CMO Minute: Geo-Targeting is A Trend to Watch in 2021

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By: Jake McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer

After talking with and surveying many CMOs, we’re seeing a huge increase in digital ad spend going into 2021. This change in ad spend priority reflects the changes in consumer behavior that we’ve seen in 2020. 

Following these changes in consumer behavior, it’s important to consider new ways to target customers along the customer journey. We need to recognize that they’re now more likely to handle their major financial and health decisions digitally, and they’re going out to restaurants less often. And when they do go out, they’re stocking up on frozen goods and pantry items and making bee-lines through the grocery store shelves. 

Geo-targeting is an important consideration to help guide these customers through this new customer journey. 

Geo-targeting (sometimes spelled geotargeting or geo targeting) generally refers to reaching potential customers at the right time and place for your marketing message. More specifically, this often drills down to either:

  • Targeting people at a specific location or event while they’re there
  • Targeting people who have been to a specific location or similar locations at a later time 
  • Targeting people based on where they live from neighborhoods to regions

Geo-targeting can be incorporated in your marketing in a number of different ways including:

  • Serving ads to people for products or services in real time at point of purchase
  • Serving different ads to different people based on location
  • Using different website landing pages for those who arrive from different locations
  • Targeting only individuals within a certain area around physical locations
  • Considering geo-targeting opportunities across all digital platforms including social media and Google search so locals who search for your product or service will find it 

Of course, in addition to targeting potential customers at the right time and place, it’s also important to reach potential customers that are likely to psychologically align with your marketing message. 

That’s where marketing psychology enters the picture. Applying marketing psychology helps us understand the underlying attitudes, motivations, and behaviors of our audiences. It helps us understand why people do the things they do, what motivates them, and what they care about. 

Marketing, after all, often comes down to understanding and influencing human behavior and using applied psychology in smart ways. 

Geo-targeting is one piece of the marketing mix that should be considered in your media strategy. Marketers will increasingly use it as digital ad spend and digital use continue to increase, so be sure to include it in your marketing mix. 

If you’re interested in joining our CMO Roundtable conversations, drop us a line and let’s talk about our marketing plans for 2021.