Recently, Burger King launched a bold new marketing campaign. Using geo-targeting on nearby users’ devices, the fast food chain encouraged users to stop by and check in at a nearby McDonald’s in order to qualify for a free sandwich from…Burger King.

This campaign accomplished many things in one fell swoop. First, Burger King got the attention of consumers, a difficult enough ask in itself. By stirring up what had come to be expected, Burger King made an impact.

Second, Burger King also took advantage of location services. In today’s age of prioritized user privacy, it’s important to remember that there is a protocol that must be followed when targeting customers based on location. However, if a customer’s device has location sharing on, then it’s truly game on for savvy yet tactful brands.

Third, the chain was able to one-up the competition in a humorous way (the jury is still out on how funny McDonald’s found the campaign, though!). Even if a consumer isn’t a fast food eater, they are likely still talking about the campaign. And that is how an idea proliferates and takes hold.

How to use location targeting to get the most out of marketing

So what lessons can be taken from this campaign?

Let’s hone in on one key piece of the puzzle here: location targeting

Location targeting enables brands to reach customers in an entirely new, entirely curated way. Let’s say some potential customers are attending a popular music festival. Brands interested in getting the attention of the festival-goers might consider using geo-targeting for social media ads. By directing these ads at people in a specific location, a brand can reach consumers at opportune times.

An additional benefit of location targeting is the fact that this concept puts the brand into the customer’s hands rather than asking them to seek them out, or hoping they will search for just the right term on Google.

By taking this extra step—hoping the customer discovers the brand on some platform or some internet search—a brand can automatically increase the quality of any leads generated. Customers who are geo-targeted may have a more specific interest in the benefits of purchasing a product or service from a brand.

Location targeting is easy to do, especially on social media

By simply entering in the location the brand would like to target, ads can then be pushed out to users fitting the demographic and location criteria. Make sure that the copy grabs and the graphics are high-quality and watch the conversions come in!

Through the creative use of geo-targeting, brands now have a whole new avenue of possibility opened up. While this type of targeting must also be done tactfully, reaching consumers has never been easier.

It’s all in how this tactic is utilized—it can easily backfire if done improperly. However, getting familiar with this technique is useful to keep a brand at the forefront of the latest in digital marketing approaches.

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Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations: 5WPR is one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.

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