What is Geotargeting?
It’s the process by which your online audience is targeted to be served specific ads depending on their geographic location.
This can be determined by IP address, country, city, state, region, or even exact location using GPS.
Applications for Geotargeting
The goal of geotargeting is to ensure that specific ad messages can be delivered to very specific audience members at a certain point in time, when they are in a particular geographic area. The applications for digital marketers and advertisers really start to add up when you begin to consider the types of geographic areas, regions, businesses, and other places your target audience likes to visit or naturally congregates.
For example, say you’re marketing higher education. To target prospective graduate students, for example, you could use geotargeting around your university and surrounding coffee shops to target current adult students or faculty that might be around the university, already enrolled at the university as an undergraduate student, or living locally to the university.
If you’re marketing sporting tickets, for example, you might want to target everyone who lives near the arena.
Geotargeting 2.0: Geofencing
One very specific type of geographic targeting is called geofencing. Geofencing is a little different than general geographic targeting because geofencing relies on a location-aware device that uses a GPS, like a cell phone. With mobile use climbing steadily, there are becoming increased applications for the use of location-based targeting.
Geofencing allows you to target an audience in a very specific geographic radius, like certain coffee shops and shopping malls. Depending on their audience size(s) and budget, digital marketers could use geofencing to target areas where their audiences or potential customers congregate. For example, to advertise for a family event, one might try targeting places families congregate, like certain stores or restaurants, children’s clothing stores, etc.
Geofencing also allows you to conquer your competition through chain-store targeting. For example, if you were to market Peet’s coffee shops, you could target specifically around Starbucks locations to win more customers or offer special promotions to draw a crowd.
As with any digital marketing initiative, however, it’s very important to consider whether your target audience is large enough within your given geographic radius, as well as whether you have the proper budget to support it.
Digital marketers – have you used geofencing or geotargeting? What did you think? Tell us more.