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What is Geo Conquesting Marketing and How to Do It

February 22, 2021 by Laura Conway

MarTechSeries says that brand loyalty is up for grabs — 73% of today’s shoppers are willing to consider a new brand if they experience poor product quality, a lack of selection, or better prices elsewhere. Consumers can always be swayed by a new brand with superior customer service. Brands can also attract new customers by offering incentives such as easy delivery or a flexible return policy.  All of this opens up the possibilities of winning over new customers through geo conquesting. 

As more marketers are tapping into the power of geofencing marketing, they are employing the four best practices for audience building. These strategies include retargeting your own customers, using cross-device matching, winning over new customers, and thinking outside the box to find an audience that has an affinity for your brand. Geo conquesting is a strategy that combines a few of these best practices and helps marketers win market share. 

What is geo conquesting

Simply put, geo conquesting involves targeting visitors to competitor locations through geofencing. You can advertise to this cohort with messaging trying to win over customers based on price, convenience, quality, and overall brand value. This is also a good time to offer a new customer discount or other starter offer.

Direct geo conquesting examples

Direct geo conquesting is straightforward. All retailers and brands have direct competitors. To win market share from them, you can use geofencing marketing to find and reach those audiences. Walmart could target Target shoppers. Home Depot could target Lowe’s shoppers. Kohls could target shoppers from JCPenney, Macy’s and Sears.  

This tactic works with small businesses as well. If an agency is hired by a local pizza shop, they would want to target diners who visit other local pizza restaurants as well as those who pick up from Dominos, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut in the same area.  

Indirect geo conquesting examples

There are two different types of indirect geo conquesting. One involves geo conquesting audiences who visit locations nearly identical to your own. The other involves geo conquesting locations where products somewhat similar to yours are sold.

Quick Service Restaurant

Our favorite example to use is Moe’s Southwest Grill. This quick service restaurant’s digital agency ran social media campaigns to increase app downloads, coupon redemption, drive foot traffic and ultimately win market share. On top of targeting visitors to Chipotle and Qdoba, Moe’s direct competitors, they included diners at Mexican restaurants in their audience. They figured if a diner likes Tex-Mex food in general, they would be willing to give Moe’s a try. Moe’s saw a 67 percent increase in app downloads using geoconquested audiences, compared to other audiences they included in their campaign. Read the full case study here.

Entertainment and E-Commerce Sales

Another great example is Sony Music, Their digital agency was working to drive sales of a new Elvis album full of gospel tunes released long after the King’s passing. Where is the best place to find Elvis fans? Graceland, of course. The agency geofenced Graceland, the home of Elvis and a major tourist destination in Memphis, TN, to geo conquest Elivs fans and offer them the never before heard album. The campaign was a huge success. Read more here.

Retail and Consumer Goods

If a marketer at North Face wants to increase foot traffic to their stores or online sales, they can geo conquest shoppers who visit retailers that sell similar products, such as REI, Bass Proshop and Dick’s Sporting Goods.  

Other Out Of The Box Ideas

With a little extra time to brainstorm, marketers can come up with locations to geotarget to find visitors who have an affinity for their brand as well. If they are marketing a liquor, beer or wine brand, geo conquest those who visit liquor stores. If you’re selling home goods, geo conquest truck rental locations to find people who are moving to a new home and need new decor. Find DIY-ers at places like Home Depot, Lowes and Michaels. This is really where geo conquesting becomes a creative and exploratory exercise, where you can run tests and figure out where you can get the best return on your ad spend. Check out other creative suggestions here

Combining methods 

The most successful geo conquesting campaigns use both direct and indirect methods.  

Gyms and fitness centers are a great example of how both direct and indirect methods come into play.  If a Burn Boot Camp marketer is tasked with increasing memberships, they can geofence fitness centers with similar class offerings as well as other types of group classes.  The marketer could geo conquest Orange Theory fitness centers, cross fit gyms as well as yoga and Barre studios.  

To take this a step further, the marketer could also find those with an affinity for working out by targeting visitors to stores that sell fitness apparel and equipment. They could target shoppers at Athleta, Lululemon, Under Armour as well as the fitness apparel sections of department stores. (Advanced geo conquesting tools let you target stores inside a mall.) 

A great place to start with your geofencing marketing plan is this audience template. It is designed to get you thinking about all the locations that make sense for you to geotarget and build your audience. Geo conquesting plays a huge role in winning market share, so start here to brainstorm the direct and indirect competitors to win over today.

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