Location-Based Advertising Presents An Opportunity For Brands To Target Consumers


A report by digital analytics group Lightstone found that the average South African visits a petrol station nine times a month, far more often than required just to refuel. Forecourts offer convenience of access and shopping and are perfectly positioned to provide for daily consumer necessities, particularly in the post-Covid environment where people are favouring convenient shopping centres.

Crucially, the average dwell time at forecourts is 15 minutes. That’s enough time for the average person to run 4km, an aeroplane to travel 232km, or your blood to travel 1km. That’s a lot of time to catch people’s attention, especially with targeted marketing messages.

To take advantage of this footfall coupled with dwell time, Tractor Outdoor has relaunched its Digilites network of full-motion, high-definition, small-format screens at 80 BP and 100 Sasol forecourts across Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

In advertising, as with so much in life, location is everything. With the war for consumers’ attention heating up, location-based advertising presents an opportunity for brands to target consumers with laser focus. This is because marketing messages can be placed in contextually relevant locations like malls, gyms, office blocks and bars, matching the message to the likely activity and thus increasing the likelihood of conversion. Furthermore, because this sort of advertising is inherently nonintrusive, it can catch people’s eyes as they move through the day without making them feel pestered or bombarded.

The number of loyalty programmes operating at forecourts across South Africa is a clear indication that these are attractive, highly transactional spaces. Consumers are ready to spend money when they visit a forecourt; the key is to engage them at the right moment.

That is made so much easier by the lack of advertising clutter in these locations. Forecourts are clean, efficient spaces outside of the usual advertising network, where increasing saturation makes it hard to stand out. This lack of competition for consumers’ attention, coupled with screens positioned at eye level, offers advertisers a unique opportunity to push targeted, relevant messages to people in a moment of decision-making.

‘Forecourts are high-traffic areas with fast food offerings, convenience and grocery stores, multiple loyalty partners, car washes and so forth, representing a powerful opportunity to influence the buying consideration of customers,’ said Lizelle Mc Connell of Tractor Outdoor. ‘With an average dwell time of 15 minutes, consumers have the time to engage with content and follow measurable calls to action, whether that’s popping into the convenience store to purchase a product or downloading an app to receive a discount.’

With consumer spending shifting from busy commercial centres into outlying areas, the future looks bright for marketers putting their digital out of home dough in the right places.