Delivering your message to the right audience at the right time and place is probably one of the most important keys to a successful marketing campaign. You should know your audience well, send your message via channels they use and make sure they convert after the initial encounter with your brand. It would sound like science fiction some decades ago, but current mobile advertising technologies allow you to find your audience at the exact space where they can act on your ad as soon as possible. How? The answer lies in mobile geo targeting.

What is mobile geo targeting advertising?

Geo targeting on mobile devices is a type of targeting within the DSP platform that uses GPS, Wi-Fi networks, and IP data to reach potential customers within a precise geo location. It is one of the most precise targeting features in programmatic advertising as it enables you to narrow down your audience to the vicinity of a certain city, district, or even a street. Mobile geotargeting also allows you to aim for a specific zip code or parking lot which really makes your campaign hyper-local (hence, hyper-local targeting is another name for this feature).

Geo targeting mobile feature is often used to target users looking for stores and services nearby, the so-called “near me” searches, which makes this type of targeting very helpful for both advertisers and customers. Location based marketing can also be applied to increase awareness of your store location for the users who currently stay around.

What is the difference between mobile geo targeting and geo fencing?

When it comes to the distinction between geofencing vs geo targeting, it might seem like a subtle one, but it’s important to differentiate the two.

Geotargeting mobile works for users found within a certain area but it also allows to take into account their interests and preferences, which makes targeting customers even more precise. Geofencing, in contrast, allows you to trigger your message to every potential customer that enters or exits your restricted area aka ‘geo fence’ (hence, geo-fencing). Once the user gets inside this defined fence, the trigger works and they get a push notification or email alert about local deals from your nearby-located business. Both features can be used for many purposes, but in this article, we’ll focus on geo targeting mobile devices.

What are the benefits of geo targeting mobile users for advertisers?

With geo targeting, mobile marketing is becoming precise and effective as never before. There are a lot of reasons for this, and we’ll discuss a couple of them:

The prevalence of mobile devices. Nowadays, it hard to find a place in the world without a smartphone owner. Mobile device usage is becoming more and more prevalent. According to Emarketer, US consumers spend over 4 hours with mobile internet daily. This is a huge amount of digital media time which has a lot of potential for advertisers. With the help of mobile geo targeting you use this time to show relevant ads via in-app or web campaigns based on mobile location data.

Relevance. Thanks to location targeting, you can make use of the real-time information about the location of your potential customers to send them relevant ads. Combined with other targeting options on your demand-side-platform, such as demographic or behavioral, geo targeting allows you to pick the most interested users at the right location. They are most likely to act on your ads, especially if they get your message at the right time. Moreover, you can send a relevant offer to users who are looking for your exact services via the “near me” searches. In 2019 such searches grew 136% compared to 2018, and in 2020 this trend is likely to continue.

Mobile geotargeting nearme searches

Better reporting. Understanding your audience has always been the key element for reaching success in advertising. With the increasing popularity of mobile ads, this process gets more and more effective and geo targeting can play a great part here. Tracking and reporting features for the mobile DSPs and ad networks can provide you with lots of in-depth insights regarding user behavior and their reactions to your offers. You can get a clear understanding of how, when, and where your target audience usually engages with your ads. So, even if the prospect doesn’t end up purchasing your products, you will still get valuable information for your future communication.

Mobile geo targeting advertising examples

To get a better understanding of how exactly mobile geo targeting works, let’s review some examples:

  1. The classic example of mobile geo targeting can look like this: imagine a hungry customer choosing where and what to eat for lunch. They take their smartphone and conduct a “near-me” search of local restaurants or cafes. In most cases, as a result, they get a couple of offers from local places and usually choose among one of these. You can spend hundreds of dollars on the desktop campaigns during the working hours and hope these users will eventually come to your place for the next lunch. Or you can target the customers staying nearby during lunch hours with specific offers based on their interests. Guess which campaigns will be more successful?
  2. Another instance when you can successfully apply geo-targeting is when you scale up your business or simply build brand awareness. Imagine opening a new shop at the new location. How can you attract clients within a short amount of time? That’s right, hyper-local targeting can help you out with this one too! You can deliver your messages directly to the locals so that people get to know you’re there even before you actually open. And once you do, there’s already a steady stream of new clients who can’t wait to get what you offer.


Mobile geo targeting advertising is a powerful tool for both experienced advertisers and those who are only starting out with new businesses. It is useful for brand awareness campaigns, for promotion of new offers, and for returning your customers who live nearby. With the ever-increasing amount of mobile users and the growing popularity of “near me” searches, geo targeting on mobile devices can play a decisive role in the future of your business. Using this feature for your campaigns is no sweat, as it is already available on the DSP and requires only a few clicks to set up.

Reach your customers at the right place and at the right time with SmartyAds!

Written by
Irina Kovalenko, CMO of SmartyAds
June 2020