Targeting Behaviors with Your Advertising: Far Simpler Than it Sounds


Location-Based Advertising: Adding Repeated Behavior to the Marketing Equation

How to Personalize Your Message to People Based on Where They Most Frequently Visit

Restaurant go’er. Has young children. Someone who is into live music. Into home improvement. Keeps fit. Likes Thai food. Sports fan. What do these descriptions have in common? Answer – they are a few of the numerous ways you and your customers are being categorized like never before. It’s real, and even the smallest of advertising businesses who are figuring out how to use it to their advantage are seeing great results. What is it you ask and how do I do it? – Read on.


Name a few things you take with you wherever you go. Wallet with money and ID? Probably most of the time. Keys to your house? Likely. Cell phone? You’d feel more naked without that than probably anything else. And if you haven’t noticed, that phone is getting “smarter” by the day influencing you in ways you are rarely noticing. Happen to leave work around the same time every day? Have you noticed your phone telling you how traffic is or how long it’ll take you to get home the second you turn on your car? Right, as I was saying – smarter.

While that phone is with you EVERYWHERE, it’s keeping tabs on places you’ve physically been. You’ve probably assumed this happens via the web pages you surf (which is true), but this also happens geographically when you are on the move, especially when you visit specific places repeatedly. As an example, let’s say Bob has been to the following places over the past few of months:

  • Different sports bars 14 times in all
  • To a CrossFit facility 75 times
  • At a football stadium 5 times
  • At a sports retailer 3 times

Looking at where Bob’s phone has been, advertisers could categorize him as a sports fan. Think of the numerous types of businesses that would benefit from sending targeted messaging to him – perhaps a sporting good store, a local sports team promoting their home games, a new fitness studio that opens nearby, a pain and rehabilitation center specializing in sports-related injuries, or even a local health food store or restaurant. What if Bob’s location history revealed the following?

  • Playground 14 times
  • Grocery Store 7 times
  • Yoga 8 times
  • Auto dealer 2 times
  • Auto repair shop 3 times

In this situation, Bob could be categorized as a parent and potential new car buyer. He may be a great target for a local children’s clothing retailer, kid-friendly restaurant, car dealership, a fitness center with a kids’ babysitting center, a local pediatrician or even something as specific as a swing-set retailer. As an advertiser, you are interested in reaching all the “Bob’s” who fit your category of interest and delivering your message to them.


If you think this technology is meant for big business only, you couldn’t be further from the truth. All it takes is a local partner and some creative thinking. (You can contact Cox Media for more information here. They are local, just like you, and will help you with everything from strategy to production to launch.) When you meet with the right partner, you’ll be asked things like:

  • What are the goals of your advertising campaign?
  • Tell us about your typical customer – is there something they are interested in that may be a clear link to your services?
  • Is there a specific customer you aren’t attracting but would like to?
  • How far do your customers typically drive for your services?
  • What is it that you do that sets you apart from your competitors?

Questions like these and a few others will help advertising professionals design a campaign with a greater chance of success, but  more importantly  will enable more agility to increase efforts of the campaign in case of great results, or change on the fly if results are less than anticipated. Bottom line, if you happen to be in the category of “small business owner” and “seeking more customers” – then you owe it to yourself to consider this and other effective location and behavioral targeting-based advertising options.

About the Author

Connect with a Marketing Expert

Connect With Your Local Marketing Expert

You know your business. We know advertising. Together, we can bring your business to more people. Contact a member of our team today. We’d love to help you grow.