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Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting increases ad relevancy by selecting creative content to show based on the viewer's geographic location. Using the same geo-lookup technology that powers Google Maps, you can dynamically update an ad's images, text, videos, and more. For example, you may want to highlight a new business location opening in Paris for viewers in that area.

There are two categories of geo-targeting available:

AdWords API geo-targeting (recommended)

Global content targeting based on a variety of geographic location types, including (but not limited to):

Advertisers can place multiple, different geographic location types into the same column of the feed; therefore, there can be separate content targeted for San Francisco and California in the same column of the feed.

Use the AdWords API for strategies that require more flexible targeting. See some geo-targeting examples.

Standard geo-targeting

Targets content based on one of the following geographic location types:

  • country (global)
  • DMA region (US only)
  • postal code (US only)

If you wish to use more than one of these location types, you must create a separate column in the feed for each type.

Use standard geo-targeting for feeds that contain many different location values within one cell or feeds that will be updated frequently.

Create your feed

  1. Start with a feed template Refer this sample feed as a starting point.
  2. Fill out the feed Follow these general feed instructions to begin populating the feed.
  3. Add the geo-targeting column After following the general feed instructions, make sure to add a column for geo-targeting (e.g. city, state, region, etc.). Enter the appropriate geographic value for which each row of content that is targeted. Follow these formatting instructions when populating the geo-targeting column.
AdWords API Tip
To avoid content selection problems, make sure the geographic values you're using in your feed are available in the AdWords geographical targets list

Create your Studio profile

After uploading the feed to the Studio profile, follow the below steps that are specific to geo-targeted strategies:

  1. Navigate to Step 2: Manage Data. In the Data types and filters section, select the appropriate field type for each of the columns in the feed. For the geo columns, select the appropriate geo type:

    • For Standard geo-targeting, select the name of the location type: Metro code (DMA), Postal code, or Country code.

    • For AdWords API geo-targeting, select Accurate geographic type.
      Setting data types - accurate geographic type
  2. Navigate to Step 3: Manage Rules. Confirm that the "Type" drop-down is set to Auto-Filter and the "Summary displays" Filtering on: Geo_Code (or whatever the geo column is called). If necessary, click Manage to update the filtering column.

    Confirm the feed is filtering on the geographic column
  3. In Step 4: Generate Code, the dynamic code is generated. Follow these steps to incorporate the dynamic code into the creative asset files and upload the final assets to Studio.

  4. In Step 5: Preview, preview the creative by entering the name of the appropriate location into the parameter field and clicking Launch/update preview.

    Note that geo codes aren't supported in dynamic preview.

  5. Publish your profile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-development

What are some good use cases for geo-based dynamic creatives?
  • Country
    • Country targeting can be useful for pan-European campaigns. For example, entertainment campaigns for games and movie releases can target different content to users in different countries.
    • It can also be useful for multilingual creatives across regions. Creative agencies can build a single creative in DoubleClick Studio and define elements such as landing page URL, video, and dynamic text, so that they update depending what country the user is in without retrafficking.
  • Region
    • Local customization in regions allows for stronger user engagement, and can be used to advertise regional events and promotions. Custom values are served in selected regions, provinces, or states. And you can set up generic, default values to serve in non-target regions.
  • Postal code
    • More granular customization of creatives allows for more relevant content for users. This kind of customization is useful for advertisers who may have specific offers or store locations based on city, DMA®, or Zip.
What is required to run a geo-based dynamic creative?
  • Standard assets required for any Rich Media campaign
  • Completed feed
  • Dynamic image files
  • Dynamic copy
  • YouTube video IDs (intro and/or full)
  • Exit URL(s)
  • Geographic target choices
  • Font files for dynamic banner copy
Do you have any sample assets?

Yes! Check out templates in the Rich Media Gallery. 

Do you support geo-targeting by radius or proximity?

There's a proximity targeting feature currently in beta. Contact support if you're interested in trying it out.

What if an impression is served to a user for whom I do not have matching geo-specific content in the targeted rows of my feed?

For example, the dynamic creative content is targeted to US cities, but a user in Paris is selected for a dynamic creative impression. There are two potential results, depending on how the feed was created to handle these situations:

  • If there is a Default content column in the feed, then the default content row will be served in this scenario. As long as the default content row is set to TRUE in the feed, the user will be served the default.

  • If you did not include a Default content column in the feed, there is no eligible content to serve. DCM chooses another creative in the rotation (based on priority) to serve to this user. If there is no other creative in rotation, DCM serves the default ad.

Development

What if I receive errors when I upload my feed?

If any of the geo values do not match the expected format for dynamic creatives, an error message is displayed. For example, “Geo lookup failed for location referenced in record number X.”

When this error occurs, make sure that the geo data in the feed matches the acceptable data formats for all records. 

Post-development

How do I preview a dynamic creative by location?

Go to Step 5: Preview in the Dynamic Content workflow. If the profile is correctly set up to filter based on a user’s geography, there will be an option to enter Location. For best results, enter a specific location to preview the creative (e.g. full address, such as “1 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10003”). A full address is likely to yield better results than “New York.”

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