Targeting Local Markets: An IAB Interactive Advertising Guide

Local online advertising is still a very small piece of the overall market and few tools exist to provide local advertisers the ability to effectively purchase local impressions. Companies are increasingly focused on the local online market. Many experts agree that local online advertising is poised for impressive growth in the next few years as local businesses get access to better technology. Borrell Associates forecasts the local online advertising to grow nearly 18% in 2011, from $13.7 billion to $16.1 billion.
 
“Targeting Local Markets” is an overall look at some techniques used by the online publishing ecosystem to help drive local online advertising. Some of the techniques provide better accuracy than others. Search is often used in local because of the intended action and ease in buying. Localized content has also become increasingly more popular as local blogs and newspapers report on community and neighborhood activities.
 
IP-based geo-targeting is commonly used for local advertisers to reach their audience; however, with only 25-50 miles of accuracy it is really only effective for regional advertisers to reach users at a DMA level. Similarly, Behavioral Targeting is frequently used to estimate a user’s location, but inferred location is still far from accurate for most local advertisers.
 
While techniques continue to evolve one thing is certain: a huge opportunity exists for local advertising online. With a large percentage of consumer spend happening within a few miles of the home, there is incredible incentive for the online ecosystem to continue to search for better tools to drive local advertising.
 
“Targeting Local Markets” provides example campaigns for 2 types of advertisers (one national and one local) that utilize various techniques to reach local audiences. These examples are illustrations of targeting technologies that marketers and advertisers can use today in their own advertising campaigns and should not be taken as an endorsement of any one technique.
 
The IAB Local Committee will continue to watch the marketplace and the evolution and development of new technology and techniques to reach local users online.