Snapchat Geofilters for Multi-location Businesses

02.25.16 / Ryan Goff / Advertising

As we collected results from our Snapchat Geofilter test we couldn’t help but think of the implications for our clients, many of which represent multi-location businesses.

Sure, it was easy enough to manage a single day test for MGH, but what does scaling look like for a company with 400+ stores?

The short answer: it doesn’t look so hot.

This simple analysis is based on three factors:

1. Per location costs

For MGH’s single day and single location test, we were charged a total of $35. Not bad!

But most brand managers aren’t going to take MGH’s approach (single day, single location), unless they’re managing some sort of major event or festival. They’re going to want multi-day or multi-month promotions, using in-store elements to drive awareness and usage.

At scale, however, the numbers don’t make sense. For example: a brand with 400 locations that runs a one week test will spend somewhere around $98,000 to showcase its filter. Knowing that most brands are operating under limited budgets, what do you do with the other 51 weeks of the year? And what else could you have gotten for nearly $100,000? The answer: a helluva lot of Facebook ads.

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2. Locations as campaigns

During set-up, Snapchat requires that each location be treated as its own campaign. That includes uploading creative, setting timing, drawing a radius around the location, and entering payment info. So if you manage a brand with 400+ locations and are interested in a system-wide promotion, you’d be looking at replicating this process 400+ times!

Even with a conservative estimated set-up time of five minutes per campaign, you’d be hard-pressed to find resources to account for 33 hours of set-up time. And even if you could find those hours, would it really be worth the time?

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3. Integrated reporting

Beyond draining resources, Snapchat’s campaign-by-location approach raises another issue for marketers – a lack of collective reporting.

Since each location has its own campaign, it will also have its own set of reports. To our knowledge, there is no way to collect results across multiple locations/campaigns, increasing the workload on the advertiser.

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If you manage a brand or agency that represents a multi-location business, we’d recommend holding off on creating campaigns until Snapchat has addressed at least some our points. It’s not to say that the site won’t play a major role in your future marketing plans, but have some patience while they work through that whole “monetization of their business” thing.

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