Keyword time: Geofencing.

March 15, 2019

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Digital Marketing has been around for a few years now and many of us are familiar with most aspects of having a digital strategy. However, it is not uncommon to come across a term or phrase that you have never heard of, so we will be explaining what some of those words mean, starting with Geofencing.

- Geofencing: what is it?

If you work for a big company or have someone in your team responsible for marketing, you have probably heard about this before and it made you anxious just from the sound of it, but actually the good news is that geofencing is much simpler than it sounds and is also very useful when you are running a business.

In a few words, geofencing is the process of using technology such as GPS, RFID or Wi-Fi and Mobile Data to virtually define a geographic area, also known as a geofence. This geofence works as a boundary for that area and allows businesses to interact with users inside that defined area.

- What is it for and how does it work?

Geofencing was first used for purposes other than marketing. At first it was mainly used as a monitoring tool for secure areas by sending a notification every time someone entered, and it is also widely used in fleet management, to send alerts to dispatchers every time a truck gets lost or even for human resources when employees use their smart cards to enter an unauthorised area.

That being said it was not very long after this technology was invented that it started being used for marketing purposes. Why? Because if you own a company and you define a location by the use of this technology, it enables you to interact with users in that area by sending them push notifications, alerts and specific text messages or by promoting social media ads based on their location.

This is especially relevant as it can give you different insights and metrics that will allow you to know your client better and improve your marketing strategy. For example, if you own a supermarket and your clients are coming in as a result of geofencing promotions that will allow you to track not only sales but also how long they stay or how often they come to the store.

Geofencing can also help you to improve your sales as it will boost your ranking in local searches. How? If you use this location-based system, you can target local customers and send them custom messages and push notifications. You can, for instance, create a campaign for local customers with special promotions only for that geographic area. This will prompt them to visit your store and get in on the offer faster.

Lastly, the best part of geofencing is probably its ability to collect data purely based on location, which will then allow you to personalise your messages accordingly. If, for example, your local customers prefer a certain product from your store, you can alter your promotions with that in mind.

- How to use it?

It is important to bear in mind that geofencing is not for every type of business, but if you want to implement it all you need is an app and GPS coordinates (keep in mind that not all your customers will be able to use this as it depends on their mobile device).

Once you have your app and GPS coordinates, you are all set to go and just need to decide what you are going to promote. While doing this, keep in mind some aspects that will help you do it in the best possible manner:

Be transparent: make sure you let your customers know you are using this technology and respect their privacy. This includes being clear about the information you are collecting from customers who use your app and helping them feel comfortable with that.

Know your customers: before starting any campaign, you should take the time to understand your audience. This will help you save time and money and will guarantee you better results. Once you have understood who your target is, select a targeting method and stick to it.

Start small: don’t choose a big area right away. Start off by selecting a specific area and expand it if you feel the need in future.

Analyse and improve: make sure you have a clear CTA that requires immediate action. After each campaign, analyse the metrics and data to see how you can improve on the next one.

If you have any question about geofencing or would like to know more about a specific term, let us know in the comments section!

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