Everything You Need to Know About Geofencing and Competitive Conquesting

Not to be confused with the popular worldwide treasure hunt known as geocaching, geofencing is the next big step in display advertising. With the ability to define an audience based on a consumer’s behavior in a specified location, display marketers are really interested in sinking their teeth into geofencing and competitive conquesting. If you’re new to these concepts, don’t fret, we wrote this post just for you!

Who or What is ATD?

The Acquisio Trading Desk (ATD) is a section of Acquisio run by a team of display advertising experts who consistently produce incredible results for our clients. The uniquely catered strategies target relevant audiences, generating as many conversions as possible and maximizing ROI. But how, you may ask, does ATD deliver these highly targeted display and video messaging to the right users?

It’s All About Location, Location, Location

Location data is a mysterious beast. Every advertiser and marketer has heard of it, but the intricacy of how it works may not be so obvious. With location data, we can show the right people the right ads wherever they are in real time. This technique, called geofencing, can produce incredible results for mobile advertisers.

But what exactly is geofencing? Think of it like an invisible fence going up around a location of your choice, welcoming certain people into your world and excluding those who are not the right fit. The fencing makes it easier to collect the data coming from inside the geo-fence.

You can set up these geo-fences to work through mobile, tablet and even desktop devices anywhere in the world. They can be created according to place name, category, chain, postal code, city, state, and DMA. Consumers can be targeted when they are around a single location, by the business category, or even by all the brand locations out there.

This type of data is invaluable to advertisers and marketers eager to get a better look at what their potential clients are doing as they wander around the real world.

The White Picket Geo-Fence

Through partnering technology, ATD is able to deliver accurate location data surrounding 65 million businesses mapped in over 50 countries. By targeting longitude and latitude coordinates to the fifth decimal place, and filtering out any data that doesn’t stack up, advertisers get only the most accurate results.

In ATD, geofencing is broken up into two main categories: real time proximity and audience (past location).

Real Time Proximity

Simply put, proximity gives you an accurate understanding of where the users are located right now, in real time. This means advertisers get to enjoy much more sophisticated targeting (including setting target locations at the Ad Group level), simpler campaign planning, and the chance to implement geofencing at RTB (real-time bidding) scale.

Audience/Past Location

Audience gathers mobile location data from a user’s app information to understand what businesses they have visited in the past. With this information, advertisers can target users where they’ve been before, including custom locations people visited anywhere from 1 to 12 months ago.

These audience segmentation possibilities are really exciting, and give advertisers unique opportunities to get their ads out there to different types of potential customers. Some of these segments are:

  • The Individual: This is based off of a specific Device ID that singles out one user/device
  • The Regulars: This is based on historical visits and might mean someone who regularly visits a brand’s locations
  • Geofencers: These are users who have entered geo-fences in the past year, like fences surrounding a department store, hotel, or airport for example

Competitive Conquesting and other Alliterations

Now that you know how geofencing works, you might be thinking, is it possible to put up a fence around my competition’s locations and poach their clients? It certainly is, and it can produce extraordinary results for acute advertisers.

The ingenious technique of competitive conquesting uses real time proximity and audience past location to find out where your ideal clients are congregating. If you find out they’ve been spending an awful lot of time with your competitor, competitive conquesting may very well be the solution you’ve been waiting for.

The custom audience segments can be set up based on targeting parameters like your competitor’s locations, how often the users are visiting and when, the nearby area, and more. You can then set up your invisible fencing using these parameters and start luring those users back to your business step by step.

As users start entering the geofence using their location-enabled apps and mobile devices, precise latitude and longitude coordinates are generated, allowing ATD to connect with them in real time with highly targeted ads. To keep you on their mind, ads can also reach users after they’ve left the fenced area using past location and leveraging user’s cookies.

The State of Location Data Right Now

Location data is an incredibly powerful tool that advertisers and marketers have in their back pocket. However, it is still a fairly young opportunity that relies on massive amounts of data to be fruitful. Right now, only about 30% of user coordinates in mobile ad tech can be used for effective targeting. There is huge growth in this sector, and it will only get more ubiquitous as time goes on.

Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with location data in the meantime:

  • Some of the data coming in is incomplete or from unknown RTB sources
  • Apps don’t always register location data, and when they do it can be sporadic, so we’re not always getting the full picture of the user’s actions
  • Erroneous coordinates can cause problems – like a human developer confusing latitude and longitude, or decimal points getting cut short on coordinates (to the fifth point is very accurate, to the fourth is less accurate but close, to the third can be up to 100 meters off, to the second can be up to 1000 meters off, and only one decimal point can be in a whole other city altogether (10 000 meters off)!
  • Since it’s fairly new, there is a general lack of standards across the spectrum, which can result in instances of poor quality data
  • Technological limitations that can produce no data or invalid data
  • Geofencing and past location only work with DeviceIDs and is limited to in-app inventory (however, since past location is targeting an audience, cross-device targeting can be activated and reach cookies as well)

While the location data industry overcomes its growing pains, important players are stepping up to help clean out the accumulation of invalid data. While this is going on, ATD is leveraging cutting edge technology with the most reputable data providers, meaning we can offer location targeting with extreme precision and utmost accuracy. These efforts are allowing advertisers to take advantage of only the best data to target ads more effectively.

Past Location Geofencing Case Study for a US Hospital

Goal of the Campaign: To increase brand awareness of their Hospital Clinics and encourage users go visit this Hospital instead of seeking treatment elsewhere.

Strategies: Retargeting and Prospecting

Goal: $1.74 CPM and 5M Impressions

Solution: Prospecting strategies, site retargeting, and very effective geofencing and past location strategies

Results: Great results all around, including a CTR of 0.18% which was higher than the 0.10% goal

Geofencing Reasoning: All clinics within a 50-mile radius were targeted with display in-app ads while the patients wait

Past Location Reasoning: Everyone who visited the clinics/hospital within a 50-mile radius in the last 6 months were targeted in-app, no matter the location

Results: The most effective strategy in terms of CTR and Clicks – CTR: 0.20%

  • Overall Spend: $9,668.96
  • Overall CPM: $1.49
  • Overall CPC: $0.84
  • Overall CTR: 0.18%
  • Total Impressions: 6,480,280

More Ways to Display

Even though data discrepancies are still being ironed out, geofencing and competitive conquesting are effective techniques in display advertising. From increasing clicks to converting customers, businesses are already reaping the benefits. The ability to cast a net around a location and create an audience from it is an essential bridge between the online and in-store experience and another major step forward in the evolution of effective display marketing.


Image Credits

Feature Image: Unsplash/Gili Benita

Sandra Jimenez

Sandra Jimenez

With nearly a decade of experience in marketing, Sandra has spent the last seven years focused on digital marketing, including email marketing, data management, SEM, affiliate marketing and more. Having worked at Cyrpa Media and Binbit International, Sandra is now the Operations Manager with the Acquisio Trading Desk. As part of Acquisio's display team, Sandra has managed media buys that resulted in a performance record of 1000% return on ad spend for several campaigns.

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