Geofencing advertising, sometimes referred to as geofencing marketing, is the application of a virtual boundary around a location, in which certain rules are applied when a mobile device enters or leaves. The size of a geofence can be modified, but most often the shape is a standard radius.

What is Geofence Marketing?

Mobile marketing has emerged as the dominant force in local marketing, and savvy marketers can use the techniques in many ways to target specific customer profiles based on geography, demographics, cultural habits and other key criteria. Geo-targeting is the process of using global positioning (GPS) and/or radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies to define geographic areas. Although the technique is used for smartphone marketing, marketers can use the same technology for identifying customers who are on their desktops, laptops and tablets.

Creating a Virtual “Fence” Around Specific Areas and Neighborhoods

Mobile advertising offers many marketing benefits such as targeting customers who are looking for a nearby restaurant, store, tourist attraction or service. Statistically, about 30 percent of the global population already uses location based marketing, and 80 percent of consumers want to get location based alerts based on their interests. [1] When you set up a virtual fence, anyone who enters and accesses the Internet from a computing device can receive alerts, marketing messages, coupons, menus, daily specials and other information if they opt-in to receive this information. Marketing uses for the geo fencing include engaging customers at a local level more effectively than other promotional methods. You can trigger immediate sales based on a prospect’s proximity to your brick-and-mortar operation. It’s a great way to promote a grand opening celebration or target customers who have visited one of your competitors.

Best Practices for Targeting Customers

If you’re marketing on mobile devices, there are some practical considerations. Phones that aren’t being used won’t receive messages and alerts in a timely fashion, and people who are driving through a given area usually don’t stay within the fenced area long enough to research the Internet over their phones safely. However, the method is ideal for targeting auto shoppers, mall visitors and music aficionados who want to follow a local band tour. Marketers can send targeted SMS messages, Push Messages, Banner Ads within mobile applications and coupons to passersby to get them in the door.

Other best practices for creating geo targeted mobile ads include:

  • Targeting customers based on time of day such as reaching late-night urban snackers, nightclubbers, etc.
  • Building trust with key audiences such as millennials who can find relevant apps without looking for them
  • Promoting special events, festivals, location based marketing campaigns and concerts
  • Marketing to win-back customers who haven’t visited recently
  • Advertising special, event-based sales such as those for holidays, major weather changes, school and university events and social media events such as scavenger hunts and bar crawls
  • Using local keywords to trigger paid advertising
  • Excluding areas where your customers won’t be
  • Fencing your competitors’ locations to offer their visitors special deals and product alternatives

There are many tips and techniques to increase conversions and generate qualified leads. Data drives marketing decisions, and statistics show that investing in this emerging technology is a wise decision. About 60 percent of consumers research local shops on their mobile devices, and 40 percent of consumers do this while commuting and traveling. [2] About 70 percent of consumers are willing to opt-in and share their locations in return for receiving incentives.

Generating Successful Geo-Targeted Mobile Ads

The best strategy for leveraging geo fencing marketing technology involves recruiting an experienced development partner to guide you through the process. A turnkey approach includes providing access to proprietary databases cultivated from data-rich customer profiles, multiple marketing channels and various computing devices. The right marketing partner can help you target the ideal audience for your business, recommend areas to “fence” and manage your campaigns regardless of whether they’re consumer-oriented, business-based marketing, direct publisher integrations or promotions for towns, cities, festivals or tourist-related events. Once your preliminary profile is set, a strong partner will help you develop custom campaigns based on your needs. The turnkey approach would include designing a landing page, generating banner ads, coding your marketing applications and generating effective art and images. An intensive analytics campaign will monitor your results and allow you to make strategic changes to increase conversions, generate leads or increase awareness. This powerful and affordable technology is one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching targeted audiences when proximity is a major consideration.


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