What is Proximity Targeting?

As a form of Geo-targeting (Geography Targeting) or location-based marketing, Proximity Targeting is used to target potential customers based on their mobile location services, in real-time.

Using the consumers mobile location as signals, Proximity Targeting is regularly used to deliver highly personalised and targeted ads using Dynamic Creative to drive conversion, often to a local business in close proximity to the individual’s location.

Importantly, Proximity Targeting is available for both web and app inventory in Display & Video 360 (DV360).

Proximity Targeting can also be used to search for business chains, individual points of interest (POIs), street addresses, and even based on latitude/longitude coordinates.

Proximity Targeting

“Marketers surveyed said location data…improved ROI for their marketing and ad campaigns (74%)”

Source: Location data is a boon for marketers, study says, Mobile Marketer

What are the benefits of Proximity Targeting?

  • Hyper personalise your Dynamic Creative based on location-based signals – according to the Mobile Marketing Association, 82% of marketers use location data to personalise the customer experience
  • Drive instant conversions of customers  – with many location-based ads focused on driving conversions, it’s important to look at your organisation’s use of Attribution to accurately measure the impact of Proximity Targeting and where that fits within the path to conversion (also see point 6 below)
  • Leverage purchase consideration – according to Think With Google, “80% of smartphone users in Hong Kong have purchased a brand they wouldn’t normally consider because of relevant information shown to them on their smartphones”
  • Grow customer engagement – according to Which-50, 8 out of 10 marketers say location-based advertising and marketing produced growth in their customer base (85%), higher response rates (83%), and higher customer engagement (83%)
  • Gain deeper knowledge of your customers – According to Mobile Marketer, marketers using location data gained deeper knowledge of their customers’ needs and interests (77%), improved ROI for their marketing and ad campaigns (74%), and increased lift (70%)
  • More accurately apply Attribution  – stats from Marketing Interactive have identified that 35% of marketers use location data to close the online to offline Attribution gap
  • Attract customers using Geo-conquesting – comparable to targeting a competitors brand terms as a search strategy, draw customers who are visiting (or have visited) competitors physical stores by using Dynamic Creative (and either street address or longitude and latitude coordinates) to personalise offers to achieve market share from your competitors

“79% of APAC mobile-first shoppers look for information online as they shop in physical stores.”

Source: Drive sales and reach more customers with Google, Think With Google

What is Geo-conquesting?

Geo-conquesting is a strategy when an advertiser uses Proximity Targeting (location-based) ads to attract and convert prospects and customers to their business by serving ads to consumers who are visiting (or have visited) a competitor’s business.

Using a 3rd party mobile DMP for Proximity Targeting

While there is significant power in using Proximity Targeting through Display & Video 360 (DV360) and Google Marketing Platform, an alternative is to use a 3rd party mobile DMP to enhance your targeting strategy.

Many 3rd party DMPs also offer location-based targeting, one of the key differences between these offerings and Google is that Google has a very strict policy on privacy for an individual’s personally identifiable information (PII), anonymising any data collected through Proximity Targeting. Some 3rd party DMPs may incorporate consent-based location data and user graphs (often using mobile device ID to match cross device impressions and conversions). Solution providers such as Alike Audience integrate directly to Display & Video 360 (DV360), ensuring maximum efficiency and effectiveness of your Ad Tech and media spend.

Choosing this type of targeting strategy will largely be determined by your organisation’s budget and philosophy when it comes to privacy, something we explore in more detail in our article on privacy in a cookieless world.

“Recent studies show that we (Australians) check our phones between 85 and 130 times a day – sometimes much more.”

Source: Are we slaves to our smartphones?, The University of Sydney

How to set up Proximity Targeting in Display & Video 360 (DV360)

In Display & Video 360 (DV360), you can set up Proximity Targeting within your Advertiser location lists using the below instructions:

  1. Go to your Advertiser in DV360 > Resources > Location Lists
  2. Click Create New
  3. Choose Regional Targeting (for postal codes) or Proximity Targeting (for individual points of interest)
  4. Name your list, and paste up to 10,000 line separated postal codes (Regional Targeting) or 10,000 street addresses or latitude & longitude pairs (Proximity Targeting) and click Save
  5. Find your location list via search under regional or proximity geography targeting.

Importantly, the Google Marketing Platform also includes settings which let you prioritise localised ads to be served within your Proximity Targeted Dynamic Creative, for example serving a localised Bondi-based creative variation over a Sydney-based variation, all set based on your dynamic feed.

“‘Near me’ searches have grown 4.5x since 2016 across APAC’s top five English-speaking countries”

Source: Drive sales and reach more customers with Google, Think With Google


Proximity targeting has a number of research-backed benefits, achieving cut through and ROI from your ads. Whether using first party or third party data within your audience strategy, leveraging Proximity Targeting allows you to maximise the full power of the GMPs integrations through unified reporting and ongoing personalisation of your creative and media spend.

For more information on Proximity Targeting, consultation or support on how you can leverage Proximity Targeting or how to build your targeting strategy within the Google Marketing Platform, please contact the FiveStones team today.