive tally of 202,479 check-ins — which was an all-time high. Furthermore, the Facebook page for the brand experienced over 10,000 likes from the campaign. Foot traffic to their stores also reached new highs. During the three-day sale period, UNIQLO sold clothing worth over 10 billion Japanese yen (which was just under $93,000).
The highlight of this campaign is how simple it was. A good rule of thumb is to keep your marketing campaigns as simple as possible such that your customers (or potential customers) don’t feel like they have to work to keep up with you. Additionally, throwing some incentives (such as the prize draw here) is a great way to get potential customers to take action.
Hyundai is an automobile manufacturing company that was founded in 1967. The company is renowned for its high-quality yet affordable cars.
The marketing campaign challenge
Hyundai had a problem with sales. People thought their cars were ‘cheap’ and as a result, sales were down.
In fairness, Hyundai cars have always been a more affordable option, but it didn’t make them inferior.
So, how did they solve this problem of reduced sales?
Hyundai Motors America came up with a campaign they codenamed ‘Dealer Stealer’. As the name implies, the goal of this campaign was to ‘steal’ customers from rival dealers, and they used geo-targeting to pull it off!
They digitally mapped the locations of the stores of two of their major rivals — 115 Mazda dealerships and 282 Toyota dealerships, as well as 152 of their stores. Then, they kept track of those who walked into (or came close to) the stores of their rivals and collected their unique and anonymous mobile phone data IDs.
Then, they displayed Hyundai advertising deals on the mobile phones of these people, who are primarily customers looking to buy Mazda or Toyota vehicles.
As a result of their geofencing marketing efforts, Hyundai had approximately 815,000 pairs of eyes viewing their ads, and at least 50% of this number reconsidering Hyundai as an alternative. This number was gathered from the click-through rate (viewers who clicked the ads), 50% above the industry average.
The company also kept track of the location of the mobile phone users to see if they eventually walked into a Hyundai dealership and re-targeted them with more mobile ads if they needed an extra push.
Hyundai Motors’ approach was ingenious. Chances were that anyone who walked into a car dealership was ready to buy a car, and that made them prime picks. All that was left was to isolate and target them with relevant ads highlighting their car deals, and they used geotargeting to achieve that.
Domino’s Pizza is the recognized global leader in the business of pizza production and delivery. It has numerous stores in the US and all over the world.
The marketing campaign challenge
Domino’s wanted to be able to advertise more effectively to their customers. So, they came up with a campaign to use text messages for effective hyperlocal advertising (top-tier geotargeting). But, they needed one essential bit of information — the addresses of their customers.
They asked their customers to provide their addresses when opting for their email and text pizza discount offers. Once they had this information, Domino’s began geotargeting using various categories (from ZIP codes to timezones, store locations, and even states).
With this campaign, Domino’s has been able to carry out text message ads that are more likely to convert. Their hyperlocal advertising meant that they could target people in specific locations based on real-time happenings and offers.
For instance, a Domino’s outlet in a college town can send out text ads detailing special offers on the night of major games. Here’s another scenario — if there’s a thunderstorm in a Domino’s store location, they may send out ads to the people in that area to order in rather than having to go outside.
Domino’s Pizza used the incentives of discounted offers to encourage their customers to give them their addresses. The information was then used to make hyper-specific ads that targeted customers’ immediate pain points in real-time (getting soaked by the rain).
Coca-cola is the world’s leading beverage bottling company, with its products sold in more than 200 countries.
The marketing campaign challenge
Coca-cola was looking for ways to streamline and optimize its supply operations for better sales and decided to use location intelligence (geotargeting).
The company used its vending machines — one-third of which are connected to the internet — to harness customer data. The machines use facial recognition alongside payment analysis to collect data on which drinks sell the best. Also, from the data they get from their machines, Coca-cola could tell which of the vending machines got the most foot traffic.
Based on the data they got, Coca-cola figured out their ‘best-selling’ machines and the ones that didn’t get a lot of traffic. From this, they went back to the drawing board to redistribute their supply resources. As a result of a more optimized supply chain, they could increase their profits and save more on costs.
This example demonstrates the impact of analyzing sales based on location and then using geotargeting to optimize and drive sales in the areas where there is a larger market.
