Geoconquesting is the marketing practice of attracting a competitor’s customers through the use of location-based ads. Engaging customers where they shop, dine or attend specific events with both physical and digital media can be an effective way to sway someone.

Whether the competitor is direct or indirect, you want to win over their customer base. For examples:

  • A new coffee shop in town wants to let the regulars at the big coffee chain down the street know it’s now open for business
  • An amusement park wants to send special offers to families who frequent the zoo, children museums and other family-fun attractions in the region
  • A chain of c-stores is vying for market share against similar c-stores
  • A national fast food chain wants to take up burger wars with their direct competitor nationwide
  • A retailer that launches a new line of products wants to compete with retailers typically known for that product category

First, let’s start with your messaging. Understanding your audience, in this case, your competitor’s customers, is important. Personalize the campaign by highlighting a value proposition your brand offers – but your competitor doesn’t. Give the audience a reason why your brand is relevant to their daily lives. Offering a discount or new customer reward may motivate a buyer to give your brand a try.

Once you have your message aligned with the competitor’s audience, you can consider geoconquesting tactics to aim that message at your target audience.

Use place-specific out-of-home media formats to reach the audience when they’re in close proximity to the competitor’s location. Mobile billboards, for example, can drive very near the competitor location. Out-of-home media provides an opportunity for a large physical presence, using striking imagery and meaningful headlines. As 70% of our time is spent away from home, out-of-home is effective in gaining reach with media that can’t be skipped or blocked.

Integrating your out-of-home campaign with digital marketing is a savvy approach. Mobile display advertising can hone in on your target audience and reinforce the message in another channel. This adds frequency and provides a point for conversion. Display ads with clear calls-to-action can offer tap-to-map, click-to-call or mobile coupons. When integrated with other media, the display ad campaign often performs much greater.

Geofencing your competitor locations allows you to serve display ads to mobile devices while someone is at the competitor store. If I’m searching for tips on which vitamins to buy while I’m at the pharmacy, and I’m served a coupon for a competitor store, I may click through and opt to purchase my vitamins there for less.

What’s a stronger appeal, however, is using historical location targeting. We call this geofarming. You can curate an audience based on their past location visits to your competitor. Want to reach someone who’s visited a specific store in the past 30, 60 or 90 days? With location data, you can. In this method, you don’t have to wait for them to walk in the store again and open their browser to be served an ad. You can reach them, regardless of where they are now, based on past locations they visited.

For Android users, you can also target devices based on which apps are installed on the device. If your competitor has a widely used app, you can identify devices that have that app installed and optimize your ads on those people.

Another digital marketing method to geoconquesting is through Facebook’s Drop Pin option when you’re scheduling your social ads. You can find this tool under the audiences section, in locations. Zoom in on the map and click ‘drop pin’ at the location you want to target. Or you can bulk upload several custom locations to your Facebook campaign at once.

No matter how granular you target digitally, don’t forget that adding out-of-home media formats is key in driving a successful geoconquesting campaign. The physical messaging adds credibility and familiarity to your campaign.

Location-based marketing makes geoconquesting easy and effective. Gain attention of your competitor’s customers and grow your market share.

To discuss an integrated geoconquesting campaign for your brand or business, please say hello.