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Focusing your marketing activities to your ideal client’s demographics and geographic location is hardly a new concept to marketing, but the methods by which marketers can target have greatly expanded with digital marketing. The ability to geofence a building or tap into a mobile device’s location services has created a new realm of fully-integrated campaigns on screen and off screen, but building omni-channel campaigns that incorporate location and movement can be complex. Here are some techniques and tips to help your company maximize use of location targeting in their marketing mix.
Geofencing and Geotargeting have very specific applications. Geofencing involves building a digital barrier around a precise area, such as a building or a city block, and targeting people who move through that precise area. It is best applied if your focus is the physical movement of your clientele more so than the specific demographics of your clientele. Geofencing is often used successfully in marketing for brick-and-mortar retail organizations, where measuring the physical act of someone crossing the door into your business is an important conversion point. If you’re an appointment-based organization or an organization whose business is mostly online, Geofencing probably won’t make sense for your campaigns.
Geotargeting also involves specifically defining a geographic area for your ad appearances, but it targets clients based on demographics within that area rather than people moving through that area. If your clientele tends to be older, wealthier men in the suburbs of a major city, target your marketing efforts on Males 55+ in the top 10% of Household Incomes within those suburbs. Geotargeting often has broader applications than Geofencing, so match up your demographic targeting across each of your channels.
Target based on your client. Honing your messaging and channels for your clients is a tenant of good marketing, and precisely targeting your client’s location should be used if sensible for your campaign. Carefully pick your marketing channels based off the clientele you serve, bearing in mind that you may need to mix online and offline channels. If you are a business with services or products that cater to the general population, using brand-awareness channels like billboards or TV ads in a DMA may greatly boost your marketing mix.
Targeting by location or movement data doesn’t always make sense.
If you’re a national company or a company with a very wide clientele, fine-tuned geotargeting techniques might not be a good choice for your campaigns, and may be artificially driving your cost up. Additionally, narrowing down a campaign based on a location can thin out your overall impression count, which can hurt brand-awareness campaigns. As mentioned above, Out of Home or DMA-focused advertising channels can complement broader audience digital marketing for a more general crowd in a larger area.
Integrate all your location-based campaigns. Build your location-focused campaign with data collection in mind so you can measure your customer journey on-screen and off-screen. Ensure that you connect the messaging and conversions from all of your marketing channels. Using integrated ad platforms will make data collection much easier, but don’t neglect the basics of measuring conversions online and offline. Don’t forget to use promos and specific offers, shortened links, or call tracking numbers to capture data for every campaign element.
Knowing when and how to apply location targeting to your marketing efforts can be challenging, but it’s usually worth the payoff. As IOT networks become more sophisticated and marketing channels continue to expand their offerings and refine their services, location targeting technologies for advertising will continue to advance.