When should you Geo-Target and when should you Geo-Fence and what is the difference?Dana Bojcic
There are several “geo” terms in digital advertising, and it can be complicated to determine which option is best for your campaign. With so many opportunities and choices it is important to understand the differences.
First let’s define our “Geo” terms:
Geo-Targeting (Geographic Targeting): all digital ads are geographically targeted meaning we serve ads to specific geographic areas like a city, zip codes, or large radius around a location (several miles), etc.
Geo-Fencing: serving ads to anyone possible, in a small, specific geographic area (i.e., a competitor’s location). We usually do this with our Mobile Conquesting product.
Geo-Retargeting: serving ads to people who were in a geo-fenced area and following them after they leave the geo-fence. This is done with our Mobile Conquesting product. (This is sometimes called Geo-Farming by other providers)
Geo-Retargeting Lookalike: serving ads to people who were in a geo-fenced area and following them after they leave the geo-fence AND targeting their neighborhood. This is done with our Mobile Conquesting product.
Geo-Framing: going back in time to an event and serving ads to people now who were at the previous event.
So now that we know more about the terms, how do we determine which strategy is the best fit?
Geo-Targeting allows you to layer specific consumer targeting like demographics, behaviors, and interests in addition to where the person is located. So we are using groups of IP addresses to determine location, and then adding in additional targeting options. Go with Geo-Targeting if a client needs to reach specifics targets in a broader area, for example: “soccer moms who frequent Starbucks in zip code 90210.” This can be done with any of our digital products such as Behavioral Targeting, Native Ads, Facebook and Instagram, Mobile Conquesting, etc.
Geo-Fencing is usually used when the geo is tighter, and you are okay with capturing everyone within the fence regardless of their demographics or behaviors such as what coffee they like. Use this if a client has a request such as: “I need a tight geo fence around the arts and crafts festival located on 123 main street for 3 days this summer.”
Now for the other options and layers. Once you start with the Geo-Fence on our Mobile Conquesting platform, you can add options. Like, “Continue to follow everyone who was at the arts and crafts festival until my impressions run out.” That adds the Geo-Retargeting piece. We are following people (on their mobile devices) because they were inside that virtual fence.
If the client also wants to reach the neighbors of people who were inside the Geo-Fence, go ahead and add “Geo-Retargeting lookalike.” A great example here would be car dealerships. They might Geo-Fence their dealership as well as competitive dealerships, so they have the potential to reach EVERYONE inside those fences. Now, hopefully someone drives home with a new car. We are still able to follow them AND their neighbors (who likely now have “new car envy”) with an ad for the dealership. Not every client will need to add this piece, but when it makes sense it can be very effective.
Geo Framing works completely different. In this case we go back in time to an event that was missed. Let’s go back to the Arts and Crafts festival. Perhaps you have a client that is offering an Arts Camp late summer and they didn’t Geo-Fence the event. We can go back in time, capture the mobile device ids of people who were at the event, and then we serve ads to their phones and at their households on any device through their wifi connection. If the event is at least two weeks past but not more than six months, this is a great option to recommend.
One final note, although I talk about Geo-Fencing mainly with Mobile Conquesting, it can be done with our display exchanges as well. The difference is the fence is not as tight or accurate, think one mile vs. 500 feet.
If you need more help deciding which option is best for your campaign, reach out to your Vici Trainer for customized help!