'Geo-Conquesting' Drives Higher Mobile Click Rates

Mobile-Shopping-AThe practice of conquesting -- running advertising for a brand or product near editorial content about a competitor’s offerings online or in print -- is nothing new in the world of marketing. A more recent twist is the extension of the tactic to mobile location targeting by advertising around the physical premises of competing businesses.

Instead of putting up a geo-fence around their own location to trigger mobile offers or discounts, a retailer or brand will geo-fence the locations of nearby rivals as well to pull in consumers. “Geo-conquesting” itself has become fairly common among advertisers using mobile location targeting.

But according to Tom MacIsaac, CEO of location-centric mobile ad network Verve Mobile, there hasn’t been much data on the effectiveness of geo-conquesting to date. The company looked at click-through rates across 17 Mother’s Day campaigns by retailers using the tactic, as well as geo-fencing their own locations to promote cards, flowers, baked goods, and other gift items.

Verve would not disclose the names of any of the national retailers involved, but it said the campaigns that ran during the week leading up to Mother’s Day collectively drove foot traffic to more than 7,000 store locations. The results showed that geo-conquesting led to a 30% higher click-through rate than standard geo-fencing.

“The one big theme from this research is that if you’re going to target users near your own stores … it’s really effective to also target people who are near your competitor’s stores,” said MacIsaac. While Verve advertisers have embraced geo-fencing for their own stores, they’re not typically pairing that activity with putting up a geo-fence around rival outlets.

“The important thing is to validate, because I don’t think advertisers are completely there yet on geo-conquesting,” he said. Rival mobile location ad network xAd released data last week showing that marketers are increasingly shifting to geo-fencing and behavioral patterns. The share of campaigns using such “geo-precise” techniques increased 58% in the first quarter, up from 27% a year ago, according to xAd.

The firm told Screenwork in March that of the national advertisers using place-based targeting on its network -- which is two-thirds of national advertisers -- nine out of 10 were doing competitive conquesting.

A new study released this month by trade magazine Street Fight on hyperlocal targeting in mobile did not specifically address conquesting. But author Steven Jacobs said that based on anecdotal information, advertisers have had success with the approach. At the same time, the report acknowledged that the metrics to trace the overall returns from hyperlocal marketing via mobile are still evolving.


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