Retail Geo-Conquesting

May 31, 2016

By May 31, 2016insights

Do you remember when you were a kid and you threw a ball into the neighbours yard? Who knew why you did it? Maybe it was an “accident.” Maybe you had a crush on the girl next door. Whatever the case was, you used the ball and hopped the fence.

That is the modern technological equivalent of geo-conquesting in a nutshell: businesses hopping the fence of their competitors to take a portion of their business.

The practice is new and on the rise. It’s better to know about it now, so that you can learn how to market your business based on this new marketing strategy.

Understanding Geo-Fencing and Geo Conquesting

To understand geo conquesting, we first need to explain its parent term – geo-fencing.

The term ‘geo-fencing’ is the definition for when a retail or restaurant store puts up a virtual geographic fence around a specific area that triggers an action.

The area can be as large or small as you want it. Therefore, you can attract outside visitors to your store, or provide a coupon for those in your store to buy more.

For example, Woolworths can put a geo-fence around their stores to attract more sales from people in the area to their summer sportswear sale.

Anyone with a smartphone in this geo-fence gets a coupon encouraging them to buy now.

Conversely, geo-conquesting is a fence that you put around your competitors’ stores.

For example, let’s say you have a direct competitor who is 4 blocks away from your store.

You can set up a geo-conquesting fence within a 2-block radius of their store. That way, all of the customers at your competitor’s can learn about your business while they are near your store.

While this might seem a bit unseemly, businesses have been doing this for years.

For example, have you ever noticed that there are always two or three gas stations around the same corner? That is because when one sets up on a corner, others follow suit.

This is old school geo-conquest. While some companies might complain about this tactic, it is the same variation that you will use for your business.

How can you use geo conquesting for your business?

One of the first geo conquesting campaigns was done by Outback Steakhouse.

They ran a geo-conquesting ad campaign in 2013.

They targeted competitors in their niche with attractive ads to keep them top of mind with customers. While they did not release all of the information, they did get an 80% higher click-through ratio than normal for the casual dining industry.

To create a solid ad for your business, you need the following:

  1. Solid information on former customers. If you have a base, then it can be incorporated into a campaign.

Otherwise, you will need to use a platform like Yowza, Shopkick, or Phunware.

They can help you reach your targeted market through specific campaigns. While each of these services varies, you are using a variety of mobile ad and outreach strategies to connect with customers.

If you do not have any customers, then you cannot set a geo fence or by extension geo conquest fence around them.

Let us know if you have any questions about how to grow your customer list by Contacting Us for a free consulting session. 

  1. You have to understand the intent of your customers. This means that sometimes, it might not be enough to just use an ad.

Mobile and desktop users are very different. Someone on the go with a phone has the intention to do something specific. Therefore, if you want to get their attention, you need to be invasive without being annoying.

You might want to use this as an opportunity to give them educational or emotional information that may sway them.

  1. Location data is vitally important. The campaign runs off of the GPS data from smartphones. Therefore, if your customers are not the smartphone type, it might not be possible to use this strategy right now.

Geo-Conquesting Word of Warning

One thing to keep in mind with geo-conquesting is retaliation. While this might be a quick way to drive traffic to your business, your competitors could retaliate and use this to steal your customers.

As we discussed in 5 Strategies to Hyperlocal Geolocation Targeting, often companies who in engage in geo-conquesting might be called out by their competitors for their practices or receive the same treatment in kind.

While this does not mean you should avoid geo-conquesting at all costs, it is important to realize that you need to be aware of the possible repercussions of this marketing strategy.

Final Thoughts

The modern world of geo-conquesting is still in it’s infancy. However, it could prove to be a tremendous strategy for those who use it, and a horrendous pain for those who choose not to use geo-conquesting.

If you are interested in using geo-conquesting for your own business, feel free to reach out to us at Shout by calling us at: 1300 360 037 for a free consultation today.