Zercher: A new way to reach your competitors’ customers

This year has seen a lot of growth and new businesses starting all across Colorado. This is good news, but for many in established businesses it means contending with more competitors than they started the year off with. Luckily, there is a relatively new technology that can help you stand out from your competitors, and even start reaching some of their customers.

The new technology I am referring to is actually a combination of multiple targeting techniques and delivery systems, but for the purpose of this article we will call it “hyper-targeted advertising” or “HT” for short. HT itself isn’t actually that new. The corporate giants like Walmart and Target have been using it for some time. What is new is that HT has developed to a point where it is now accessible to small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofits.


Let’s start by defining how this technology works, then talk about how we suggest using it to target your competitors. The technology uses a number of metrics, including past physical locations, past Google searches, what kind of articles potential customers are reading, and demographic info like age, sex, income, etc., which are bought from third parties like Google, iMaps, Snapchat, etc.

HT then uses those targeting metrics to build a custom audience of potential customers that would be ideal for the offer or advertisement you are looking to run. Once the audience is built, we begin delivering ads directly to the specific people identified as perfect potential customers. These ads show to your target audience everywhere from Facebook to the banner on their ESPN or Weather app. Though not everyone reads these types of ads the first, or even second time they see it, once it shows on their screen 15-plus times they are almost guaranteed to have read the ad, and if your offer is interesting enough to them, they will then engage with your business.

Though this may sound like an expensive plan, these types of campaigns are often quite cost-effective, with firms offering their minimum campaign size for small businesses at between $1,300 and $1,800 on average.


Now that you understand the basics of how it works, we can go over how some of our clients are using this tool to directly target their top competitors. Because we can target people based on their past physical locations via GPS data, we can choose to target only the people who have recently visited your competitors’ locations, and layer on data like age, sex and income to target only the ideal individuals we want to reach from among your competitors’ customers. Over time this kind of campaign can allow you to effectively and simply grow your business as you reach out to those you know are already in the market for your services and can piggyback off the general advertising done by your competitors. Non-competitive organizations like nonprofits and public institutions are also getting great use out of this technology by zeroing in on the perfect donors based on their activity, income, interests, etc.

This technology can also be used to reach out to your competitors’ employees for the purpose of recruitment as well. We have run several recruitment campaigns using this technology in the last year and have seen much better than average results, particularly with our clients in fields with constrained workforces like certified medical staff, electricians, etc.

My team and I would love to help answer any questions you might have about this new technology. But before we end this article I want to encourage you to think about two things. 1) Someone else could already be using this technology to target your clientele or your employees, and because it is very hard to tell if this is happening, the best strategy is to be proactive in this arena. 2) Though learning this type of new advertising strategy may be time-consuming or slightly costly, the slowest companies to adopt new technologies like this are often the ones left behind.

Timothy A. Zercher is president and CEO of Pueblo-based EasySocial. Zercher can be reached at easysocial.solutions.