Geotargeting Strategies for the Top 20 US Airports


Surprising, Not Surprising

It will surprise no one to learn that airport travelers tend to be wealthier and more educated than the general population. Equally unsurprising, research has found that frequent flyers are much more likely (+56%) to try new products than the average adult. But here’s the interesting part: according to Scarborough research, three quarters of frequent flyers say that they actually pay attention to advertising in the airport.

Love them or hate them, airports are ideal locations for advertising. But paying for environmental ads in airports can be cost prohibitive if you are trying to reach a niche audience. Geotargeted digital ads offer a much better alternative for most businesses, whether they’re selling something in the airport or not.


Google AdWords Targeting Map

Google AdWords Targeting Map

Facebook Ad Targeting Map

Facebook Ad Targeting Map

Google and Facebook Agree, Mostly

Both Facebook and Google offer geotargeting within airports. You can set up campaigns manually by selecting locations, or you can bulk load lists like the Top 20 below. Another option is to limit ads by zip code, since most airports have their own zip.


The Top 20 US Airports by Passenger Volume


While Facebook can hardly be considered an impartial source of research, their demographic estimates for the top 20 US airports generally match up with external sources:

  • Facebook estimates that 2.5 million adult users were “recently in” the Top 20 US airports

  • 50% of these travelers have a household income over $100,000

  • 70% are over 30 years old

  • 20% are technology early adopters

  • 60% like drinking wine

  • 3% have their relationship status set to “Engaged”

Although you can’t directly compare Google and Facebook estimated ad reach, it is helpful to compare their estimates to see where there may be opportunities or just plain errors. For example, Google estimates generally line up with airport volume numbers with one huge exception: Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Google projects ad reach in ORD at a whopping 3 million — an order of magnitude greater than any other airport in the US. Similarly, Facebook’s estimated reach at Miami International (MIA) is probably twice what it should be.

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