How To Use Geo-Fencing to Improve Marketing Effectiveness & ROI
Geo-Fencing can be a useful way to keep your message in front of potential customers whose location behavior suggests they’re great prospects, but haven yet taken that next step toward engagement.
Visitors to Your Storefront or Showroom
By combining the tactic of digital display advertising, you can build an imaginary fence around any physical locations where prospective customers may visit you, such as a storefront, showroom, or lot. This allows you to capture the unique device IDs of every phone within that fence, and build a target audience based on those phone IDs for the purpose of targeting ads in websites and mobile apps those prospects visit. Often, we can work backward from the device ID to connect the actual identity of the owner, and expand the targeting to include name, address, other devices, other family members, income, home value, and a host of 3rd-party information such as automotive registrations, past purchasing behavior and search history. Then you can determine the viability of each prospect by comparing it to your customer persona and target the best matches for further advertising.
People Who Are Shopping Your Competitors
Silently monitoring competitors is one of the best advantages of geo-fencing because your competitors don’t know you’re doing it. Another benefit of geo-fencing competitors is that you can gear your messaging to people who already understand the value proposition of that competitor, and focus on what you do better than them. For example, if you geo-fence a competitor whose price you can normally beat, your messaging can relate around “we will beat the price of any competitor,” or you can be even more specific, “We beat XYZ’s price 90% of the time.” We have found this extremely useful at finding automotive shoppers, sporting goods buyers, and even brides-to-be. Geo-fencing allows you to identify attendees to events like bridal shows, even community events you sponsored, or just about any indicator of hobby — such as dog parks, ski slopes, golf courses. Why waste time looking for golfers when you can easily identify who golfs by geo-fencing golf courses… Some businesses have a specific opportunity around new-movers; people who have recently re-located and need everything from doctors to hair stylists and banks or insurance agents. Geo-fencing gives us reliable ways to identify who is new to the area. By getting a clear understanding of the journey potential customers take to get to you, we can look for other location behaviors that might indicate they need you.
People Who Are at a Location That’s Commonly Visited Before They Need Your Product or Service
An example of this is at-home senior care. When we analyzed the customer journey, we found that almost all prospective customers were children of aging parents who were visiting a parent at a rehab hospital in the days leading up to their inquiries. By geo-fencing all the rehab hospitals in the area, eliminating people who work there (yes, we can do that), and focusing on the visitors we were able to create an audience of likely prospects. By purchasing digital display advertising to those phones as the owners visit websites and use mobile apps, we are able to put our message directly in front of the decision makers at a time when they’re actively trying to figure out how they will care for aging parents when they come home from the rehab hospital.
If you’re confused about audience re-targeting as part of your digital display advertising strategy or you’re just wondering if it can help you grow your business, we are happy to offer some insight. We offer a free initial marketing consultation. By helping us understand how you want to grow your business, we can help you decide if digital display advertising is right for you, and if audience re-targeting is the best method of targeting.
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How To Know When Geo-Fencing Can Help Grow Your Business
When is geo-fencing a smart tactic within your digital display advertising strategy? It all begins with our formula:
TARGETING + MESSAGING = REACH = RESULTS
By following this simple road map to design, execute, and evaluate campaigns we can know our return on investment (ROI).
Make Sure You Can Track Any Digital Display Advertising You Place
We typically accomplish this with two primary tactics:
- Pixel tracking
- UTM or other tagging.
Some digital advertising platforms offer tracking pixels. We deploy these to know which visits to the website are driven by each campaign. Combined with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, this allows us to know how far down our customer acquisition funnel each prospect goes. When tracking pixels aren’t available, we use a tagging process that communicates with Google Analytics to achieve the same goal.
Use Layers of Targeting to Avoid Waste & Make Your Ads More Relevant to the People Who See Them
Begin with the end in mind. We often layer multiple targeting methods for best results. For example, we often use questions like these to determine targeting layers:
Q: Are there locations visited that indicate someone is a potential customer?
A: This often includes places like competitor showrooms, restaurants similar to yours, nearby hotels, or even certain office buildings (location behavior can often be tracked to specific floors of high rises). We commonly use location behavior as an indicator for targeting.
Q: Is there past search behavior that indicates someone is “in market” for your product or service?
A: It’s common for people to begin a purchase with an on-line search. Being able to target your ads based on keywords and phrases can be helpful. We commonly use recent search behavior as an indicator for targeting.
Q: Is there past purchase behavior that indicates someone is a good prospect for your product or service?
A: This often is represented by categories. For example, if someone has purchased pet products in the past, it’s a strong indicator they have pets in the household. We commonly use past purchasing behavior as an indicator for targeting.
Q: Are past customers, and/or past visitors to the website important prospects for the future?
A: Whenever someone visits your website and doesn’t become an actionable lead (or make a purchase), that may be a strong indicator that they are “in market,” but not yet ready to make a buying decision. This is the classic application for audience re-targeting.
Q: How specific is the customer persona? Age? Gender? Location? Income? Home? Car?
A: For example, let’s say your best customer prospects are women 35-64 in a series of high-end zip codes who drive luxury import cars, are in the top 20% of household incomes, and live in homes valued at over $900,000. That target can be built quite easily.
These various qualifiers can be layered on top of each other to narrow in on your best prospects. And once you build the universe of your best prospects, you can then begin
When Is Geo-Fencing Most Useful?
Geo-Fencing is most useful when you have an extended buying cycle. If customers tend to make a quick decision (on-the-spot), then geo-fencing may not be as useful. However, if customers tend to research and make a buying decision over 3 days or more (we have customers who have identified a buying cycle as long as 12 months or more) geo-fencing can play an important role in your strategy. A key benefit of geo-fencing is the ability to evolve the messaging to create more and more urgency. For example, you may find that one final discount or added-value offered to re-marketing prospects may dramatically increase your conversion (closing) rate. Geo-fencing also allows you to tell more of your unique story over time. If you feel confident a prospect has gotten the basic value proposition already from a visit to a competitor, you can take the messaging more in-depth on the competitive advantage you have over that competitor. For example, if a prospect visited a competitor and you can almost always beat that competitor’s price, that’s the time to inject a discount or value-added with a time-constraint. “Schedule your install today and we’ll upgrade…” Alternatively, if you have better quality than that competitor, it is a good time to emphasize why you use the products you use, and what’s unique about the quality of your people. Use messaging like “Three reasons quality-conscious customers choose us.”
Context is Meaningful to the Outcomes
Reach, simply because it’s available, doesn’t always translate to success. In our experience, reaching the right people with the right message has to happen in the right context — the correct time and place that allows your potential customer to engage. Ads that reach prospects when they can’t respond won’t get the desired levels of engagement. Our unique Bullseye Marketing Method is designed to track the context where our best engagement comes, and make adjustments to the campaign to focus on the most successful days, times, and other aspects of context that prove to be important for success. When properly organized, you can deploy test campaigns on multiple digital advertising platforms and track the results to know which combinations of messaging and platform get the best results.
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