You may have heard about a new tactic that’s becoming popular with advertisers seeking to reach people on their mobile devices…It’s called by some Geo-Farming. It’s also referred to as Geo-Retargeting. Why can’t everybody in the digital ad game agree to call things by the same name? Let’s save that for another day! What is Geo-Farming/Geo-Retargeting?
Well there are a lot of “geo” terms when it comes to digital advertising, so let’s take a look at each:
Geo-Targeting: This is delivering ads to people who meet specific targeting criteria AND who enter inside of a defined geographic area (city, zip radius). It hones in on specific consumer targeting criteria like demographics, behaviors, interests, keywords, AND where the person is located. So you are NOT showing the ads to EVERYONE inside the geographic area you have designated, they must ALSO meet the targeting criteria. This marketing tactic can be utilized to reach people on mobile phones or across all devices.
Geo-Fencing: Refers to drawing a virtual fence around a location and delivering ads to ANYONE who is inside that fence. For example, you could Geo-Fence a neighborhood, an event, business locations, even competitor locations. It uses a device’s global positioning system (GPS) or Internet Protocol (IP) address. Ads can be served on computer, tablet, or mobile devices as potential customers are browsing the web. Most people when they are referring to Geo-Fencing are looking for a very tight radius around a location. A misconception with Geo-Fencing is that once inside the fence you receive push notifications, or text messages to the device, which is not accurate. What Geo-Fencing does instead is show ads to the person inside the Geo-Fenced radius, if they are browsing websites or on apps that have ad inventory available.
Geo-Retargeting or Geo-Framing: This tactic is just done on mobile devices and is a method of capturing mobile device IDs of users who have entered a defined geographic location (Geo-Fence), AND targeting them with ads after they have left the Geo-Fenced area, even if they never saw your ad while inside the Geo-Fence. For example, let’s say you are trying to reach homeowners. You could Geo-Fence a Home Expo Showcase and try to show those people ads during the event. However, many may not be actively browsing on their phones while there. Geo-Retargeting (Geo-Farming) enables you to reach those people after the event, by continuing to target them while they are at home or at work.
Geo-Retargeting Lookalike: With this tactic you can take your Geo-Retargeting a step further. In addition to following people after they leave the area you were Geo-Fencing and targeting them with ads, you can target those people’s neighbors and show them your ads as well. This is a great way to extend your message to people who are similar to those you were initially targeting.