Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Register Here

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.
Register Here
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Waze to Introduce Ads Based on Where You’re Going

By Iris Hearn

Waze to Introduce Ads Based on Where You’re Going

The digital ads market is expanding again and probably not where you’d expect.

Google’s navigation app Waze has become the preferred GPS of nearly 110 million users each month. Unlike Google Maps itself or any other navigation app, Waze has a community feature where users can share real-time updates about the route you’re taking.

These can include traffic jams, accidents, road hazards, nearby gas prices, and if you’ll be approaching the police.

 Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

To ensure data accuracy, users can confirm if the conditions are still there when they pass. This unique engagement is what makes the platform so popular and makes it the perfect landscape for ads.

Because users are already used to seeing different notifications in-app, ads recommending nearby restaurants, retail stores, etc., are more likely to be welcomed.

The location-based nature of these ads also brings a level of relevancy that is helpful to both users and business owners.

Previously, Waze offered ads based on where users were currently located, almost functioning like digital billboards for your phone.

However, this week, Mobile Marketer reported that Waze is shifting focus from location-based ads to destination-based marketing efforts.

The news brings a lot of opportunities for local businesses, particularly for retail and restaurant locations that are struggling to bring in more storefront business.

What Is Destination-Based Marketing?

Traditional location-based advertising, whether it be old-school billboards or modern digital ads, rely on users in a particular location seeing your ad and making the decision to visit your store.

However, when drivers are on-the-go, it's difficult to create an ad that’s so compelling that can convince them to veer off-course and stop along the way.

If you’re specifically looking to make a stop to eat, a location-based restaurant ad might be effective, but that mindset only covers a very small portion of people on the road today.

Most people are focused on getting to their destination and rarely have intentions to make stops in the process.

With this in mind, the Waze team has found it is much more beneficial to advertise based on a user’s destination versus where they currently are.

Using a GPS to get to a destination assumes that the person is unfamiliar with the area they’re visiting.

This means that these ads are more likely to be welcomed by users, who would usually use their mobile phones to look up restaurants or stores in the area upon arrival anyways.

These are also more actionable because the ads aren’t asking people to veer off their predetermined course, but suggest things that compliment their existing plans.

So, if you’re spending the day in an unfamiliar city, for example, you can use the ads Waze provides in the last mile of your trip to learn about local places to eat or shop that you can add to your itinerary. Pretty convenient!

Uncovering Insights About User’s Needs  

To make destination-based marketing even stronger, Waze will use more than just the physical destination location, but also take the destination itself into account to better anticipate users needs.

For example, if you’re getting directions to a concert venue, it’s unlikely that you’re looking for recommendations for other events going on in the area, BUT you might be looking for nearby restaurants or bars to visit before or after the show.

Taking these behaviors into consideration can provide context and help advertisers show the right ads to the right people, which, of course, makes ads more powerful in generating positive results from your campaigns.

At this point, it’s unclear if Waze uses data from a user's previous destinations to target ads even deeper (which would be cool but admittedly a bit scary), or if they’re just going off the destinations themselves. Hopefully, this will become clearer soon. Considering privacy and data concerns today, however, this will likely be approached very carefully.

Digital Insights to Drive Real-World Action

In the past, digital advertising tactics were only thought to work for businesses who aim to drive digital sales.

However, in the past few years, digital tactics and analytics have been improved to better connect digital actions to real-world behaviors.

These ads from Waze are just one example and one marketers at brick-and-mortar businesses should not ignore.

As our technology becomes more advanced, marketers are getting better at using data to understand a user’s place in the lifecycle journey and determine what drives action.

It’s been said time and time again, but tactics like billboards that have a “see what sticks” mentality will rarely produce the ROI you need to justify ad spend.

Instead, by innovating tactics as Waze has, you can use data to consolidate your efforts and show ads to people that are more inclined to convert.

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.


Paid Media
Published on April 18, 2019

Recent Articles

INBOUND 2021 Recap: Takeaways, Speakers, and Lessons Learned
October 25, 2021 • 7 min read
Drift report on pandemic fallout reveals seismic shift in marketing strategy
September 9, 2021 • 3 min read
Google Shares New Tools to Audit Website User Experience
August 12, 2021 • 3 min read
Google: Website Content Quality More Important Than Quantity
August 10, 2021 • 3 min read
New HubSpot CMS Hub Starter Tier Released for Growing Businesses
August 6, 2021 • 4 min read
Why most marketing 'news' doesn't matter to inbound marketers
August 3, 2021 • 4 min read
Gartner: Slashed 2021 marketing budgets increases in-house ownership
July 30, 2021 • 6 min read
How to Optimize Videos On Your Business Website for Search
July 23, 2021 • 4 min read
Data: 'Funny' seniors imagery is not only demeaning, it's inaccurate
July 21, 2021 • 4 min read
Google: 'Here's how to prepare for the future private web'
July 16, 2021 • 4 min read
How Facebook's news feed algorithm works and prioritizes content
July 14, 2021 • 4 min read
Too many internal links in content can confuse Google about site structure
July 9, 2021 • 5 min read
Data: Facebook is No. 1 in revenue value for publishers, Twitter is a bust
July 7, 2021 • 4 min read
Google July 2021 core update rolling out over next 2 weeks
July 2, 2021 • 4 min read
Google punts third-party cookie ban to 2023 for 'responsible planning'
June 25, 2021 • 6 min read
Finally, Google page experience core update is rolling out
June 18, 2021 • 3 min read
Apple Mail privacy news spooks email marketers, newsletter creators
June 16, 2021 • 4 min read
Google June 2021 core update live, July core update coming
June 4, 2021 • 3 min read
You can boost LinkedIn posts and promote events, marketers
May 28, 2021 • 3 min read
Google's June page experience core update will be mobile first, then desktop
May 21, 2021 • 3 min read
Best times to post on social media in 2021 (new data)
May 19, 2021 • 4 min read
Deeper content engagement is up on desktop (new pandemic data)
May 7, 2021 • 4 min read
Google confirms demise of Q&A search feature, Question Hub lives on
April 26, 2021 • 1 min read
What is the new HubSpot Operations Hub?
April 23, 2021 • 2 min read
Big Google algorithm update moved to June with new performance report
April 21, 2021 • 4 min read