How to Use Geographic Data for Competitive Conquesting


Most marketers that have been in the digital game are familiar with the concept of Geo-Targeting and some of the more traditional ways to use this tactic to reach their prospective customers. But, what about some unconventional ways of applying this targeting to help achieve business goals?  A standard application would be to use geo-targeting around physical store locations so that companies can reach consumers who are within the area and therefore more likely to come in and complete an in-store purchase.  Geo-targeting is also used to make sure media spend isn’t wasted on customers who live outside of a company’s service area.  If you are a retailer in Boulder, Colorado, it doesn’t make much sense to be targeting people who live in Alaska as they are very unlikely to hop on a plane and come shop at your store just because they saw one of your ads.  

There’s another interesting way to utilize geographic data in the form of geo-conquesting.  Let’s say you own a restaurant – you could set up a conquesting geo fence around your competitors’ locations and then actively target people who have visited those eateries with a competitive offer.  Not only is this a great opportunity to increase your market share, but this tactic also allows you to reach a highly relevant audience.  If you are actively targeting consumers who frequently visit similar restaurants, then you already know this is an audience that enjoys eating out at establishments with similar cuisine to what you offer, so you have a very reasonable chance of enticing them over to your business.  

While geo-conquesting can be a very valuable tool in the digital marketer’s arsenal, there are some situations where it just doesn’t make sense.  For example, let’s say you have a competitor who sells their merchandise at a big box store.  Upon first consideration, you may think it’s a savvy move to set up a geofence around those big box locations and serve up some competitive messaging.  The problem with this approach is that there’s no way to know why consumers were visiting that store – were they there to buy your competitor’s product or something from an entirely different category? 

There is a multitude of digital vendors who specialize in geo-targeting solutions, and many DSPs also offer some native in-platform options.  

A few factors when considering what data provider is best for your purposes:

  • Not all data is created equal, so do your research before signing any contracts.  There are some providers that are still using some old-school techniques such as relying on user registration data to do geo-targeting.  This is a deeply flawed model because users aren’t great about updating their information if they move, so this can be highly unreliable.
  • Most vendors are now using mobile location data in order to compile their geo-targeting solutions, which is a much more reliable source, but you’ll want to dig a little deeper to understand if/how they’re connecting mobile data to other user devices so you can reach your target customers on other devices outside of just mobile. 

As digital marketers, we’re always looking for innovative ways to reach target audiences and geo-conquesting is just one of many ways to help make your marketing dollars work smarter and harder so you can enjoy better performance. The team at Parallel Path would love to help guide you through the geo-conquesting landscape, or help with any other solutions to help your business grow!