Brands Hope to Use Mobile to ‘Conquer’ Competitors’ Locations

XAD | 08 / 14 / 2013

Mobile-local ad network xAd has released a new report that shows a substantive increase in interest from brands in geo-conquesting, the technique of targeting messaging to users at or near a competitor’s location. During the second quarter, nearly one third of every lat-long targeted campaign run on the network included some form of geo-conquesting strategy, up from 22% from a quarter earlier.

Overall, campaigns that included some form of geo-conquesting saw a slightly lower click-through rate than the more traditional geo-fencing efforts, which focus on the areas around a business own locations. But messaging to competitors’ locations generated higher engagement with secondary metrics — like users accessing a store locator or getting driving directions. In a campaign with Outback Steakhouse, ads targeted within five miles of competitors’ locations saw an 11% lift in the number of users who clicked through to a store locator compared to ads served around the company’s own restaurants.

For the most part, the tactic is another arrow in a still-incomplete mobile quiver. Brands are using geo-conquesting to combat dips in sales, particularly in markets where a new competitor has recently entered the market, says Monica Ho, VP of marketing at xAd. Outback, for instance, use the used the tactic in part to counteract a strong promotion by a competitor in a specific market.

Overall, hyperlocal targeting appears to be catching on. In the second quarter, xAd saw a 40% jump in the percent of campaigns that involved some form of hyperlocal targeting. However, that growth is not coming evenly. The company saw increased adoption in Q4 2012 followed by a weak Q1 2013, a trend that Ho says reflects the seasonal attitude of brands toward more advanced geo-targeting strategies.

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