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Using Geotargeting to Grow Your Brand


Post June 3, 2021 by Saskia Rahim

Using Geotargeting to Grow Your Brand

In early 2021, Starbucks shuttered over 25 stores across Toronto (with up to 300 expected to close across Canada). While it seems as though the pandemic is the leading cause for this major shift in coffee consumption, Starbucks has had this plan in action for a while. Even before the pandemic essentially erased the morning-commuter coffee rush, Starbucks already noted that 80 percent of visitors simply picked up their purchase and left. In other words, the need for sit-down coffee shops is dwindling as people shift towards mobile purchasing and kiosk pickup counters instead.

So what does the diminishing of longtime coffee-giant Starbucks mean for the industry in general? Well for some, it’s a major marketing opportunity. Enter generally spotlight-avoiding, oftentimes second choice, coffee shop; Second Cup.

Second Cup launched its latest campaign in early 2021 and social media was immediately buzzing. The idea? A free Second Cup latte when you walk past a shuttered Starbucks. By using geo-targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram, pedestrians could receive a coupon for a free Vanilla Bean Latte- the newest caffeine fix in a post-Starbucks-dominated world.

Source: Narcity

The use of geo-targeted ads is nothing new in advertising. Last year, Whole Foods used geofencing in the same fashion to offer special deals to customers shopping in competitor’s stores. The goal was to increase post-click conversion rates- and it did so successfully. The campaign resulted in a conversion rate triple the industry average.

Geotargeting allows brands to cast a wide net by reaching consumers geographically. For example, a restaurant in a college town can advertise lunch specials to students. It’s a great (and simple) way to reel in new customers. In an era where mobile ads are dominating the industry, geotargeting through social media is an effective approach to reaching an otherwise untapped market.

Foodservice brands are leveraging geotargeting – but how can brands outside of the industry utilize it? There’s plenty of room in the realm of geotargeting for brands to reach consumers and quite frankly, brands are missing out by not participating in this easy and efficient form of advertising.