geotargeting

Geotargeting is the practice of customizing an advertisement for a product or service to a specific market based on the geographic location of potential buyers. Every country, province, state, county or city in the world can constitute a niche market for certain products or services at certain times.... (Continued)

Geotargeting is the practice of customizing an advertisement for a product or service to a specific market based on the geographic location of potential buyers. Every country, province, state, county or city in the world can constitute a niche market for certain products or services at certain times.

On the Internet, geotargeting can help small businesses to compete with national brands and can ensure that large corporations effectively make use of their advertising resources. For example, a manufacturer of gasoline-powered electric generators may run ads in May and June targeted at residents of the Atlantic and Gulf coastal regions of the United States in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season. As another example, suppose you are a literary agent just getting started in the business and you are looking for authors to write books about cowboys and ranchers. Your website might tailor the content to be of special interest to residents of the western United States.

Geographically targeted ads can increase returns significantly over "blind advertising." On the Internet, clickthrough rates are improved compared with advertisements not targeted by location. The results in a given situation depend on the geographical distribution of potential customers, a variable that requires intensive research to accurately determine.

This was first published in February 2007

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