Despite how much we marketers want to be a part of every step of a prospect’s purchasing process, aka the buyer’s journey, it just isn’t possible. There are too many parts you simply cannot see. How was that person or business introduced to your brand? How many times did they see your ad or hear about you before they got interested? Why did they decide to come to your store? Did they randomly walk in off the street or did something convince them?
If you could answer these questions, you would not only have insight into customer behavior, but you might be able to tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. Unfortunately, these things often remain a mystery. But, thankfully, that does not apply to the entire buyer’s journey.
You can tell if people are showing interest or interacting with your brand online e.g. inbound phone calls, forms filled, ad clicks, etc. Through keyword targeting and bidding, you can have some influence over prospects in the research phase of the buyer’s journey. So, there are ways to peek into a prospect’s buyer’s journey. But there’s one way in particular you may not have heard of: mobile location targeting.
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It all begins with mobile devices. It’s the norm for everyone to carry their smartphones with them no matter where they go. The same goes for your prospects. The same mobile device where they view an ad is the same device they bring into your store when they visit. This presents a unique targeting opportunity we are helping our clients take advantage of.
What if you could prove that a mobile device used to view your ad is the same device that comes into your store later? This is where mobile location targeting comes in. The key technique here is geo-fencing. Let’s take a quick look at a definition to make sure we’re on the same page.
This is when you set up a virtual perimeter around a geographic area that allows software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves that area.
So, this is how mobile location targeting uses geo-fences. It works in two parts.
In the first part, a geo-fence is drawn around a targeted location. This location could be the building of a business that is likely to need what you offer. Or it could be a competitive store. We build a list of companies that fit our client’s criteria for an ideal customer. We gather the physical addresses of these companies from our databases i.e. EDA or RigDig BI. Drawing a geo-fence around each of these locations allows for mobile ads to be served to mobile devices within that geo-fence.
The second part of mobile location targeting is where geo-fences are drawn around your store locations. A notification is sent to the software used for mobile location targeting when a mobile device that was served your mobile ad enters one of your store location geo-fences.
Let’s go over a practical example to help you visualize how mobile location targeting works. Let’s say you just opened up a new book store, and you want people to come to your store instead of going to Barnes and Noble.
Through mobile location targeting, a geo-fence is drawn around the Barnes and Noble store location closest to you, and another is drawn around your book store. This way, you’ll know if people who visited Barnes and Noble and saw your ads come into your store. This will also tell you if you are drawing business away from your competition.
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What this technique does is it gives you a deeper look into the buyer’s journey than you had in the past. Now you can see that people viewing your ads are coming to your store. Your advertising is having some influence on these people, proving that this area of your marketing is not a shot in the dark. This tells you that people interacting with your ads are taking the action you want them to take.
There will always be some mystery to the buyer’s journey simply because marketers are not omniscient. But that does not mean you have no influence over a buyer’s decisions. By using mobile location targeting, you can prove that your advertising is working the way you want it to.