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Geo-marketing: Targeting audiences with location-based advertising

Location-based marketing, also known as geo-marketing, is constantly evolving thanks to technological advances and the rapid uptake of smartphones over the past decade.

Location-based marketing strategies are far from new and have been in force well before the advent of the iPhone.

Retailers have long reached customers by delivering brochures and other mail advertising campaigns directly to their homes, for example.

However, the widespread adoption of smartphones combined with leaps in mobile technology have radically changed the marketing technique into a much more precise art.

What is location-based marketing?

Location-based marketing is made up of online and offline activities based on a consumer’s geographical position.

And that location doesn’t have to be near your business — it can be wherever your audience is or where they might need your product or service.

You might want to promote an event to people living in the same suburb, or even just travelling through, by geo-targeting Google Ads within a certain radius of the event.

For online location-based marketing, there are a variety of approaches that businesses and marketers might find useful, including geo-targeting through geo-fencing or beacons and geo-conquesting.


Geo-targeting, or proximity targeting, allows businesses to target people in the radius of a selected geographical point with advertising or promotions.

A marketer might opt for geo-fencing, which uses GPS and or RFID technology, to create a virtual fence around a particular point and show ads or promotions to anyone who enters that area.

Otherwise they might use beacons, which are small, Bluetooth-enabled devices, to reach customers with discounts and offers in and around a specific store.

Combining the two methods can yield the strong results, as geo-fencing spans far greater distances, while beacons can track in-store movements.

Businesses can also zero in on a target audience within their set area by applying demographic filters. For example, a womenswear store might choose to only target women with a sales promotion within a geo-fenced area.

Another tactic is to pair geo-targeted ads with a tradeshow or conference that your business might be exhibiting or presenting at, with the intention of reaching people attending the event.

This can be done by running a general brand ad to boost brand awareness among event attendees or by amplifying an article on your website that relates to the topics discussed at the event. This is a strategy that Assemblo has used for its clients, as a way to geo-target an audience, and has achieved great success in doing so.


Geo-conquesting is a form of geo-targeting, however it focuses on attracting customers away from your competitors.

Geo-conquesting involves sending ads to customers that are physically near the locations of rivals to convince them that your products or services are better than your competitors.

One case study is Whole Foods Market’s mobile advertising campaign, where the organic product retailer sent ads about their local stores to consumers’ mobile devices when they shopped at competing outlets.

The campaign realised a 4.69 per cent post-click conversion rate, which was three times higher than the industry average.

Intricacies of geo-marketing

Of course, location-based marketing has its limitations.

If you are looking to use online geo-marketing to reach people when they are out and about, then you need to remember that certain audiences may not have a smartphone or device.

People may also turn off location settings over privacy concerns, so it’s important to know your audience and tailor your message to avoid overstepping the line.

There are other intricacies involved in rolling out location-based activities too, so it’s important to work with experts who understand your broader marketing strategy.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne with expertise and experience in location-based marketing solutions.

To find out more, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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