What is Geomarketing? - Definition, Tools & Analysis

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Geomarketing involves delivering the right message to the right person in the right location. In this lesson, you'll learn more about geomarketing and some of the tools marketers are using to implement it.

Location, Location, Location

What if you could deliver your social media ads only to customers in a certain city?

What if you could send notifications to a shopper's phone when they're perusing an item on sale in aisle 12?

What if you could put a virtual fence around the block where your store is located and grab the attention of people walking by?

Believe it or not, in today's digital mobile age, you can! It's a marketing concept known as geomarketing.

What Is Geomarketing?

Geomarketing is a mash-up of ''geographic'' and ''marketing''. This marketing concept uses location data to deliver its messages to the most relevant audience at the right time. The key to geomarketing is the use of targeting and segmentation. In this case, marketers are segmenting by geographic location and then targeting consumers inside of that boundary.

Location intelligence, understanding where customers are or where they have been, can be used in combination with marketing tactics to better understand an audience and its habits, analyze what they want and plan campaigns that will result in conversions.

How does this work exactly? Let's look at the energy beverage Red Bull for an example.

Red Bull implemented a geomarketing tool known as a beacon (more on that later) to encourage people to purchase its product while inside a convenience store. Customers who had Bluetooth enabled on their mobile device and consented to receiving marketing messages from the brand were presented with a coupon when they came into close proximity of a Red Bull display.

This geomarketing campaign was a success because it gave customers something valuable and relevant at the right time - when confronted with a choice about which beverage to buy.

It's easy to see why Red Bull, or any other business, might take advantage of this type of marketing. Let's take a closer look at some common geomarketing tools.

Geomarketing Tools


When you put a fence on your land, you're essentially setting a boundary of your property. With geofencing, a marketer has the ability to set a perimeter, typically within a certain proximity of a business, to deliver marketing messages. This type of tool is especially useful because it is relevant to consumers based on where they are. Imagine a stadium shop implementing geofencing to tell game-goers about a sale. Since the audience receiving the message is within close proximity of the stadium store, they are more likely to take advantage of the offer.

Geofencing could also be used to set a fence around a competitor's location and deliver an offer to try to lure customers away from another business. It could also include a broader area such as a particular neighborhood or even an entire city.

Local Web Search

If you're traveling out of town and looking for a good restaurant for dinner, where are you most likely to turn? Probably a Google search, right? A phrase like, ''Italian restaurant near me'' is a popular search option.

What you want these internet searchers to find is your business. That's why local business listings are important in geomarketing. Today, these local business listings can be claimed by the business owner and managed to help keep their company at the top of Google's search results. Local business listings in search results can also be updated with current business information and provide a place to offer coupons, show photos or videos or allow consumers to leave reviews.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing seems like a logical fit for geomarketing since we have our phones with us at all times. This provides numerous avenues for making connections including text messaging, mobile websites, mobile ads and even mobile applications. Target's mobile application and built-in Cartwheel feature allows the company to send notifications to customers who have downloaded it, provides in-store mapping to find items and delivers coupons and other offers while people are shopping in-store. Starbucks uses its mobile application to determine when customers are within a certain proximity of the store and alerts them to the nearby coffee shop.

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