Geotargeting Best Practices: CTA and Technology

Geotargeting Tips to Reduce Ad Spend and Increase ROI

When planning a new marketing campaign, geotargeting is an essential part of any data driven approach. With the ability to find potential customers who live or work near store locations, marketers can focus on winning over the customers with their messaging and incentives. In our last post, Using Geotargeting for More Effective Marketing Campaigns, we discussed several key geographical factors to consider when launching a geotargeted marketing campaign. In this post, we will highlight two more important factors: selecting the right technology and creating an effective call to action.

Using the Right Technology

There are several companies that offer various location-based marketing programs. Some programs use ZIP codes or mail routes, while others offer mapping and geofencing software to help them define a custom trade area based off recent visits or customer purchasing data. While it may seem like all geography-based marketing technologies are created equal, often there is more than meets the eye.

The tools you use in one channel may not be the right fit for another. One message or incentive may be better suited for a direct marketing campaign, while another may be best for digital, email or SMS.

Marketers may find it useful to ask themselves if the technology provides enough granularity to properly map out their region:

  • Does the technology enable marketers to target using ZIP codes, or a simple radius?
  • Can it target down to the block or household level?
  • Is it helpful to append demographic data in addition to a location?
  • Does the technology enable you to reduce waste by identifying geographical features or competitors on the map to reduce ad spend on customers who aren’t as likely to shop or dine with you?

It helps to think about these things in terms of ad spend that can be considered “effective” geotargeting versus what can be considered “waste”.

Choosing a Call to Action

Whether it’s looking to drive online orders or increase traffic in-store, it is important to consider a strong call to action when choosing which trade areas you’re marketing to. If you find yourself struggling to understand what works within the trade area you might consider A/B testing, or save valuable marketing dollars by producing a campaign with a ‘flexible creative’ and tailor each ad to meet the needs of different trade areas with different offerings.

You should then consider looking at your purchase data for additional insights:

  • What has worked for you in the past
  • Does your business see a bigger response for curbside pickup versus delivery
  • Should your call to action vary depending on age or demographic segments
  • Is your messaging relevant to your clientele

What may work in one industry for a call to action may not be a fit in another, so it’s important to test, research best practices, and keep an eye on the competition. For grocers, a strong initial discount or even a monthly deal may be enough to lure that customer into developing loyal shopping habits. In other verticals, such as restaurants or e-commerce, free delivery may be enticing enough to secure a new customer or convert a typical dine-in only customer into a digital one.


A blog page for ABC News displays multiple banner ads from the restaurant BJ's, promoting "free pick up or delivery" to demonstrate how geotargeting can attract digital consumers.
Offers for free delivery, like the one seen here by BJ’s Restaurants, can be an enticing offer. This marketing campaign used geofencing to find customers who are frequent delivery or to-go customers within the delivery radius of their stores.

Lastly, if you are marketing to multiple locations you may find trends that show various regions having different buying tendencies, like marketing to suburban households vs metro locations where one may cook more meals at home vs dining out – this is important to consider before sending out a universal marketing piece to different regions or trade areas.

Have more questions about geotargeting? Request a meeting with one of our experts here.