Adventures In Geofencing

We have a client who sells a unique product to a unique audience. That’s not anything new, of course, but in their case, it means that they don’t sell to a mass audience – instead they focus on a very, very small subset of the general population. Narrowcasting is the name of the game – focusing resources on locating and interacting with ONLY their target audience without a lot of waste.

Oddly enough, this can be a headache in the world of online marketing. While Google ads and social media platforms can help you to narrow your audience, there are many products in the world that slip through even these tiny cracks. In our client’s case, only one person at a company will likely buy our client’s product a single time in his or her career, and will never actively search the product out unless a rare natural disaster occurs. Nobody puts that into their Facebook profile. Even re-marketing falls a bit short because the target audience rarely seeks out the product proactively.

All of these challenges led us to some inside-the-box thinking. In fact, it was a teenie-tiny box that we drew around a convention center in Orlando, Florida. You see, once a year these unique people who do this unique job (that makes them so attractive to our client) get together and party. Ok, technically it’s a convention, but we all know what really goes on at these things. At any rate, a lot of them are together in a very small geographic area for a few days. And that means they were right where we wanted them.

We developed a full-press campaign made of online display ads that spoke directly to the target audience, and then we placed them only in Orlando for the day before and the day after the event. On the days of the convention, we went a step further by geofencing only the Orange County Event Center itself. That means that anybody who was identified as using their smartphone to access any one of a number of online services (Facebook, for example) was tagged as part of our target audience and saw our ads. Plus, we targeted search terms like “cab service” and showed our ads to those smartphone users as well. Then, being the persistent little buggers we are, we followed them home. Users who were at the convention got to see our ads for another week after the event was over, no matter where they went.

The campaign resulted in a ton of impressions (that we know went to mostly qualified leads) and a good number of visits to the client’s website. We built brand awareness for our client by delivering their message specifically to people who cared about the product without wasting anybody else’s time or money. That’s a win-win if I ever saw one, and a great way to help the mobile web live up to its potential.