Use of mobile geographic targeting, or geo-targeting, is on the rise across nearly every industry, and for good reason: The practice has increasingly been found to be effective at getting prospective customers in the door of businesses.
To put it simply, mobile geo-targeting is the practice of hypertargeting prospects based on a variety of factors. The most commonly used factors are the prospect's proximity to your business's location and her interest in what it is you're selling. Ads are displayed on a potential customer's smartphone or tablet when she gets within a certain proximity to your physical location.
Often, a second parameter is added to the targeting procedure. The prospect's previous search behavior will play a role in whether she'll see your ad. If you run a clothing shop, a prospect within walking distance of your business who's recently searched for shoes online will be shown your ad. Someone in the same general area who recently searched for lamps instead won't see it.
According to a study conducted by eMarketer, U.S. advertisers' investment in local mobile display advertising was predicted to reach around $1.185 billion this year. And as companies and marketing departments expand their knowledge of geotargeting and how to track data from mobile devices, that amount is set to rise to over $2.74 billion by 2017.
It's not just spending that's up. Effectiveness is rising, too. In fact, according to Mobile Marketer, geo-targeted mobile ads experience a click-through rate that is 2 times higher than ads without location targeting.
Implementing a Strategy
The old days of universal advertisements displayed to everyone everywhere are gone. Increasingly, so are the days of ads displayed to anyone within a certain area. Now, the best way to get potential customers across the threshold and into your business is to use mobile geo-targeting coupled with search behavior and customer persona data. It is with these techniques that you can expect to see your click-through and conversion rates rise.
Tips for Making Your Geo-targeting Campaign a Success
Because the main principle of this mobile marketing strategy is location-based, it's important to optimize your campaign accordingly. This means using mobile landing pages that contain location-specific content and appear tailor-made for the potential customer who views it. You also need to test your campaigns often. Run split or multivariate tests to determine how to better optimize for conversion.
Finally, you need to account for some mobile-reality factors. While your click-through rate might be high on mobile devices, your conversions attached to this channel may appear the same. That's because some people are still reluctant to make purchases on tablets and smartphones. You need to consider how many people clicked and then called you or clicked and then came into your physical store. Adjust your metrics for the medium, and you'll see the value of this strategy.