5 Geo-targeting Success Stories (and What You Can Learn From Them)

5 Geo-targeting Success Stories (and What You Can Learn From Them)

Location, location, location. Smart marketers know that geotargeting represents a huge opportunity to increase customer conversion. Location-based advertising (LBA) has long been known to be an effective technique for reaching the right audience at the right time with the right offer. According to researcher BIA/Kelsey, location-based ad spending in the U.S. will grow to $38.7 billion in 2022, up from $17.1 billion last year.

With the deluge of data from Global Positioning System (GPS) from an estimated 5 billion mobile devices, it’s easier than ever for marketers to use consumers’ precise location to craft targeted and relevant ads in real time. Why the big push? Simply stated, location’s high correlation with relevance in advertising.

How Retailers Win with Geo-targeting

For example, say you have a pop-up taco stand in Wichita, Kansas. A college student looking at your Facebook ad campaign in Santa Barbara isn’t likely to sample your famous Baja-inspired recipes. With a geo-targeted campaign, you could find Facebook users within a certain ZIP code who would be likely to check out your establishment, especially if given a discount or other incentive. And if you have multiple locations, you can run geo-targeted social media ads in each area where you want to increase your customer base.

But geo-targeting is not limited to paid campaigns or even social media. It can also drive the customization of content through localized imagery and text. And it can be used in push notifications on mobile apps to let nearby prospective customers know about a flash sale, for example.

Location data drives higher customer engagement and response. In fact, over 80% of marketers surveyed said location-based advertising and marketing led to higher response rates and customer engagement.

As you’ll see in the marketing examples below, geo-targeting helps brands connect with customers in a relevant way, encouraging more of them to visit their stores, or pop-up locations, and make purchases.

  1. Whole Foods Turns Good Fences Into Good Leads

    One strategy is to build a virtual fence around a certain area, then target the audience within that boundary. This is known as geo-fencing, and it’s a practice Whole Foods has mastered, creating boundaries around its own stores, and fencing out its competitors at the same time.

    Whole Foods makes a practice of targeting mobile ads to users near competitor grocery stores and health stores. In a recent campaign, the grocery giant saw a 4.69% post-click conversion rate (triple the industry average). To follow suit, marketers can erect virtual fences around hot spots relevant to their product or service. For example, a surfboard manufacturer might target coastal areas—particularly those that meet specific demographic criteria. By sending customized messages to select groups within those boundaries, they’ll see a bigger boost in conversion than if they just used mass marketing techniques.

  2. PARCO Triggers “Just-in-Time” Discounts When Customers Approach

    Beacon technology is already being used by top retailers such as Target, Rite Aid, and CVS. Its rise in popularity is expected to breathe life back into brick-and-mortar retailers, offering highly personalized shopping experiences. Many retailers have deployed not only beacons, but also cameras, and other sensors that gather data on prospective customers as they move toward and through various retail locations.

    PARCO Co. Ltd., which operates 3,000 stores in Japan, uses Arm Treasure Data enterprise Customer Data Platform (CDP) to pull data from geosensors, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, loyalty programs, mobile apps, and even rooftop weather sensors to feed its strategy for omnichannel personalization. When customers arrive at PARCO stores, tracking sensors trigger a series of highly personalized interactions and offers—everything from rewards if customers play their “POCKET PARCO” walking game (a sort of retail scavenger hunt), to special offers and discounts triggered when customers approach a particular store.

    Customer feedback, ratings, and interaction with these personalized offers and games become part of each customer’s profile for use in later targeting and segmentation, as well as in new interactions.

  3. Helping Associates Win with the Right Customer Data

    Through the Arm Retail solution In-Store Mode software development kit (SDK) that connects Arm Treasure Data CDP with the Reflexis ONE platform, sales associates in a variety of retail locations can easily pull up information on customers as they approach the store or browse the aisles. The In-Store Mode SDK helps retailers combine multiple customer data sources, such as average spend by each customer and loyalty info—all presented in easy-to-read dashboards tailored for each retailer’s handheld devices. This allows retailers to identify their most valuable customer segments in real time as they approach and differentiate their needs from one another.

    The In-Store Mode SDK incorporates sensor fusion, in-store beacons, and indoor maps to capture in-store shopper behavior from the retailer’s mobile app. Then it combines this information with existing customer data from email platforms, loyalty programs, CRM, previous purchases, social media, web browsing, and mobile apps.

