Why Geo-Targeted Media Is Perfect For A Nation Divided In Different Stages Of Lockdown

January 29, 2021

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Over the past year, most of the world has been plunged into some sort of lockdown dividing nations into different stages of restrictions. Adimo looks into how Geo-targeting media is a perfect strategy to reach the masses across the globe...

In America, the response to the COVID pandemic has varied wildly from state to state and city to city. The same holds true in the UK, Canada, and many other countries around the globe. Public health experts in London recently called on the authorities to enforce Tier 3 restrictions, the most severe prevention guidelines available, while in other regions life continues along more normal lines. With everyday experiences varying to such an unprecedented degree, how are marketers to respond? A national campaign for a restaurant or grocery store would be a waste of time and money for consumers in areas more deeply affected by the pandemic. Ads targeted at shoppers who are locked down wouldn’t get a strong response in regions where life continues as normal. The answer to this dilemma lies in geo-targeted marketing.

What Is Geo-Targeted Marketing?

Geo-targeted marketing is exactly what it sounds like: advertising campaigns built around the geographical locations of your audience. One way it works is with radius targeting. With Google ads, for example, you can increase and decrease your bids on keyword searches as a customer enters or exits pre-determined circles around your business. A bid of $1 could increase to $2 when a customer comes within a kilometer of your store. Marketers have already tinkered with the formula to adjust for different types of products: if you’re buying a sandwich, a store 10 km away is almost impossibly far, while the same distance would be considered nearby for an appliance retailer.

Geo-targeted marketing isn’t new, and it has historically been a huge boon for political campaigns, real estate agencies, and other services where location is hugely important. It has also helped large brands adjust their international advertising, by allowing them to streamline their content and pinpoint which currency and language to use, ensure their ads are culturally sensitive, and provide relevant imagery and messages. 

Every major social media player already offers numerous geo-targeting options. Facebook allows you to target countries, regions, and cities, Google allows you to create a radius around any location for advertising, while Snapchat allows ads targeted to specific addresses! In fact, even if you haven’t been consciously geo-targeting your campaigns, Facebook has likely already gotten the process started for you. Their algorithms will automatically funnel your ads to regions where they perform better, re-allocating your budget to improve performance.

How Geo-Targeted Marketing Is Working During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic has changed the way we advertise. The amount of commuters has shrunk dramatically while millions around the globe work from home, making billboards, ads on public transit, and advertising at events significantly less effective. Tech-savvy marketers began “geo-fencing”, targeting people who visit certain places or businesses, using a predetermined radius in the manner of Google ads. Someone hiking in a public park might receive ads for outdoor products, cereal bars, or athletic wear. Stop at a gas station and a nearby restaurant might hit your smartphone with drive-thru or takeout dinner offers. 

Geo-fencing and geo-targeting are slightly different, and the choice of which strategy to use will vary based on your aims. As one marketing expert writes: “While geotargeting typically focuses on a defined audience within a location using IP addresses and demographics, geofencing generally targets a broader population, serving ads or promotions to anyone that enters a certain “fenced-off” area.” Adopting either strategy can significantly improve the ROI on your campaigns, because both will allow you to see exactly how many consumers visited your location or placed an order online after they saw your advertising. This will let you pour resources into effective strategies and jettison the ones that aren’t working. 

Why Geo-Targeting Is So Essential In This Moment

We are currently in a moment where nothing seems universal, and nothing can be taken for granted. Some of us are shopping in supermarkets, while others are ordering all of their groceries online. Millions face economic uncertainty, while others have increased their level of savings as entertainment and dining options were limited. People are dining out and drinking in pubs in some cities, while takeout is the only option in others. 

Knowing as much as you can about your target market can keep you from squandering resources to thrust an irrelevant message on an unreceptive group. Instead of linguistic and cultural differences, your content now needs to take into account the stage of lockdown and local responses to virus prevention. And geo-targeting is the essential tool for making and adapting to these distinctions. You can use geo-targeting to vary your advertising strategies in different cities, counties, and states to ensure that you aren’t being inefficient or insensitive.  

There has never been a better time to precisely tailor the message you send to a handpicked audience. For years, consumers have been demanding higher levels of personalization from the brands who seek their dollars. As many are embroiled in a medical and economic crisis, your ability to understand their wants, their needs, and their struggles has become essential to earning their trust and loyalty. Putting geo-targeting strategies to work will enable you to show that you’re aware of what they’re going through, and that you’re there to help them turn the corner as the most challenging year on record finally comes to an end. If you need help creating an online marketing strategy that works, Adimo is always here to help!


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