Picture the scene; you’re building an integrated marketing campaign that’s built on clearly identified audiences, key demographics and behaviours that may be unique to your consumer base.
When planning and executing this type of campaign, it’s inevitable that smartphones will play a pivotal role in determining how and where you target specific consumer demographics.
There’s good reasoning behind this too; with almost 50% of current mobile users spending in excess of five hours a day on their handheld devices.
This has helped to introduce concepts such as geotargeting into the marketing realm, as advertisers look to leverage this to make the most of their locations.
But what exactly is geotargeting, and how can it enhance your out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaigns?
What Is Geotargeting?
In fundamental terms, geotargeting refers to a method of determining the real-time geolocation of customers (both on and offline), with a view to delivering tailored content based on this information.
More succinctly, geotargeting utilises live data to ensure that you’re able to hit the right target area with suitable content at the optimal time, potentially increasing engagement and conversion rates in the process.
Perhaps the single most obvious embodiment of this technology can be found online. When you enter a search term such as ‘supermarket’ into Google, for example, the search engine will deliver relevant and organic results based on your physical location.
This helps to deliver more realistic and actionable search results, while tailoring the experience for the benefit of users.
From an outdoor advertising perspective, this type of universal marketing method has been widely leveraged by small and local businesses, the majority of which draw their customers from a fixed and regional audience.
This means that they’re effectively looking to engage target consumers within a predetermined geographical area, with the use of geotargeting enabling brands to achieve this objective by using live and actionable data.
A key example of this exists in the form of promoting a local, limited-time promotion amongst target customers, primarily through the channel of SMS (which can be leveraged in real-time).
Interestingly, this betrays the unique relationship that exists between geotargeting and OOH advertising, with this making it easier than ever for brands to make the most of their target locations while simultaneously capitalising on the trend for increased mobile and mcommerce activity.
Even on a practical level, studies have revealed that customers who see and engage with an OOH campaign are approximately 17% more likely to interact with a brand through their mobile device.
With these points in mind, geotargeting can clearly target mobile users by location to increase the efficacy and yield of outdoor marketing campaigns.
Why Should You Combine OOH With Geotargeting?
As a result of such findings, it makes sense that you should combine OOH and geotargeting to create more effective (and omni-channel) marketing campaigns.
However, if you require a little more persuasion, here are some more precise reasons for combining these two entities when building campaigns:
Increase Your Campaign’s Click-through Rate (CTR)
Whether you’re conducting a national or local OOH campaign, you may be inclined to target audiences in a number of different locations through billboards and posters.
At the same time, you may want to ensure that you reach commuters at specific times of the day or week, and in both instances you can leverage geotargeting to boost engagement and conversions.
Integrating mobile technology and geotargeting techniques with your various OOH campaigns will certainly create a sense of digital flexibility, allowing you to cover more locations within the vicinity of larger billboards and advertisements.
This creates multiple touchpoints for engagements, leading to reinforced messaging that helps to drive brand awareness and facilitate a cross-media strategy.
One particular campaign highlighted the immensely positive impact of this type of strategy, with the case study revealing an impressive 50% hike in click-through rates (CTRs) when touchpoints were served in close proximity to OOH media.
This was in relation to touchpoints that were shown independently in non-OOH locations, with the former approach enabling brands to increase their presence and target customers during periods of busy or peak footfall.
Of course, we don’t have to tell you that this also translates into an increased ROI on your marketing spend when executed successfully, which represents another huge benefit of leveraging geotargeting and the real-time data that it delivers.
Define Your Audiences More Effectively
While OOH advertisers often research locations thoroughly before investing in billboard space, it remains a significant challenge trying to get detailed data on audiences in public places (especially as numbers vary throughout the week and during alternative times of the year).
This challenge is often compounded when you’re targeting commuters at specific times of the day, as being unable to identify accurate information on audience behaviour and movements may lead to largely ineffective campaigns.
This issue also underlines the relative ineffectiveness of using location or demographics data alone, as while they may offer an insight into optimal billboard sites and specific demographics, they fail to produce the type of live and coordinated data that allows you to target more forensically.
This is where utilising geotargeting through mobile devices comes into play, as this immediately enables you to determine where consumers at specific times of the day in relation to specific adverts.
So, you can begin to determine the efficacy of specific ads when targeting certain demographics at a desired time, while also calculating how many ad impressions translated into conversions or further interactions.
Ultimately, this enables you to determine whether or not a particular creative or message is delivered, while it may even alter your perception of an audience, their behaviour and the potential impact on your brand.
From these observations, we can also see how geotargeting allows for the more accurate measurement of OOH campaigns and their efficacy.
This is embodied by the non-profit organisation Geopath, which currently provides the standard currency for measurement within the OOH sector. This group has recently migrated from its legacy measurement system to a new, state-of-the-art methodology, which has forged a collaborative approach that delivers more detailed insights.
This type of geotargeting metric is capable of garneting data from millions of mobile devices along with connected cars, while also tapping into broader GPS systems.
Ultimately, this provides wider and more detailed measurement of the aggregate
movement within an entire consumer base or target audience, even as they move away from your advert and continue on their way.
The relevance of this is incredibly significant; as it makes it possible to monitor the precise reaction that customers have to your OOH ads and whether or not they translate into direct action or sales.
Improving Your OOH Ads and Campaigns in the Future
As we’ve already touched on, geotargeting provides access to real-time data that enables you to tailor content (such as limited-time promotions) and measure the efficacy of your campaigns more accurately.
The latter point is particularly interesting, as the information gathered through platforms such as Geopath can also lay the foundation for more effective campaigns and decision making going forward.
For example, let’s say that one particular OOH ad is shown to have performed poorly in a specific location, particularly in terms of targeting footfall and turning impressions into direct action or further engagement.
In this instance, you can use the data generated by geotargeting techniques and platforms to identify the worst-performing outdoor sites, so that you can remove these from your portfolio and seek out alternative locations in the future.
Conversely, you can also determine the best performing sites from the perspective of generating impressions and conversions, prioritising these going forward and increasing your investment in the same or similar locations.
On a wider note, you can also develop a greater understanding of your customer’s behaviour and locations that they’re most likely to frequent, while measuring how they navigate the areas in and around your advert in real-time.
Each of these benefits lead to improved and more efficient marketing campaigns over time, which will simultaneously trigger an increased ROI when leveraging OOH media and looking to drive engagement through mobile channels.
This is a crucial consideration; as while the goal of any marketing campaign is ultimately to drive sales, the cost of engaging consumers impacts directly on your firm’s profitability over time.
The Last Word
As we can see, geotargeting is an increasingly popular concept in the world of advertising, across both on and offline marketing channels.
This advanced form of technology is particularly effective when used in conjunction with OOH advertising, as this offers brands access to a number of advantages from increasing brand recognition to increasing conversions and how campaign results are measured.
Ultimately, the key is to understand these benefits of geotargeting and how this technique applies to your individual business, before investing in the right solution to inform your OOH and integrated marketing campaigns going forward.