CommentaryAug 27th, 2018

How Geofencing and Location-Based Targeting Increase Leads


Historically, automotive dealerships have relied on traditional advertising to connect with their local clientele. But with the recent proliferation of marketing technology and conquest advertising through highly targeted platforms and data, this strategy is no longer the most effective and cost-efficient way to pull in potential car buyers.

By implementing geofencing technology with targeted data and locations on mobile devices, dealerships can use customized content to target consumers in their local markets who are visiting their competitors.

What is geofencing?

Geofencing is the practice of using GPS technology to virtually outline a defined area or location. Dealerships can use this technology in their marketing efforts to send people in a particular region a message via their mobile devices.

By utilizing geofenced advertising, dealerships can communicate with local audiences through personalized messages, and target consumers who are actively looking for a new vehicle.

How conquest advertising works

For dealerships, the most effective locations to target are other local dealerships or auto repair shops that complement a car dealership. This is also known as conquest advertising. For example, you could put a virtual fence around all of your competitors and target buyers within their lots.

With an attractive ad and/or incentive, a buyer could be enticed to come to your dealership to enquire about pricing on vehicles. This could be a viable geofencing option for dealers because their consumers are in the same mindset of investing in their automotive needs.

Geo-cookies are another resource used by dealerships to capture information about auto intenders in their location. By utilizing location-based targeting strategies, dealerships can then upload a consumer list with information of people who encountered the geofenced advertisements.

Establish lead-acquisition goals and tracking

Thanks to auto intender data and custom segmentation for audiences in various areas, dealerships large and small can potentially reach more than 1 million consumers via their mobile phones.

Geolocational-based advertisements are enormously successful tools that allow dealerships to target and capture individuals who are not only actively engaged on mobile devices, but are also in a purchasing mindset.

Defining segmented audiences

By utilizing tools such as Google Analytics, dealerships can study and analyze the audience within a specific targeted area. Dealerships can then use these tools to increase their understanding of the demographics within local markets. By analyzing age, gender, income level, occupation, family size, etc., it can be easier to recognize the wants and needs of the local consumers.

After conducting research, dealerships can segment local markets into groups established by demographic characteristics, and position custom ads to precisely influence specific audiences.

Through research, many dealerships will find formerly untargeted audiences, like bilingual communities, are close to them. Before digital marketing, audiences like these were a challenge to reach through general marketing practices. With this information, dealerships have the opportunity to develop an ad campaign specifically designed to influence these potential customers.


Even if a location-based ad does not gain the attention of a potential car buyer, the geofenced message allows the dealership to track the location and habits of that particular consumer. This information can be used to refine the targeting strategy.

Because local markets are often hard to define and understand, the information recorded from these ads can be incredibly helpful toward future geofencing efforts. From seasonal sales to custom events, dealerships that utilize geofenced advertising can boost visibility and generate interest among auto intenders looking to purchase a vehicle or schedule a service appointment.

Even with a conservative budget, dealers can effectively target thousands of consumers by optimizing the ad tools readily available to dealerships.

Location-based advertising is the new age of marketing for dealerships looking to reach their local clientele.

Valerie Jennings is the CEO and founder of Jennings Social Media Marketing and Viral Bolt Media, with offices in the Kansas City area and Irvine, California. Her agency, founded in 2003, specializes in automotive digital marketing and various other industries. She is an early adopter of social media since 2005, started her first agency at age 24, and is a serial entrepreneur.

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