6 Tips to Get Started with Geo Targeted Advertising


Imagine you do tourism marketing for an Italian bike tour company and your tours are mostly filled by folks from Chicago and Boston. What if anytime a person enters a bike store in either of those two cities you could serve up your ad on their mobile device? This is an example of geo targeted advertising. Companies leverage this technology are recognizing revenue increases and cost savings. Here are 6 tips on how to get started.

Tip #1: Understand What Geo Targeted Advertising Is

Geo targeting advertising delivers ads based both on a person’s real-time and/or former location(s). These locations can be as broad as a country, state or city. They can also be as precise as an exact address or a store in the mall. Geo Targeting Advertising is done on mobile devices, desktops, via email, Facebook, via text, paid search and more.

Once a person’s location is determined, advertising specific to the individual and their location can be delivered. Thus, allowing travel marketers to truly deliver the right message at the right time to the right person.

Tip #2: Know that a Person’s Location Gives Much More Information than Just Their Location

A person’s whereabouts is not just about their location, it is also indicative of important traits such as personality, preferences and mindset. For example, we know different things about a person who is staying at a youth hostel versus the person staying at The Four Season.

Tip #3 Know Where Your Audience Is and Isn’t

Important geo targeting articles are written about the importance of knowing both where your audience is and where they are not. This information allows for more targeted advertising and smarter budget spend. For example, mobile ads directed at people in airports can be a clever travel marketing strategy. However, if your messaging is directed to business travelers and you are only serving ads on the weekends – your campaign will likely miss the mark.  


As an important note, what is crossing the line regarding letting customers know what you know about their location, is still up for debate. Entrepreneur magazine suggests never letting a customer think you know anything more about their location than their approximate neighborhood.

Tip #4 Once You Know Where Your Audience Is – Narrow It Down Even Further

The brilliance of geo targeting is you can set parameters around distance or time. For example, if you are a Hawaiian Helicopter Tour Company you can have last-minute promo ads delivered to anyone within a 30-minute drive or within 10 miles of your shop. Doing this not only helps you better target relevant content to potential customers – it also allows you to better spend precious budget resources.

Tip #5 Prioritize Your Budget by High Performing Locations

Not all locations are the top priority, but it doesn’t mean they should be ignored. For example, take the Italian bike tour company in Tip #1 and the ads it is delivering to people in Boston and Chicago-based bike shops. This tour company will likely find some bike shops get more engagement than others. This doesn’t mean the less engaged bike shops should be removed from their tourism marketing strategy – it simply means you should dedicate less budget to them and continue to watch results.  

Tip #6 Use Geography to Predict Customer Budget

Just because someone is not in your tour or in your restaurant does not mean you can’t get important identifiable information from them. For example, if you are a high-end tour operator why not target more expensive hotels in town and serve ads to people at those locations? Similarly, if you are a more budget friendly tour-operator, consider targeting hotels with a lower price point.

Are you a travel marketer looking for help with your geo targeting advertising? Contact Touristy your tourism marketing company.