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How to Implement Location Geo-Fencing in Mobile Marketing

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How to Implement Location Geo-Fencing in Mobile Marketing

Ben Roodman June 5, 2014

Implementing location relevance in mobile marketing starts with understanding the various geo-fencing options available. Geo-fences are location boundaries around a geographic area. From the standard circular radius to neighborhood boundaries to custom polygons, geo-fences (geofences) define a specific targeting region or limitation.

A typical example would include targeting around specific retail store locations to the even more advanced geo-targeting of all locations where a product brand is available in-stock. For example, a campaign setup may only want to deliver mobile advertising impressions within 2 miles of all 8600+ of the Walgreens store locations. A refined example would target around the 500+ Walgreens store locations where a newly launched item was available on the shelves.

Advanced Geo-fence Implementations:
Competitive Conquesting

Competitive conquesting is commonly used to geo-target advertising around competitor stores or audience reach areas. For example, Sears may want to conquest home appliance shoppers around Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe’s retail store locations. Reaching mobile audiences around a competitor’s front door not only potentially influences the buyer’s decision at the moment of intent, but also drives up the cost of location enabled advertising media around areas that their competitors would want to buy.

Trade Area or Trade Zone Targeting

Trade area targeting is done by analyzing locations in the offline world and helping companies optimize their local ad spend. Instead of a donut radius around an area, trade zone areas factor in things such as highways, traffic conditions, and history of response rates from previous campaigns to define shopper flow patterns. Trade area geo-targeting considers a multitude of factors from statistical analysis to offline location data such as urban or suburban area types. Using this trove of information, trade zone data can be used to define hyper targeted geo-fences.

Index Targeting

Index Targeting is geo-weighting the delivery to areas that over index or rate “more likely” for specific types of demographics or buyers. For example, automotive index data is used to target and deliver ad impressions to neighborhoods where buyers are more likely to purchase SUVs or luxury vehicles. Toyota Corolla would not want to spend it’s advertising dollars geo-fence targeting in Malibu or Beverly Hills 90210. Campaigns that use index targeting are instead weighted more heavily toward areas that have a higher propensity to reach their target customer segment.

Location Triggers
Geofences can be created on an area of a map which is then used to determine if a user is within or outside of that area. Location triggered geo-fences deliver to a device when it crosses into an area or leaves an area based on actual GPS location data.

In all of the examples, mobile advertisers are dependent on location quality from the source. Firms like StrikeAd and xAd stress their location inventory quality as major selling points for reaching the most verified location-based audiences. Overall, location geo-targeting has been proven to drive higher mobile click through rates. While the almighty click is not everything, having location relevant content is at least a minimum bar for marketing to the online to offline consumer.

Ben Roodman

Benjamin Roodman
Senior Contributing Editor
Benjamin Roodman is an advocate for getting to the truth of what converts in mobile. Well versed in mobile advertising platforms with a notable aptitude and passion for analytics, he's currently putting deals together as head of partnerships at a mobile data startup. Benjamin has previously held Business Development positions at AOL Advertising and helped establish several funded location-based consumer startups.
Follow me on twitter @BRoodman

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