Advertising Audiences: How Businesses Can Use Location-Based Audiences to Improve ROI

August 12, 2019

It seems like a simple enough concept. Your business has a product to sell and a particular audience that is most likely to buy it. You create an ad and deliver it to your target audience. But nothing happens. You get impressions, but few to no clicks, foot traffic, or attributable sales.

It’s a common problem within the digital advertising sphere. Why aren’t your ads effective? What are you doing wrong? The answer is never simple, of course. You could need to refine ad copy or design, or even the offer you’re promoting. But most often, ads get poor results because businesses aren’t using effective audience targeting to deliver the right message to the right consumers at the right time.

Improve ROI with advertising audiences.

The solution for many businesses is using location-based advertising audiences. Advertising audiences are lists of anonymized consumers who have the characteristics companies are interested in.

Businesses can use advertising audiences to directly target consumers with the characteristics that make them more likely to make a purchase. Unlike traditional ad targeting, which relies on online behavior data, location-based advertising audiences are based on real-world event and location attendance, making them more accurate. Compare online behavioral data with location data:

Online Behavioral Data

Online behavioral data consists of virtual actions such as consumers visiting websites, clicking on CTAs, and interacting with content – all of which have low barriers to entry. Consumers regularly watch videos or browse website just to kill time, without having any real buying intent.

Location Data

Location data involves real-life actions, including when consumers visit commercial locations like retail stores or event venues. While it’s still possible for consumers to simply be browsing at a store, visiting a location shows a much higher degree of interest. They had to physically get up, leave the house, and spend their time and effort getting to that location. The increased effort indicates a higher interest level or buying intent.

Related Reading: What is Location Intelligence? (And How Can Businesses Use It?)

Getting Started with Location-Based Advertising Audiences

Advertising audiences are incredibly versatile and can be customized for different business needs. For example, Gravy Analytics provides hundreds of advertising audiences with different characteristics. We’ve released audiences based on:

  • Brand loyalty, such as consumers who regularly purchase cars and trucks from Toyota.
  • Interests, including consumers who are wine lovers, regular gym goers, or concert fans.
  • Behaviors, with consumers who regularly visit specific commercial areas or have defined routines.

Advertising audiences contain everything businesses need to accurately target their market. But to be effective, businesses need to select the right audience for each of their campaigns. If the audience doesn’t match the campaign’s objectives, you risk mistargeting and miscommunicating with your prospects, resulting in lower engagement, reduced clicks, and a poor ROI.

How to Select and Implement the Right Advertising Audience

Most campaigns will need different audiences based on the campaign’s goals, offers, and ads. To select the best audience for your campaign, follow these four steps:

Step 1: Set Goals and Determine Your Desired Results

It is critical to have a set of measurable, well-defined goals for each campaign. If your goal is to bring in new customers to your grocery store, you should set goals for:

  • Ad impressions
  • Ad engagement, including click throughs
  • Store foot traffic
  • Sales

Complete this step before researching and purchasing an advertising audience.

Step 2: Lay Out Your Offer

What is your ad going to give to consumers who click on it? A discount? Free products? Determine what your business is going to use to incentivize its audience to engage with the ad or visit your store location.

Step 3: Define Your Target Audience

Even though you’ll be purchasing an advertising audience from a location intelligence provider, you need to know the broad characteristics you’re looking for. Do you want to target people who regularly visit grocery stores in your area? Are you interested in sending these ads to your competitors’ customers? Or are you targeting based on interest, such as people who want to live a healthy lifestyle?

All those factors will affect which audience you buy, as well as how you decide on ad copy and creative.

Step 4: Match Your Audience to Your Existing Advertising Audiences

Once you’ve nailed down your target audience, start looking at location intelligence providers. The best providers will offer advertising audiences with clear characteristics, so you can match your target audience with the advertising audiences they provide.

If you can’t find an audience that fits your needs, contact the provider. They’ll likely be able to build a custom audience with the characteristics you’re looking for.

How to Set Up Your Advertising Campaign with a Location Intelligence Audience

Choosing an audience and creating ads is the most difficult part of creating an advertising campaign with location data. After you’ve nailed down those aspects, setting up the campaign is simple.

Your advertising audience should contain everything you need to set up a mobile ad campaign. All you need to do is load the audience into your data management platform (DMP), demand-side platform (DSP), or AdTech platform. When your advertising audience information is available, you can use integrations between your system and other advertising tools to connect the audience with your ads, budget, and campaign timeframe.

If you want to create a desktop advertising campaign, talk to your advertising audience provider. Many times, providers can work with partners to map advertising audiences back to desktop computers, helping you expand the reach of your campaign to both mobile and desktop devices.

Finding the Right Audience: Challenges and Opportunities

It’s a major challenge for businesses to obtain accurate insights about consumer behaviors and audiences who have similar characteristics. Online insights are often fickle, indicating passing interests without a deep commitment or intent to buy, while even real-world location intelligence is often inaccurate. Accurate location data and advertising audiences are built on cleansed, contextualized data that takes into account dwell time, repeat visits, and the events consumers are attending.

To effectively improve ROI with location-based audiences, do your due diligence. Research, compare, and select advertising audiences from reputable location data providers. A knowledgable location intelligence company creates audiences using high-quality location data that’s been cleansed, deduped, and overlaid with event meta data that provides key context into why consumers are visiting different locations or attending events.

The result are advertising audiences composed of consumers with verified characteristics (such as interests), demographics, and behaviors. Businesses can use these lists to deliver the right message to the most interested consumers when and where they prefer to receive them.

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