PMG Digital Made for Humans

Geo-Targeting Your Campaigns: The Why and How

3 MINUTE READ | July 21, 2015

Geo-Targeting Your Campaigns: The Why and How

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Nick Weeks

Nick Weeks has written this article. More details coming soon.

Nowadays, when everything seems to be distributed or communicated with a global scale in mind, it can sometimes be difficult to remember the importance of localization.

At PMG, we have a wide variety of clients that we service. All have their own needs, some only doing business in the United States, and others across all parts of the globe. It’s our job to make sure that we not only meet the needs of our clients, but also exceed them through clever thinking and innovation.


Working on one client in particular, we were tasked with developing a marketing strategy to target several markets being used in an out-of-home campaign through another agency. With this client in particular, we had typically set up campaigns at the country level, both in the US and internationally. As most campaigns involving this client focused on overarching brand messaging rather than specific products or services, targeting individual regions seemed to be an inefficient use of time and money.

When we began to assess the markets that the out-of-home campaigns were targeting, we noticed an interesting opportunity. These markets in particular, while typically more expensive to advertise on the traditional media side, seemed rather cost-efficient in the world of paid search. This is where we went to work.


Mimicking the structure we already had in place for some of our previous campaign builds (at the national level) we created duplicate campaigns through Marin, the performance advertising platform that we use for this particular client. Separate iterations of the duplicate campaigns were created for each market and named accordingly. Each campaign was set up within both Google and Bing to geo-target each market and negatively geo-target the rest of the country. Conversely, the campaigns without geo-targeting listed these markets as negatives also. The negative settings are extremely important to get right, as they will prevent the national and geo-targeted campaigns from competing with each other.

After creating the foundation for these new campaigns, the next step was to create ad copy. We already knew that for this particular client, our top performing ads always had a strong call-to-action – so we chose to use this format for our test. The ad copy would also need to include variations of calling out each market in different variations of the headline and description lines as well.


After doing some testing and pushing our strongest ads in each market, it was time to see how it all paid off. The campaign ran for about 90 days, and we saw some incredible results.

  • 51% higher CTRs (click-through rate)

  • 16% lower CPCs (cost per click)

  • 128% higher CVRs (conversion rate)

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While this isn’t an exact formula for every client, it serves as a great case-study and story of how localization can be an important asset when used correctly. Advertisers are always trying to find new ways to resonate with a user to give them a better experience, but more often than not we tend to over-complicate things. Just remember, sometimes relating to someone, even as simple as localizing your ads, might just have the positive impact you’re looking for.

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