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Recruiting Intelligence

Geotargeting and Retargeting in Digital Marketing

We want you, our loyal readers, to understand frequently used terminology in digital and social media marketing. Geo targeting and retargeting are sophisticated approaches to reaching the right audience through your marketing campaigns.


“Geo targeting in geomarketing and internet marketing is the method of determining the geolocation of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on his or her location, such as country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, IP address, ISP or other criteria. A common usage of geo targeting is found in online advertising.” (Wikipedia)

Geo targeting will allow you to personalize content for your website visitors based on the visitor’s location. For instance you could control the navigation of the visitor’s experience in a specific, proscribed manner. If a website visitor is located in China, using a Chinese IP address, you could take the visitor from your site to a form written in Mandarin as you attempt to capture more information about this prospective student. 

New geo targeting options are also becoming available based on increased mobile usage. Imagine you enter a mall and you receive coupons to enhance your visit experience. Or you pass a university campus and you receive an invitation to register for a campus tour. These are the kinds of opportunities we will see increasingly in the coming years.

“Behavioral retargeting (also known as behavioral remarketing, or simply, retargeting) is a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions, in situations where these actions did not result in a sale or conversion.” (Wikipedia)

You are familiar with retargeting even if you’ve never heard the term. Think about when you’ve Googled an item— a dress, a book, a vacation. You then visit one of the top sites recommended by Google, poke around the site and move on. Later in the day (and sometimes for many days thereafter) you begin to see ads for similar items in your email, on Facebook, anywhere an ad can appear. Sometimes that seems creepy— big brother watching over your interests. This is retargeting. By working with a retargeting company, there are many that exist, you can create the same effect for visitors to your website. If a prospective student spends some time viewing your site, researching options for academic study, you can then have an ad for your site appear in various web locations. This can reinforce a student’s earlier interest in your institution and reinforce your brand.

Think of all these technologies as a way to deliver the right message to the right user at the right time.  This applies to your website, email and any other communication. 

Think about your user experience at other popular websites like Netflix or Amazon. Your user experience is adapted based on prior activity. 

Quite a bit of information presented on US university admission websites is not relevant for international students who may not qualify for US financial aid and will need to complete different applications for admission. Similar to your Amazon account, increasingly websites will provide a personalized experience based on your relationship with the university. For example, if you are an admitted student, the information presented to you will be different than if you have not applied yet or you are already enrolled. 

If you are interested in learning more about other aspects of personalized digital marketing, have a look at the Slideshare presentation from Kurt Holstein, an esteemed marketing expert, who spoke at the Intead Global Marketing Workshop in New York this past summer.






Know Your Neighborhood - Fall 2017
Global Alumni Management for U.S. Institutions