Google decided long ago that brands would have to spend money to defend their most precious assets from their competitors: their brand names. Instead of focusing on new, incremental customers, brands today are still spending a good portion of a staggering $144.8 Billion on search advertising, with many of those clicks coming from their most loyal customers.

What if you could save money on organic visitors to your stores?

Paying for Organic Traffic to Your Stores

Most brick-and-mortar brands don’t realize it, but they have a problem similar to this. Many drive-to-store campaigns result in the brand paying for organic traffic even when the intent is for the business to attract new, rather than existing customers, to their stores. Would a business like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts want to pay the same amount to reach a loyal customer who visits five days a week vs. a new potential customer they are trying to entice to try their product? 

In Q1 2022, we found up to 63% of Starbucks customers in New York City also buy coffee from the Dunkin Donuts right down the road. This leaves a great amount of opportunity for both brands to reach out to those customers who are “cross-loyal” and focus marketing efforts on regaining their brand loyalty – and 37% of Starbucks loyalists that can be removed from typical competitor conquesting campaigns.

A competitive, local marketing strategy requires a greater understanding of shopping behavior and audience segmentation. Finding new, incremental customers — and conquering your competitors — requires a completely different strategy than keeping in touch with your loyal, organic customers. When building your next campaign to attract new customers to your store, make sure you’re thinking about the four A’s: Analytics, Audience, Attribution, and Activation.


It has been proven that the typical radius approach to identifying customers to your particular store lacks the true insight stores need to identify prospective new customers.

We can see where your customers live, work, and shop on any given day. And we can also identify and report on your local competition and the “battleground” areas you share with them. Incorporating data points like how long a person is willing to travel for a coffee, new clothes, or even a car vary incredibly — and analyzing this data in real time at your individual store level allows for a more comprehensive and cost-effective marketing strategy.


Understanding your most loyal customers can be fairly simple, but you should be able to exclude them entirely when trying to identify new customers. Stop wasting money on your organic visitors! Understand your competition’s customers instead. Finding the right audience to target is one key to a cost-effective, high-performing marketing strategy. In addition to the typical data inputs like gender, age and income, finding new customers and enticing them to visit your stores requires a platform that can identify your potential audience when and where they are most likely to convert. Using a platform that combines basic demographics along with real-world behaviors, online and offline purchases, and psychographics will drive the highest results.

For example, if Starbucks could identify loyal Dunkin Donuts customers who stop each morning at 10am at a store just one block from the closest Starbucks store, being able to reach them on their mobile device at 9am when they are heading out the door would significantly increase conversion rates. They could then reallocate their advertising budget to remove existing customers and use those dollars to conquer their main competitor. Knowing when and where to reach your potential audience is even more important than just drilling down into a basic lookalike model — and imperative when you’re trying to conquer your local competition.


Identifying incremental visitors for a given campaign will also allow you to effectively allocate budgets and determine ROI on your ad spend. Knowing in real time the number of incremental visits your campaign is driving allows you to pivot your strategy on the go as well as to fully understand the cost per incremental visit of your campaigns over time. Using a platform that can easily identify and attribute loyal vs. new, incremental visitors gives brands the opportunity to message loyal and new customers in a way that is unique to them and will result in an increased conversion rate.


Finding the right audience through sophisticated targeting, being able to attribute your campaign performance to new vs. existing customers, and then analyzing your customer makeup at a granular level allows brands to activate customers in real-time and reach a new, incremental audience with the highest chance of conversion — resulting in an overall lower cost, more effective marketing strategy. A strategy that includes all four of these key components will allow you to create a scalable, efficient and reliable growth engine for your business.

Originally Published in Advertising Wee