What is Geotargeting?

Geotargeting is a marketing strategy delivering targeted advertising content to a customer via mobile devices, laptops and desktops based on that customer’s physical geographic location. Selection criteria can include country, region, state, city, zip code and IP address.

How Does Geotargeting Work?

  1. It's based on location mapping

    When you use your smartphone to find the nearest gas station, you open yourself up to geotargeting. Your IP address indicates that you are within 1000 feet of the nearest gas station as long as your GPS tracking is activated. Geotargeting lets you know if that gas station has the products and services you want at the price you want to pay. The system also targets local businesses like Auto Zone, that may have items for your car. Geotargeting creates a more localized profile of the user and then provides information on brick and mortar businesses where the user can find what he or she wants.

  2. It allows businesses to target campaigns differently

    Geotargeting campaigns can be set up using Google Adwords, a service where marketers pay to show users short ads on products and services within Google's network. On Google Adwords, you can specify the locations for your geotargeting search. Then, select the radius where you want to reach customers. If you use Facebook in your campaign; you can do a more in-depth search, depending on the criteria you use. You can input your data to find customers who patronize a specific area location like a certain shopping center. For a competitive edge, some marketers integrate their targeted location in their copy to motivate local customers to patronize a local business.

  3. It functions across platforms and devices

    Targeting options are flexible. There are a variety of ways that businesses can use geotargeting to track customers. Any device can be tracked including smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops. A user can get texts while shopping in a store as long as the GPS function is active on the device. Google and Facebook searches can trigger geotargeting since a user doesn't have to be on an app to be found. When users are online, geotargeting can push ads based on previous user searches or some trigger in the user's profile.

Why Geotargeting Matters

  1. It's driven by location

    Geotargeting needs a user's location to drive the campaign. Many marketers about 60%, believe that by targeting users in their locations; marketers yield a better result and ROI. Why? Because local customers want to shop locally. These customers believe that the local businesses are more invested in having an ongoing relationship with their customers over the long term. This could be the digital equivalent of customers in a certain neighborhood patronizing the same butcher's shop year after year. Why should that consumer go to a butcher's shop an hour away when the local shop down the street knows what cuts of meat the consumer likes and how the meat should be cut? It's familiar. And, that familiarity enhances the brand.

  2. It's ideal for virtual events

    Geotargeting can enhance virtual events by combining physical locations with a virtual experience. This happens often with gaming technology. That's why Pokemon Go was so successful. The bottom line is that customers can be effectively targeted for special virtual or even pop up events that are designed around a certain brand or product. Companies that produce expensive whiskeys or fashion retailers may target a local musician's fan base for a virtual event around the brand. Then, the company continues to track those customers which hopefully can result in a long term relationship where customers continue to be positively engaged with the brand.

  3. It gives companies a better profile of their customers

    Geotargeting builds a more realistic profile of their customers and their real life habits. As companies learn more about their customers local habits, the companies are able to tailor better goods and services as well as events. The company benefits from a higher local profile and a closer relationship to the customer. According to Forbes Magazine, larger companies delight in getting that high ROI from regional geotargeting campaigns. Those bigger budgets are worth it.