By: Ashley Murphy
Since the dawn of traditional advertising nearly a century ago, advertising methods have been limited to TV commercials and infomercials, radio ads, and print media. While all of these methods were – and still are – successful, they often leave a lot of questions as to how effective they truly are for reaching a target audience.
The world of advertising is constantly changing, and while TV still acts as the digital stream’s main contender for targeting demographics, trends show that digital display advertising has recently surpassed its competition in popularity. Often referred to as “targeted display,” this form of advertising features banners presented across various web sites using strategic methods of targeting the audience.
One of the newest forms of targeted display is called Geo-Fencing, and it is taking the digital advertising market by storm.
What is Geo-fencing?
Geo-fencing is a type of targeted display that enables advertisers to use latitude and longitude data to target consumers in hyper-specific areas. Advertisers can pinpoint certain places where their ideal customer is known to venture, and literally deliver real-time ads within minutes of the consumer’s arrival in those locations. Furthermore, the advertiser can have those ads follow that same consumer for weeks to come.
Picture this: a young mother of three finds herself in the emergency room one afternoon with non-life threatening injuries after a car accident totals her vehicle. She spends three and a half hours in the ER and is released later that day, only to head to a rental car facility just in time to pick up a car and make it to her youngest child’s daycare facility before it closes.
The family, thankful to be home together and well, settles in for the night and after getting her children tucked into bed, Mom spends a few minutes texting with friends, scrolling Facebook, and reading a few news sites.
It isn’t long before she notices an advertisement for an auto-injury attorney pop up on her news feed. She giggles at the irony of seeing this ad after her long day, an otherwise normal work day interrupted by the accident. She recalls the officer confirming she wasn’t at fault, and she screen shots the image of the attorney’s ad; maybe she’ll call him tomorrow.
Minutes later as she reads an article on her local news site, another advertisement catches her eye. A local car dealership has some great new mini-van specials going on right now with Tax Season just coming to an end. Not only is she set to receive her income taxes back in a few weeks, but as it happens, she’s also in the market for a vehicle on account of her total loss. As a single mom, she has never bought a brand new car before, but given the circumstances, she considers it as a plausible option. She’s thankful her children weren’t with her during the accident earlier that day, and she vows to make her next purchase a safer and more reliable vehicle.
Within a few weeks, the woman finds herself arriving at the office of the attorney whose ad she’s been noticing lately – and she’s proud to pull up to his agency in her brand new mini-van.
This all began with a few distinctive virtual fences drawn around a hospital’s emergency room, a rental car facility, and a children’s day care. What seemed like a series of simple unrelated events to the consumer was actually a series of very strategic events which ultimately led to successful conversions by multiple advertisers.
Although it seems far-fetched, and some may even say eerie, geo-fencing is a strategic solution that more and more advertisers are using every day to keep up with their competition. Here are a few things to remember when understanding the strategies and values Geo-fencing provides.
For every ad served, the advertiser has some type of goal in mind as to what they’d like to achieve as a result of the delivery. It’s not enough to serve ads and call it a day; business owners rightfully want to know if they’re getting their money’s worth, and what kind of results their ads are generating.
Conversion zones, as the name indicates, are defined as the location an advertiser wishes to have a consumer lead to as a result of their advertisement influence. A conversion zone is usually the advertiser’s storefront, but can also be other locations as well. Whatever the advertiser considers a successful conversion, technology provide a way to cross match users who have seen the ad with visitors to the conversion zone.
More than Just Consumer Targeting
One final thing to keep in mind is that it’s not only potential customers and people in particular places that advertisers want to target. In fact, companies who sell exclusively in the B2B (Business to Business) market often care to market strictly to other businesses. Geo-fencing acts as a successful tool for this, since fences can be created around convention centers, distribution warehouses, etc. There is virtually boundless opportunity for targeted display these days, no matter to whom or for what the advertiser is targeting.
Be Our Guest for our April BiS Series: GeoFencing
Calculating return on investment for advertising is easier and more transparent today than it has ever been before, and thanks to the world of digital technology, it’s only getting better.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of geo-fencing and think your business may benefit from targeting local consumers in real time, we encourage you to be our guest at our FREE seminar on April 20, hosted by leading expert James Moore.
To RSVP, visit bisbuilder.cityspin.com or call 912.652.0230