Van Leeuwen is an ice cream company that was created in 2008. At that time, they started by selling ice cream out of a truck. Today, they have several stores in multiple states across the US and feature various ice cream selections, including vegan ice cream.
The marketing campaign challenge
Van Leeuwen was looking for ways to keep track of their customers so ads could be sent to them when they are close to a store. The company decided to use the location tracking feature of the PayPal app.
As part of the campaign, Van Leeuwen required their customers to download and install the PayPal app on their mobile devices and then link it to their PayPal accounts. That was the first step. Afterward, they used the geolocation feature of the PayPal app to know when a customer was close to a Van Leeuwen store.
Once they got this proximity alert, they sent ads with enticing offers and deals to attract them into the store and make a purchase. Then, they let them pay for their creamy treats using the PayPal app.
As a result of the use of mobile payment options and the location-tracking benefits it offers, Van Leeuwen could use geo-targeted ads to drive customers into their stores and increase their sales effectively.
Everyone loves a convenient payment option, and Van Leeuwen leveraged that. They chose a mobile payment option that tracks user location from their mobile data. This allowed them to influence their customers’ decisions at the crucial moments during which they were close to Van Leeuwen stores.
Hopefully, these real-life applications have given you some insight into how you can apply geotargeting in your business’s marketing strategy.
Here are some of the best marketing automation software you can use to get the results you need:
Facebook Location Targeting
Facebook has more than 2.7 billion active users, which makes it a powerful advertising channel. The best part? The platform also allows you to target users based on various criteria — from country to region or even city. Facebook also monitors the performance of your ads, deduces your best-performing locations, and reallocates your budget to target those locations.
Google Ads Location Targeting
With Google Ads, you can target only people in specific regions, or cities, or the radius of a particular area based on their mobile data. You can also target users based on specific countries, regions, or a radius around a specific location.
If you think Twitter is a good match for your advertising needs, you can use it to attract your target customers. Twitter uses geotargeting to keep track of mobile user data, including IP addresses and mobile GPS signals. With this, you can restrict your ad campaigns to specific cities, postal addresses, or countries.
Instagram Locations and Geotags
Instagram allows users to tag locations on their posts. This way, when other users search for that location, those posts show up. Therefore, you can take advantage of this geotag feature when you post in your feed and story. Also, you can advertise to users in specific locations (say, near your store) via Instagram.
LinkedIn connects professionals based on their industries and geographic locations, which makes it an excellent ad tool. Moreover, the platform makes ‘Geographic Location’ a required field if you want to share an ad, so it’s just as well. With at least 2.8 million locations globally, LinkedIn allows you to target specific areas or regions.
Snapchat Location Targeting
Finally, if you’re targeting the younger demographic in a specific region, Snapchat may be the way to go. The platform allows users to target precise locations, countries, or even postal addresses. You can also share your ads within a particular radius or longitude/latitude pair.
Ways to Deliver Your Geo-Targeted Messages to the Customers
There are several means through which you can convey the content of your geo-targeted ads to your customers. Here are some options you can try:
Pop-ups: How Geotargeting Works for Pop-ups
You’re probably not a stranger to pop-ups while browsing through a website. Well, in the right location and on the devices of relevant people, pop-ups can be a powerful ad tool. If you’re sending out pop-up ads, ensure that you choose the most relevant audience for your products or service. You can also throw in some open-ended sales questions to encourage interactions and achieve more productive results.
Geo-targeted Email Marketing
Another option is geo-targeted email marketing. Over the years, emails have proven to be an effective marketing tool for brands and businesses worldwide. But with geotargeting and the right email client, the results can even be more exponential. With Geo-targeted email marketing, you can send your ads to people in favorable locations for your business, which improves your chances of converting.
Today, many successful brands are implementing geotargeting marketing and increasing their profit margins. The real-life scenarios we discussed in this article are more proof. You can also join the ranks and achieve your company goals faster.
Make your marketing campaigns better with geotargeting today.
Isaac is a Content Marketer with Mailbird, an email client. He has 8 years of experience helping businesses big and small scale their content efforts and attracting new leads. When he’s not writing about productivity, marketing, or technology, he can be found in a park with a good book.