Geo-fencing – Marketing in the new world

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I’ve been asked to write this article on Geo-fencing so that you will hopefully have at the end of it a good idea of what geo-fencing is and how it can help in your business.  

Geo-fencing is like the new kid on the block and is increasing in its popularity as more and more marketers and business owners learn about it.  The No.1 player in the market is Google and in essence Geo-Fencing is – Mobile marketing. Not marketing to people’s mobiles, but rather using their mobiles to track where they are geographically.  

This form of marketing is an essential tool and because everyone is on their mobile these days you should be using this for your business. Geo-fencing, or geo-framing, lets you target a unique group of people by their specific location.  

Geo-fencing is a location-based service delivered via a cookie placed in your mobile phone telling businesses where you are.  A virtual boundary can be set up around a real-world geographic area, known as a geo-fence. The use of a geo-fence is called geo-fencing.  

It uses GPS (global positioning system), RFID (radio-frequency identification), Wi-Fi (wireless networking) or cellular data (how a smartphone accesses the internet when it is not connected to Wi-Fi) to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary.  

Why is Mobile marketing essential to success you might ask – well the statistics speak for themselves as:

80% of internet users own a smartphone.

Users spend, on average, about 69% of their media time on their smartphones.

Over 50% of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up.

68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy.

88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.

One way to look at geo-fencing is as an extremely advanced mobile advertising based on physical location.  This technique is great for events, works in real time, easy to customise audiences and you can go back up to 6 months in terms of collecting data.  It is a direct marketing strategy which uses a smartphone to alert the person who owns the phone about an offer from a nearby business.

Step 1 – Define your fence:

Geo-fence marketing is a virtual fence that is traces around a location where the advertiser wants to build an audience based on their visit to that particular location.

Step 2 – Tag the audience:

Once someone enters the geo-fenced area, they will become part of an audience that can later be targeted with your company’s adverts.

Step 3 – Show your adverts

Once your advert is live, customers will then start to see your adverts on free apps that they have on their phone.  The consumer can see these ads from between 1 and 30 days after they have entered the geo-fenced area.

Businesses can use this in several different and exciting ways.  It can add a whole new dimension to your analytics that can be quickly and easily unlocked using location based mobile marketing.

For instance you can bring your data to life with real world context. Visualising your data on a map provides a new perspective from which you can derive new insights.  Location and time are critical elements of mobile marketing and with geo-fencing mobile apps can drive engagement with real time.

Geo-fencing works because you can create a virtual fence around a certain location in which you’d like to market.  Therefore, when people turn on their phone’s location services (GPS), your geo-fencing campaign can communicate with then when they are in your ‘fenced’ location.  You can create your ‘fence’ as small as a local convenience store or as large as the city of London – it’s up to you.

Geo-fencing also works because people are attached to their mobile phones and use them all the time.  They actually want location based marketing and statistics show that 80% of people say they want alerts from business and are willing to share their location if they get something good in return.

We are used in business to targeting an audience and knowing where your audience likes to spend their time and with geo-fencing you can take it a step further and target them where they already are – on their smartphones and tablets.

Benefits include:

  • Increased foot traffic to your physical store
  • Increase web traffic on your website
  • Improved customer service
  • Happier customers and increased referrals
  • Integrated social sharing to improve brand awareness
  • Rising above your competition

An example of geo-fencing is if you’re attending an industry-related conference, you might want to geo-fence the conference location. Why? Because the people attending the conference are obviously already interested in your industry, and are more likely to positively respond to your marketing messages.

Another example could be – Let’s say you own a Golf Club.  You put a geo-fence around every other golf club in your catchment area and then start advertising to everyone in your catchment area who plays golf.

What is there not to like.

Want to know more from us about digital marketing, or geo-fencing?  Drop me a line.

Steve Mills