Watch Out Local Businesses: Your Competitors Have a New Way to Target Your Customers

02.04.2016 Dan Glicksman

What Geo-Conquesting Means for Your Brand

As a local business it can be challenging to keep up with evolving advertising practices. Sometimes, replicating what you see your competition doing in terms of advertising is enough to keep your own strategy afloat. You can spot the billboard on the side of the highway, see the television ads, physically hold print ads and coupon mailers, hear ads on the radio, and further learn how the competition promotes themselves online by visiting their website.

However – your competitors may be utilizing advertising tactics that you haven’t seen. These tactics can impact both early and (maybe more critically) the late stage decision makers and could be hurting your business this very second. Read on to learn more and find out what you can do to turn the tables.

What is Geo-Conquesting?

In addition to sounding a little scary, you may think geo-conquesting is too complex. Good news – it’s actually quite simple. This location-based targeting capability focuses on marketing your business to consumers when they are physically near your competitor’s space with a mobile device.

Let’s get right to it with an example that best describes geo-conquesting in action. Think about how this may apply to your business:

You are a restaurant in a shopping plaza. There are a couple competitors nearby – some within walking distance. A new patron walks up to get a table and asks you if you’ll match an offer that just popped up on their screen that very moment. That patron was promised a free appetizer if they come into a different nearby restaurant within the next few hours. How did this happen and what do you do?

In this case, what your competitor did was build a “geo-fence” within a couple miles radius of your place of business (essentially, they outlined an area on a digital map saying, “I want to deliver ads to people with smartphones who enter this area!”). This triggered a pop-up ad on the customer’s smartphone when that customer entered the specific geo-fenced range. Your customer was given a good reason to check out the competition.

And you thought the phrase “location-location-location” was just for real estate – welcome to the new age of local advertising!

What can I do as a local business owner?

If you haven’t done so already, stop and think about your industry for a moment. Know that auto dealers are doing this to other auto dealers as people approach the immediate area of their business. Small local coffee shops are now targeting Starbucks patrons with all sorts of offers. Consider how this may be happening to you, or better yet – how you can leverage this technology to your advantage.

Thankfully, there are things you can do here, and these solutions won’t break the bank. The obvious strategy is to fight fire with fire and geo-fence your competitors (click here to discuss more about this). Additionally, you can encourage repeat customers to use a dedicated mobile app for your company (if you have one) and incorporate a special notification through the app when consumers enter any designated geo-fenced location* – yours or your competitors’.

Also – keep in mind that geo-conquesting isn’t just about going after the competition. How about catching the attention of people who come to your shopping center for some other reason and reminding them that you are nearby? Or even something more specific like targeting tailgaters of a football game during a specific time period before and after the game? It’s truly a game-changer (see what I did there?) in terms of advertising technology. The applications and strategies to implement geo-conquesting are endless.

That’s all for now on the geo-conquesting front. Check back soon and follow me on Twitter to be informed of the next article in this series.

Happy hunting!


*Consumers must have the “find location” activated on their mobile device for this to work.   


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Dan Glicksman

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