Location-based advertising is not a new concept. In fact, it is one of the very first types of advertising strategies ever created. Remember being handed out a flyer for a local store near you? Fast forward to today, a lot of talk in the advertising ecosystem is around other types of data points that power the algorithms that deliver you targeted ads. However, location-based strategies is a rapidly growing market.
According to BIA Advisory Services, marketers will spend over $38.7 billion in 2022 on location targeted mobile campaigns in the US alone.
Location-based advertising is a great fit for most, as it can focus your message and target market. Here is what makes for successful location-marketing – and a few things you need to avoid when considering your next campaign.
It seems obvious but often is forgotten by many, but brands with physical stores can benefit greatly from location targeting. These businesses can ensure they are reaching the right people at the right time, capturing audiences that have visited or are within a certain vicinity through geofencing. Rather than targeting someone based on a visit to your website or social media like, it allows for highly targeted advertising.
Car Dealerships: Purchasing a car requires a much longer purchase cycle and informed decision making from testing the car to negotiating on the specifications and price. Car dealerships can not only attract local people but use geofencing to do competitor conquesting, to reach shoppers who have high intent and are close to making a decision.
Events: Pop up events aiming to drive sales through as much foot-traffic should use location data to ensure they reach potential audiences within the vicinity. Likewise, a trade event at an exhibition centre will have thousands of users over a few days so B2B advertisers can leverage these audiences to then collect and drive messaging to highly relevant users.
Tourism Boards: An effective but longer term strategy, tourism boards can measure visitors to tourist attractions in adjacent cities or even countries to promote their destination for their next holiday.
eCommerce Brands: Location targeting doesn’t have to be for just brick and mortar brands. They can also leverage store visit data to target messaging with their own brand. Or a hair care product may want to target people that have been to a hair salon.
Like any targeting strategy, location data also has its limits. This can be from the quality and quantity of data as well as potential privacy constraints.
Available audiences in your locations: The most common challenge that brands have is the scale that can be achieved. In theory, targeting all similar shops near your own shop makes a lot of sense, but if there is limited foot traffic or date to build your audiences then you cannot scale. Brands need to be wary of “over-targeting” and find the right balance of scale and effectiveness.
Inaccurate data signals: Accuracy is another issue, whether it is because the shops are too close to one another or the target audience is on the 10th floor of a high rise building. Most location data companies are unable to accurately identify if the user is in the high rise or just passing by, making your campaign and strategy less effective.
Location- based targeting presents many opportunities for brands to capture their target audiences. Combined with the power of Programmatic, it is a highly effective strategy that marketers can deploy. However, knowing what works and what doesn’t is the foundation of any successful campaign.