by Bret Dunlap

Understanding Geo-targeting Technologies

The holy grail of advertising is being able to reach consumers with the right message at the right time.  Mobile technology combined with creative advertising can deliver the holy grail of advertising—courtesy of the consumer’s pocket.

While geo-targeting across other advertising channels such as TV, print or online may be nothing new, geo-targeting on mobile goes one step further by enabling advertisers to target consumers on the move, via nomadic devices, based on their proximity to a specified area (geo-fence) and then serving the ad at the exact moment that the consumer enters the circumscribed area.


let us put definitions to the jargon.

Geo-Fencing & Geo-targeting

When looking to pinpoint an audience based on geography, the terms geo-fencing or geo-targeting are used. These different terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably, creating confusion in the marketplace.

Geo-targeting is a broad reference to the method of targeting an audience based on their location – ranging from as wide as the state to as granular as an address

Geo-fencing is the defined area that is used when geo-targeting.  It is a virtual barrier that is created around a defined area, in many instances in the form of a radius. A geo-fence can be as broad as a state, or as hyper-local as a city block.  The smaller the geo-fence the more granular the targeting.


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