Mapping Out Your Geotargeting Strategy

graphic showing pins on a city map to illustrate geotargeting

Timing and location is key when you are running digital advertising campaigns. If you can reach your ideal audience at the exact time and location that will increase the likelihood of them taking an action then you’ll put your ad dollars to work. Location not only refers to where they are surfing the web, but their real-time physical location. This is where having a defined geotargeting strategy comes into play.

Geotargeting is the practice of delivering content to a consumer—via mobile or web—using the geographic location information of the recipient. You need to determine if, and how geotargeting will help you achieve your overall campaign goals.

Consider a scenario: you are advertising for a rideshare company, with a partnership with a sports team—where would your audience be? If you target the arena where their event is taking place, you are sure to capture potential riders as they browse their smartphones, looking for a way home. This would be considered geo radius targeting—setting specific location parameters based on Lat/Long coordinates or addresses.

In addition to understanding your goals, ask yourself about your creative message—is the message relevant to your target? For instance, if the creative messaging is general, it may not make sense to leverage geo radius targeting, as it can limit your scale and become costlier.

How to Leverage Geotargeting in Campaigns

Here are some ways advertisers can leverage geotargeting to reach their campaign goals.

1. Geographic Targeting

Target based on Country, Province/State, or City/Town level. Consider using the DMA function—originally a tool designed for traditional media, DMAs have easily translated over to the digital landscape. When targeting a city, it’s best to include the DMA to increase overall reach and potential to reach users on borders.

2. Zip/Postal Code Targeting

Within the US and Canada, you can upload a list of zip codes/postal codes to reach users. Consider this option if your creative messaging is centric around specific storefronts—a prime example of this is a pizza chain, advertising a discount within their delivery area.

3. Geo Radius Targeting

Leverage a list of addresses or Lat/Long coordinates, customizing your radius down to the mile/kilometre to target users in mobile in-app environments. Consider how large the area is that you are targeting. For example, if you are targeting a metropolitan area that is more spread out, such as Omaha, consider a larger radius than you would if you were targeting New York City. You might even explore this geotargeting option when running a competitive conquesting campaign—Dunkin can target Starbucks locations to acquire new customers.

According to a report from eMarketer, marketers found that even geofencing in real time “for both retail and QSRs [quick-service restaurants], connecting with the consumer when they’re already in-store accounts for really low engagement rates—much lower effectiveness than connecting with somebody within 2 to 3 miles of that location.”

4. Geo Radius Retargeting

Collect users around a specific geo radius and retarget them with a relevant message at a later time.

StackAdapt’s data is not only able to target the most niche of markets but it also has the capabilities to capture them in specific geos. In addition to offering the above geotargeting, StackAdapt also offers store lift reporting through partnerships with Cuebiq and PlaceIQ, which can help you further understand traffic per store, daily traffic trends, distance driven and more! Interested?

Reach out to your Account Executive today to learn more. Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now—find out about our geotargeting capabilities (and so much more) today.

Carly Foy
Carly Foy

Director of Sales, North America


With 8+ years in the industry, Carly has successfully partnered with marketing, partnerships, and data science teams to ensure high-performance campaigns. She leads a team of Account Executives, assisting in strategy and execution across key accounts.