How Can Retailers Get Shoppers To Travel 50 Miles To Their Store?

Ad tech platform ownerIQ says that ‘geo-weighting,’ not geofencing, is the answer.

Programmatic ad platform ownerIQ’s release of its “geo-weighting” technology promises retail clients that they can go beyond traditional location targeting to better drive in-store traffic and sales.

The program relies on second-party shopping data to predict a user’s likelihood of visiting a store by basing its analysis on two things: location proximity alongside the kinds of products a consumer has previously looked at online.

The idea behind ownerIQ’s geo-weighting is meant to solve the issue of wasted ad impressions by targeting in-market and in-location consumers, as opposed to targeting based on location only, says Ben Barr, director of Retail Targeted Marketing at ownerIQ.

“My customers will travel 35, even 50 miles to visit my stores,” says Richard Yagjian, EVP of the WB Hunt Company’s d/b/a Hunt’s Photo & Video, an ownerIQ client. “Geo-Weighting focuses my ad spend on in-market shoppers near my store, and also gets my message to those hard-to-reach customers farther away without wasting money on unqualified shoppers.”

GeoMarketing: What is “geo-weighting” and how does it help drive in-store purchases?

Ben Barr: It’s differs from geo-targeting, which looks a lot like this in today’s digital marketing world: You set a hard radius – let’s say 15 miles – around a specific store location, and try to find users inside that radius. Are most of the people within that radius interested in going to that store? Probably not. So you omit certain low-performing zips and DMAs to try and fine-tune your targeting. Job well done, right?

Wrong. Geo-fencing is not an effective way to geo-target. What if your perfect shopper is 15.1 miles away, with a full wallet burning a hole in their pocket? What if that “low-performing” DMA is currently home to the most qualified potential shopper your client has ever seen? Sorry, guys. What if someone is right next door, but hasn’t  shown any intent to buy your product, or any interest whatsoever? Come on in! Oh, wait…

You’re wasting impressions and dollars on users who are never going to visit your client’s store, and you are missing eager shoppers right under your nose.

We feel your pain, and see the digital marketing world a bit differently that’s why we created Geo-Weighting. Our new tech treats each opportunity individually, tapping into our huge pool of second-party shopping behaviors from top Retailers and Brands to qualify each user and rate their likelihood to visit a specific store. As if that’s not enough, we break down the geofences the other guy is setting. We don’t want to miss Mr. Perfect Shopper just because he is slightly farther away from the store. He wants to come in – why don’t we help him? And DMA/Zip-scoring? Would you let the USPS dictate any other parameters of your marketing campaign? Us either…

By scoring users individually based on browsing behavior and proximity to relevant store locations, and not constricting ourselves to any artificial boundaries, we have created the new industry standard in geotargeting.

In terms of the second-party data ownerIQ accesses, does that come directly from the marketer? What other data sources does ownerIQ use or does it mainly rely on in-house data collection?

The honeymoon is over for digital marketers and third-party data segments. ownerIQ deals in the new currency of digital marketing second-party data — as in Retailer and Product Brand websites sharing their first-party data with advertisers to create transparent and incredibly relevant audiences for marketing campaigns. This creates a new means for advertising revenue and greater brand awareness.

For example, the shopper you are looking to reach is shopping for baby gifts. We know this, how? Because we’ve collected their shopping behaviors at Babies R Us, The Land of Nod, Destination Maternity, etc.

As a programmatic agency, does ownerIQ primarily focus on “real-time” ad targeting?

Digital marketing today needs to happen in “real-time”. Every programmatic shop claims to find the right user at the right time in the right place, but if you don’t have the data to feed that, it doesn’t matter how quick you are. ownerIQ has the data to back up our programmatic, and over 200M+ shoppers in our ecosystem — ensuring actual real-time targeting to the right consumers to drive actual outcomes.

Then again, you could pay someone to physically follow a shopper around and yell brand names at them as they shop — it doesn’t get more “real-time” than that – but if they aren’t yelling the right brands, then who cares?

What kinds of clients does ownerIQ serve? Is retail the main category of marketer? What marketing categories does ownerIQ aim to grow its services for?

What you shop for is the best indicator of what you want to buy. It’s a simple statement, but it’s inarguably true. Using that as our mantra, The Q serves the retail ecosystem of course, but also runs KPI-crushing campaigns for all kinds of advertisers: Retailers, Product Brands, Financial Institutions, Education, Telecomm. You name it.

While online retailers are one of the key sources of our shopping data, they aren’t necessarily our key advertiser. If you’re trying to drive any sort of outcome in a physical store or online, or just want to get the word out about your new brand or product, our unique data and tech (including Geo-Weighting) is the best way to do that.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.