Contact Center Should Be the Marketing Engine

Hyperlocal Device Targeting Should Be Part of Your Advertising Strategy

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With local shopping conditions in such a high state of flux, reaching consumers with the right message at the right place and time is more important than ever. That’s why brick-and-mortar businesses looking to boost visits to physical locations should embrace a mobile-first, location-based approach to digital advertising. 

True hyperlocal advertising revolves around mobile location data. The intersection among time, place, device, and creative is the sweet spot that we’re aiming for here. By harnessing mobile location data, digital marketers can employ smarter audience targeting, deliver more timely and relevant ad messaging, generate more foot traffic, and measure the offline results of online marketing efforts. 

If you’re looking to add location-based advertising to your digital marketing mix, here are some effective tactics that can help you boost in-store visits.

Geofencing Around Physical Locations 

Everyone is glued to their smartphone, so if you want to find your customers where they are, it makes sense to target the device they look at the most. It also makes sense to deliver ad messaging at a time and place where you can influence purchase decisions. 

Geofencing involves setting up a virtual radius around a physical location and delivering ads to devices that show up inside that radius. Think of it as event marketing for a store. The event you are promoting is the purchase you hope a customer will make. The location of the event is the store itself. The audience you’re targeting is the group most likely to attend the event (based on their real-time physical location).

By delivering customized calls to action via mobile apps to device IDs that are inside your established radius, you can give potential store visitors an extra nudge to show up and participate in your in-store purchase moment.  

Digital advertising always involves the optimization of spend, and advertisers are constantly trying to identify tactics that work and eliminate the ones that don’t. By concentrating ad delivery to the mobile devices that are in and around individual store locations, you can influence the audience that’s in the best position to show up and make moves based on your unique, store-specific messaging.

Highlighting Location Call-Outs with Dynamic Creative 

With programmatic advertising, you only bid on impressions that meet your specific targeting criteria. If those targeting criteria incorporate mobile location data, you can tailor your creative messaging to the unique conditions of a specific store location.

Store-specific elements like special sales and promotions, distance and proximity call-outs, getting directions, and other unique calls to action (like click-to-call) can be dynamically inserted into an ad unit to maximize its effectiveness. The dynamic nature of these location-based ads can lead to higher engagement and clickthrough rates because incorporating real-time location considerations (like weather) makes these location ads more engaging. 

This tactic is particularly useful in today’s pandemic-impacted consumer landscape. Calling out special hours and unique location features like outside dining or curbside pickup can help you answer questions consumers may not even think to ask (before they’ve even entered into a consideration phase). Delivery of dynamic creative within a defined geofence can also help you get the word out on store openings and re-openings — no small undertaking as consumers try to navigate their daily lives amid ongoing changes to local shopping conditions.  

Targeting and Retargeting Precise Location Audiences 

Marketers create all types of segments when building target audiences. There’s lookalike audiences based on segments that already respond well to your brand. There’s audience targeting based on demographics, interests gleaned from online and offline behavior, and affinities for other brands. But with location audiences, there’s an element of precision involved that’s difficult to replicate.

Knowing if a mobile user has visited a specific location within a specific timeframe is singularly useful information. Location audiences aren’t probabilistic. They’re a reflection of real-world activity. When you leverage mobile data to identify devices that have visited a location, you’re not hoping for a desired outcome; you’re getting a view into what actually happened or is happening in real time. 

This can be extremely helpful for retargeting efforts. You can speak to audiences in different ways and add extra layers of segmentation to your targeting. If you know that a specific mobile device has visited your website and that same mobile device is now inside your geographically defined radius, you can deliver creative that directly addresses that online-to-offline journey. 

If you want to retarget to device IDs that have visited your store before, you can hit them with win-back messaging or promote an offer that encourages repeat visits. You can address loyalty audiences in ways that highlight rewards that are easily accessible and in the area. With device IDs in hand, you can also take retargeting efforts to other platforms and continue to address your audience in unique ways on social media.  

Geo-Conquesting Competitor Locations

Taking a location-based approach to conquesting can help you reach audiences who are already interested in your products and services. This tactic involves setting up geofencing around competitor locations and targeting device IDs that previously visited those locations. 

Showcasing alternatives in the form of promos, product offerings, or unique value-adds can help influence consumers who are already in-market. Burger King’s Whopper Detour campaign targeting McDonald’s customers is a great example of this. 

Measuring In-Store Visits 

The most attractive aspect of hyperlocal advertising campaigns is the ability to measure offline foot traffic. When it comes to e-commerce, tracking the impact of digital advertising strategies is an easier proposition. If you make an investment in specific channels, tactics, or messaging, you can review results quickly, identify what works, and scrap what doesn’t.

Online-to-offline measurement is a bit more murky. You can isolate directional trends and draw conclusions from imperfect data, but using mobile location data to measure foot traffic makes it much easier to gauge the effectiveness of your local advertising campaigns. The insights you gain from being able to measure in-store visits will allow you to tweak digital messaging, creative, CTAs, and so forth in a way that can be employed across multiple channels. You can isolate what drives actual user behavior all the way through the front door and inside a physical store location. That’s powerful stuff.  

Regular Commerce Still Matters 

E-commerce continues to grow and disrupt consumer behavior, but despite this steady march forward, people still need access to goods and services in the real world. Using mobile location data will help you target consumers based on where they are (or where they have been). 

Foot traffic campaigns based on the targeting and measurement of mobile device IDs are more effective than campaigns that don’t take mobile location data into account. It makes for smarter audience targeting with insights based on real-world behavior. It helps businesses win new customers and engage existing customers with more relevant messaging. 

Above all else, it can be measured, so you can test what works and what doesn’t and adjust your strategies accordingly. 

Chris Stout is senior director of client strategy at Brandify. Brandify is Street Fight’s parent company.