Are You Making the Most of Geotargeting?

Tips for Advertisers

The Best Ways to Utilize Geotargeting and Geofencing

5 Minute Read |

Jane Handel

Jane Handel
Product Marketing Manager

Today we’re highlighting an underutilized feature on the Smaato platform: privacy-compliant geotargeting.

We’re going back to basics this week with a quick refresher on geotargeting.

First of all, what is geotargeting, anyway?

What is Geotargeting?

Geotargeting is a way to reach audiences based on their geographical location rather than a personal identifier. By selecting where they want their ads to show up, advertisers can deliver locally-relevant information to users in a specific area.

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a subcategory of geotargeting, and is hyper-specific, radius-driven targeting. With geofencing, you can define a specific radius around a latitudinal/longitudinal point. Rather than targeting by zip code or city or state, advertisers and DSPs can reach people around a specific point of interest. Marketers and DSPs find this particularly useful for targeting areas around sporting arenas, music venues, restaurants, college campuses, and retail centers.

Geo Targeting, Regional Targeting, What’s the difference?

Geotargeting is also known as geo targeting, geographic targeting, regional targeting, or sometimes geotargeted advertising. Geofencing is also sometimes referred to as proximity targeting. These are all just different terms for the same idea!

Why does Geotargeting Matter?

When addressability by ID is limited by changing consent requirements, the phaseout of IDs and 3rd party cookies, limited ad tracking, and in the absence of opt-in/consent-sharing from users, geotargeting and geofencing can be successful ways to target campaigns without tricky taxonomies or keywords.

Simply put, you can literally reach people where they are, without having to know who they are.

“Cookieless is the term everyone uses, but really everything is starting to fade into more of an ‘ID-less’ approach,” says Sebastian Höft, Product Manager at Smaato. “Yes, there are third-party cookie limitations, but we also face the same challenges in other environments, such as in-app, where mobile advertising IDs, and IP addresses. Other personal identifiers are increasingly opt-in-only or limited, as well. As a result, geotargeting offers a privacy-compliant way to reach relevant users/viewers/people without relying on IDs, and without compromising user privacy.”

How does Geotargeting Benefit Marketers and DSPs?

Geotargeting allows marketers to concentrate their campaigns in geographical areas of relevance.

You can geotarget on a macro or a micro level. For example, on a macro level, Marketers can use geotargeting to include (or, to exclude) specific continents, regions, or countries.

Or, marketers can develop campaigns around local events, like sporting events or concerts, to offer fun, relevant advertising content to attendees. (For example, coupons for nearby eateries or codes to access a certain sale.) By selecting relevant zip codes, DMAs, or a geofence for these events, marketers gain the ability to hyper-target with topical relevance.

Geotargeting and Geofencing

Because DSPs and marketers are reaching audiences based on where they are, not who they are, geotargeting offers a straightforward and privacy-compliant targeting option, while delivering hyper-relevant (and timely) ad creative.

By targeting users based on their physical location, brands can deliver relevant promotions and appropriate content. This results in better engagement and a better UX.

With so many geotargeting options, how do you know what to use and choose, and when?

Both geofencing and geotargeting are useful, but one is better for selecting a specific area, while the other should be employed to reach audiences within pre-defined borders, such as zip code, state, or even region.

“The upcoming political season in the US offers a huge opportunity to take advantage of geotargeting,” says Alysa Rowlands, Senior Product Manager at Smaato, “While geofencing is great for specific events, using geotargeting by zip code is a great way for advertisers to reach potential voters in relevant districts, which makes messaging more likely to resonate.”

On the other hand, geofencing is better used when you want to reach audiences in an immediate vicinity. The radius you select may ultimiate touch parts of multiple zip codes, without targeting everyone who lives in that zip code. For the upcoming holiday shopping season, geofencing would be a great choice for retail advertisers, and for businesses hoping to drive more foot traffic to their stores.

Getting Started with Geotargeting at Smaato

At Smaato, we’ve made it easier than ever to take advantage of geotargeting capabilities.

When creating a new Line Item or PMP deal, you can simply navigate to the Targeting and look for Geotargeting and Geo Fencing in the Targeting menu.

Starting with a Country, and drilling down to States and Cities within that Country, you can Allow or Block based on your targeting needs.

Paris, France, or Paris, Texas? Setting Exact Parameters for Geotargeting

Under Geotargeting, you’ll see submenus for Country > State > City targeting, Zipcode and DMA. We have our Country > State > City targeting in a hierarchy so that you navigate from a country down to that country’s states, then cities within that state. This helps ensure that Paris, TX isn’t selected instead of Paris, France.

You can then include different targeting levels within the same Line Item or Deal to suit your needs.

For DMA Targeting or Zip Code targeting, you can choose to enter individual DMAs or Zips, or use a bulk sheet to upload a list of DMAs or Zip codes.

As a best practice, you can optionally include the Country when using DMAs or Zipcodes, but don’t include States or Cities.

For Geofence targeting, select Geo Fencing from the Targeting menu. There are multiple ways to create a fence.

You can manually drop a flag or upload a bulk sheet with either Lat-Longs or with a Street Address + Zipcode. Then, simply indicate the radius for your geofence. You can then Allow or Block based on your targeting needs.

Geotargeting and Geofencing

On a single Line Item or Deal, you can include State and Cities, OR DMAs OR Zipcodes OR a Geo Fence.

So, are you ready to take advantage of geotargeting capabilities?

In the US, political season is already upon us, and worldwide, the holiday season approaches. As Alysa points out, “With the holiday season, political campaigns, and regional focus campaigns, Geotargeting is a great way to ensure efficiency in your line items by focusing impressions in the right locations.”

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