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Apr 30, 2024

Geotargeting in the cookieless world

Chris Yu
Author Chris Yu

Geotargeting can be a simple yet effective strategy in adapting to a cookieless environment. Here’s why geotargeted marketing can be a tool to your cookieless advertising strategies.

As the digital world continues its deprecation of third-party cookies, brands worldwide are pivoting – searching for ways to effectively implement cookieless marketing and targeting. 

One of the main challenges advertisers are facing is personalization. Specifically, how can marketers maintain personalization in their strategies while still remaining privacy-compliant? 

Enter, geotargeting. 

Geotargeting or geo-contextual targeting is one approach that aims to address both the personalization and privacy aspect of this current marketing conundrum. Geo-based marketing and geo-based advertising have been around for a while, yet it’s underutilized, mostly because marketers don’t realize its full potential or they aren’t fully aware of its capabilities. 

Geo-contextual marketing is more than just geographic location targeting. There are many benefits and advantages to geotargeting, with a major benefit being the approach complies with our current cookieless era.

What is geotargeting?

Simply put, geotargeting is the practice of delivering advertising content within a defined geographic boundary to customers who meet specified criteria. It is audience targeting based upon their geography or location using identifiers such as country, state, or zip code. 

Geotargeted marketing also lets brands identify and target consumers based on certain demographics and behavior aside from just location. 

This is not to be confused with geofencing. Geofencing is also a type of location-based marketing. However, geofencing marketing reaches a large audience based on their location whereas geo-based targeting reaches a smaller audience based on their location, demographics, behaviors, interests, and more.

Simply put: geofencing usually takes into account location while geotargeting users several factors such as location, behavior, demographics, and interests. 

How does geotargeting work?

Unlike geofencing which uses a specific radius around a latitudinal or longitudinal point (in more technical terms: using GPS and and radio frequency technologies to set a virtual perimeter for targeted marketing), geotargeting makes use of a broader range of criteria (location data such as zip code, city, state, IP address, device ID, amongst others.).  

Typically, location-based advertising lets marketers target ads in specific areas to reach their potential customers. However, with the increasing use of mobile technology, marketers can now achieve even greater precision by targeting customers based on their GPS and proximity to local “beacons.” By using automation, personalized ads can be triggered when customers opt into location sharing on a mobile app.

When combined with demographics and customer intelligence from app activity and mobile search behavior, the location data becomes even more powerful. This lets marketers target ads not just based on a potential customer’s location, but also on their interests and preferences. This is the essence of geotargeting.

For instance, if a customer frequently orders food (say, burgers) through a brand’s app, a marketer can use geo-targeting to offer personalized deals tailored to their choices and where they usually pick up their food (like offering a discount or free add-ons at the local burger joint the customer usually orders at). This creates a seamless and engaging experience for customers, both online and in-store.

Geotargeted advertising is beneficial in identifying and including those specific audiences and demographics you purposely want to target and in turn, also exclude those you don’t want to target.

It creates more accurate targeting in a cost-effective way. At the same time, the content and ads become more relevant and valuable to customers. It also reduces acquisition costs – reducing the average cost-per-click (CPC) as well as wasted impressions and clicks.

Goetargeting also helps establish authority and brand loyalty. By building trust and better local SEO, you can serve the needs of local customers better; providing locally relevant search results, creating a better user experience, and establishing your brand as the go-to company for a specified location.

Utilize effective targeting in the cookieless era with geotargeting

Targeting in the post-cookie era can be less of a challenge with cookieless geotargeting. 

Using geotargeting offers personalization options in targeted advertising without depending on ID-based identifiers, third-party data, or cookies. You are able to increase audience engagement while still respecting privacy and data regulations.

Specifically, it lets marketers and demand-side platforms (DSPs) concentrate their campaigns in geographical areas of relevance. Because you are targeting users based on their location and not their personal identity or data, geotargeting becomes a privacy-compliant targeting approach – while staying personal and relevant to the user.

In a way, geotargeting is a form of contextual advertising without having to collect any third-party data from consumers. It focuses on the information of the page instead of tracking the user; positioning ads based on content so that users with certain collective behavioral attributes are targeted and in turn, visit and engage with the content.

Additionally, geotargeted ads are more contextually aligned, valuable, and relevant to consumers. The geo-contextual approach helps ads allign with the customer’s values and interests (since it takes into account demographic, behavioral, social, cultural factors, and more), all without sharing personal data and making customers feel that their information or privacy is compromised. 

To sum up, geotargeting creates personalized marketing without the need for consent or compromising of user data. It allows for more sustainable and future-oriented advertising in the cookieless world.


Unlock the power of geotargeting with illumin

illumin has integrated with Foursquare, a top provider of location technology to streamline the platform’s location based capabilities. This integration lets marketers seamlessly build custom geofenced audiences.

By bringing Foursquare’s geotargeting directly into illumin, accessing the location of your audience segments becomes an accessible, integral part of your toolkit. 

Learn more about how you can leverage geotargeting with illumin. Contact a sales representative today.  


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