    For example, if two customers approach a salesperson, he or she can immediately know which one has spent more money in the past 90 days or which one has been searching for the very floor model that is just steps away. Empowering associates with customer data results in better clienteling, with the potential to dramatically increase sales. Retailers can also hyper-localize planning and merchandising to meet the preferences of its most profitable customer segments. The data is enriched with the customer’s opted-in digital and social data, and it’s used to deliver personalized offers to the shopper—either via the retailer app when in-store or for the next store visit.

    Using data from a myriad of sources—including IoT data from consumers’ personal devices, in-store cameras and beacons, and geofencing—will undoubtedly become more commonplace as the footprint of CDPs continues to grow. For retail associates, not knowing your customers or what they want could actually become a thing of the past.

  4. Kirin Sells More Products Through Personalized Campaigns

    Global beverage brand Kirin—a company with 40+ brands in its portfolio—uses Arm Treasure Data CDP to combine online browsing data, promotional event data and other data to round out profiles for 4 million customers. Augmenting and unifying this data with offline data, Kirin gains insights to improve marketing campaign performance. The result is increased sales by visitors who experience the personalized campaigns at the company’s concept shops, directly operated stores, and beer factory tours.

    By analyzing behavioral data, Kirin determines profiles of its best customers. Then Kirin creates customer segments to target in omnichannel personalized campaigns distributed via push notifications through Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Results of campaign measurements show an increase in purchase frequency and improved customer lifetime value (CLV) for personalized campaigns compared to the standard campaigns.

  5. X Maps the Shopper’s Journey

    With all the sensors, beacons, and cameras used in retail, data about how people actually shop is now readily available—including the paths they take through the store, what they pick up, how they use their phones and which sites they visit to compare or research prices.

    Using Arm Treasure Data CDP with In-Store Mode SDK, the Reflexis ONE platform—used by hundreds of major retailers—maps individual customer journeys by combining data from all these sources. This can help identify places where shoppers “get stuck” or “fall out” of the funnel. For example, when a shopper browses and considers a particular product, but doesn’t buy it, Arm Retail captures all of the corresponding data in real-time and stores it.

    The enormous value captured here is that this data—and insights from it—can be shared with retail store associates, providing them with actionable tasks like which customer to focus on. Data captured from shopper’s engagement with products in-store and online can trigger alerts of interest in those products and opportunities to sales associates, prompting personalized service.

    Imagine this scenario. A customer walks into a home and garden store and makes her way into the area where the outdoor grills and BBQs are sold. She has spent over $700 here in the past six months. A retail associate could actually receive alerts that she was in that area and had examined the grills in person, then walked away. The retail associate might approach the customer to see if she could answer any questions, and perhaps offer a special discount or other perks, like free delivery to entice a purchase.

    The unique insights from combining digital and physical customer data to provide true 360-degree customer views have great potential to drive a dramatic increase in sales—and bring profound changes to the purchasing experience.

Location Information: Part of a Winning Retail Strategy

Smart retailers are putting geo-targeting strategies to use for omnichannel shopping in creative ways. Location is valuable information, but the real value to marketers comes through combining that data with other key customer information, such as:

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  • Past behaviors, like multiple visits to a restaurant or retail location
  • Demographic data, such as income level in various ZIP codes
  • Search and browsing data, including research on products customers intend to purchase

For brands that sell through retailers, sharing data with retailers and leveraging it to boost sales helps everyone—brands and retailers alike—to succeed.

Initially, retailers feared that eCommerce might totally replace traditional brick-and-mortar stores for the bulk of products and services, and many stores have seen losses from this trend. But we’ve subsequently grown to realize that despite the convenience of online shopping, today’s customers still want to try—and touch—before they buy.

To see how geo-targeting could change your business, request a demo today.

Lisa Stapleton
Lisa Stapleton
Lisa Stapleton is a former editorial director at IDG and former senior editor for InfoWorld and InformationWeek. She has written extensively about enterprise IT, business and environmental topics, and now serves as a senior marketing content manager for Treasure Data. She holds an MBA from Santa Clara, an Applied Math undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, and an MA in journalism from Mizzou. She also enjoys being a Toastmaster.
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