The best place to find new customers is to target individuals already shopping with your competition. Geo-fencing your competitor’s actual retail location allows you to send mobile ads to qualified people in the market for products and services like yours.
Geo-fencing lets brands bring true, real-time location-targeting to omnichannel marketing. With it, you can target mobile device users in specific locations with ads that speak directly to where they are and what they’re doing. And it’s an especially powerful tactic when you put that fence around competing retail locations.
Today, we’re looking closely at a particular tactic, geo-conquesting, and how it can let you reach people in your competitors’ spaces.
When Geo-Fencing Becomes Geo-Conquesting
Geo-fencing uses the location data of mobile phones to target people based on where they are or the places they’ve been to recently. When you overlay this with demographic data, it lets you access a lot of powerful marketing techniques. For example, simply adding geo-location to quick-service restaurant ads can double their effectiveness.
But geo-conquesting goes beyond location and demographics to add an element of behavioral targeting to your campaign. You can get very local with geo-fencing, down to about a store or room footprint, which allows you to target the area around specific retail locations. And you can absolutely use that to target places where you know people are interacting with your competitors.
We’ve found this to be a very successful tactic for businesses like quick-service restaurants (coffee shops, pizza parlors, etc.), supermarkets, clothing stores and fitness studios. Any location-based business where you’re competing for local consumers is a great opportunity for this kind of mobile behavioral targeting.
That’s why we call it “geo-conquesting:” It’s a chance to win highly contested consumer segments away from your competition.
This is where demographics comes back into the equation, because you wouldn’t want to waste budget targeting these ads at people who still aren’t a good fit for your business. For example, you probably don’t want to send them to the employees there.
By layering demographic data and modeling on top of geo-fencing, we can screen out location employees, people who are out of your target audience, and others who you don’t want to hit with paid ads.
Altogether, this is a powerful new way to, essentially, poach customers from the competition. Here are a couple of ways brands are using it in the field.
Dunkin’ Donuts Makes Breakfast a Battleground
We mentioned that geo-conquesting is a great tool for coffee shops, and Dunkin’ Donuts put that to the test. Rather than target existing customers, the international coffee chain wanted to aim for consumers who were either loyal to other coffee shops or vacillated between different breakfast shops.
The key to the Dunkin’ strategy was to get on those consumers’ smartphones. They knew once they had an app download or mobile phone numbers, then it would be much easier to convince those consumers to come to Dunkin’ over the competition, moving forward.
The campaign was designed to target breakfast consumers who had visited a competing location in the past 30 days. That audience saw banner ads in mobile apps and websites visited on their phones that offered $1 and $2 cups of coffee. Once clicked, they got a code to redeem for the coffee and directions to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts.
About a third of the customers who clicked through took further actions, and 3.6 percent redeemed the coupons.
Whole Foods Gives Shoppers Reason to Go Out of Their Way
Whole Foods Market is a relatively new national supermarket with stores all over the U.S. (and internationally, as well). But in many places in the U.S., it does not have the same level of store coverage as other supermarket chains. Therefore, the limiting factor keeping people from shopping at Whole Foods is often traveling the extra distance to get to their stores. So, their goal was to approach customers of other supermarkets and entice them to go the extra mile to a Whole Foods store.
Whole Foods already had a geo-fencing campaign around its own stores, but then it also put geo-fences around competing supermarkets in the same regions as those stores. They then targeted customers in those locations with mobile ads that incentivized them with steep discounts to go the extra distance to get to the Whole Foods store. And they did! The campaign saw a 4.69 percent post-click conversion rate compared to the national average of 1.43 percent.
Mobile Marketing That Wins Market Share
These are just a few of the ways brands are using geo-conquesting to target competitors’ customers at the local, personal level, but it’s also a glimpse into the future of advertising.
As long as we continue to make personal connected devices a part of our lives, the opportunities for targeted, personalized, omnichannel marketing will continue to multiply. And the brands that use these new tools the best will win over their competitors for customers, market share and ROI.