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What is Geomarketing? Welcome to Geomarketing 101

If you’ve been paying attention to developments in marketing, you’ve likely heard the term “geomarketing” as the next big trend for promoting your business. With the number of mobile phone users worldwide predicted to reach 4.8 billion within the next year, it’s no surprise that this location-based technology is becoming more important.

This guide will explain how geomarketing works, and show you how to do geomarketing right to get benefits for your business. It includes tips, geomarketing tools, and examples so you can master geomarketing as a business promotion strategy.

A good place to start is with a geomarketing definition.

What is geomarketing?

Geomarketing is a form of marketing that uses location data to target advertising and promotions to reach consumers with appropriate messaging in particular localities. For example, geomarketing can help you ensure that you’re not promoting winter coats in Florida or bikinis in the Colorado mountains.

Why use geomarketing?

There are several useful applications of geomarketing, and lots of reasons why using these location-based insights makes sense for companies. Here are just a few examples.

Suppose you’re wondering where to open a new retail outlet. A geomarketing analysis can help you discover the areas where your target customers hang out so you’ll know if your store will attract foot traffic.

Still on the subject of retail, geomarketing data is great for figuring out customer behavior based on shopping habits. That’s because the data reveals how consumers move between the different retail outlets, where they stop, and where they buy. In other words, you can determine typical consumer shopping patterns and use the information to better target your marketing.

Another use for geomarketing tools is to focus digital advertising campaigns to particular consumer demographics. As you’ll see later in this guide, it’s easy to fine tune customer segments so you market to those most likely to buy.

Location data is proven to boost the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by up to 80%. This has a lot to do with relevance. Geomarketing lets you take relevance and personalization to the next level by marketing to your customers based on a combination of historical visitation behavior and where they are now.

Now that almost everyone has a mobile phone, and many have opted in to enable their location services, geomarketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy.

Geomarketing Examples

Wondering how geomarketing advertising platformssolutions can help your business? Here’s how restaurants, retail outlets, and charities have used geomarketing effectively to reach their ideal customers.

Using geomarketing to reach restaurant customers

Here are a couple of examples of quick service restaurants (QSR) and fine dining restaurants have used geomarketing to reach more customers:

  • Outback Steakhouse used location targeting to serve ads to nearby potential customers and exceeded industry standards by 80%. They had a 25% improvement in requests for information about dining at Outback.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts used location data successfully to connect mobile device users with their local store, resulting in a 72% click through rate for directions.
  • Frozen dessert franchise Pinkberry used location targeting to serve ads to people whose past habits showed they might be interested in a healthy treat. They doubled their benchmark success rates with this approach.

Increasing Retail Visits with Geomarketing

Geomarketing has been similarly successful for retail outlets, as the following examples show:

  • Timberland was able to increase store visits by 6% by targeting urban adventurers near their stores.
  • Currys PC World used a similar approach, combining audience and location targeting to increase store visits by 12%.

Using Geomarketing for Charitable Causes

Tools for geomarketing can also be a big help for causes looking to improve their reach in certain areas or among certain audiences. Here are a few examples:

  • GroundTruth is pretty proud of partnering with the Federation of Internet Alerts (FIA) to send Amber Alerts in areas where people have been reported missing. This has resulted in a 98% abduction to recovery rate.
  • Movember used geomarketing services to get a 50% increase in donations for a men’s health cause.
  • Oxfam raised $10,000 for earthquake victims in a single week by using geomarketing to target people most likely to donate.

The bottom line is that almost any business or brand can benefit from geomarketing.

Geomarketing Tools

Wondering how companies and causes achieve these excellent results? Here are the targeting tools that underpin GroundTruth’s geomarketing services. They include audience targeting, location targeting, and weather targeting.

Audience Targeting

GroundTruth’s audience targeting feature helps businesses to:

  • Show ads to people who have visited a location, brand or category within a certain time frame.
  • Combine visitation data with demographics for fine-grained behavioral targeting.
  • Use data on behavior, purchases and more to create your own custom audiences.

Location Targeting

Location targeting helps you get more insight into how your customers behave in particular localities. This includes:

  • On-premise mobile location targeting, so you know whether your potential customers are on their way to your store, in the parking lot or is already inside the building. Depending on which it is, you can target appropriate promotions.
  • Proximity targeting, which lets you geofence a location in order to show particular promotions to nearby customers.
  • Neighborhoods, which allow you to use visitation and demographic data to show promotions within geographical boundaries.

Weather Targeting

Customer behavior changes according to the weather. GroundTruth’s weather targeting features help you tap into that information to influence customer behavior to improve sales

What Kind of Ads Can Be Used in Geomarketing?

As you can see, there’s no limit to how you can refine targeting when using geomarketing services. Here are some of the kinds of promotions you can run.

One popular option is in-app ads. This allows you to target promotions to people who are actively using your app, based on the behavior they’re already exhibiting. Users of GroundTruth’s geomarketing services have found in-app ads an excellent way to keep promotions relevant so that more of their customers take action.

Other ads you can use include:

  • Display ads on digital billboards
  • Push notifications from your app
  • SMS messages, which have a high trust factor

You can also use a combination of all the ad types to reach different audience segments.

How to Get Started with Geomarketing

If you’re thinking about getting started with geomarketing, there are three essential steps you need to follow.

First, define a goal for your geomarketing campaign. This is essential so you can work out which technologies you want to use, and which ads are most appropriate. Having a goal also gives you a way to measure success.

Typical goals include:

  • Getting more online traffic to your site
  • Attracting more visitors into your store
  • Building brand awareness
  • Getting more people to take up a certain offer
  • Encouraging people to donate to a cause

Second, think about timing. Demographic and visitation data can help you work out when your target customers are most likely to be able to see your promotion.

Third, consider the location. Use visitation behavior to build your ideal audiences.

With these three factors, you can create personalized promotions based on current location and past behavior. That means you successfully target the right people in the right place at the right time.

Read more about GroundTruth’s self-serve advertising platform and how it can help you build your geomarketing strategy.

Jessica Meyers
Director, PR and Communications