Geofencing is not new! The term was first coined in the 1990s and have been used in various Location Based Services (LBS) over the years. But with mobile phones becoming increasingly smarter, Geofencing has grown in popularity and adoption especially by brick-and-mortar businesses that also has an online presence.
What is Geofencing?
Geofencing involves using Wi-fi, Mobile Data, GPS, RFID, Bluetooth Beacons and other geolocation technologies to target users with specific ads when they enter a specific geographical boundary.
The ads could be in the form of:
- App notifications
- Text messages
- Text ads
- Social media messages
- Social media ads
- And so on…
Why Geofencing in Digital Marketing?
Search ads display a certain ad to the user who is searching for a certain product or service. How do you translate that into the physical world. When somebody walks into a certain geographical area, mall, office, or building, is it possible to advertise products that are in the specific area.
Yes, and that is exactly what geofencing does!
What if you walking around in a mall, and got a message offering an awesome discount offer for the shoes you always wanted, wouldn’t you consider checking it out?
‘Exclusive offer for you - 40% off on all running shoes at Phoenix shoes – Mycity Mall’
An ad like this popping up on your mobile would tempt many of us to check out the Phoenix Shoes store.
Not just this, the possibilities of Geofencing are enormous.
- Location-specific offers to products at a certain radius around the store.
- Ads to be displayed near your competitor’s stores.
- Ads for physical classes for dance, music, instruments, fitness etc. near specific locations.
- Recruitment ads near offices or office complexes.
- In-app notifications for specific locations.
- Upselling or cross-selling while the customer is already in a store or a restaurant.
- Hyper-targeting to yield better returns.
- Collecting more accurate data about customers.
- Target your competitors’ customers by geofencing areas around their stores or offices.
- Collect feedback from customers as soon as they have consumed your service.
What are the technologies used in Geofencing?
Geolocation technology also called geopositioning or geotracking has been used for many years in finding the position of a ship, a flight, animal tracking, cartography and so on. From the days of using stars, we have now moved on to radars and satellite technology to accurately find the Latlong of an object.
- RFID - Radio Frequency Identification uses tags placed on objects, that respond to radio waves emitted by Tag reader devices.
- GPS – Global Positioning System owned by the US government multiple satellites to accurately pinpoint the position the geolocation of an object that has a GPS reader.
- Wi-Fi or Mobile Data – Required to connect to the Internet
- Bluetooth Beacons – Bluetooth Beacons are options used for short-range communication, say when a customer is near the checkout counter.
Top Geofencing Solutions
Geofencing Solutions are built into many ad platforms and apps enabling you display ads to customers when they enter or exit a geofenced area. You can also build it into your own app or use some of the popular geofencing solutions available.
The growing popularity of Geofencing
According to Statista, there are 6.56 billion smartphone users in the world. And almost 100% of those phones have GPS.
Around 5 billion people have internet access, that is about 63% of the world population.
There are so many ads we see everyday in our mobile phones, that it’s easy to block them out. Unless the ads have some context, they are uninteresting, repetitive, and plain annoying.
But what if you saw an awesome promotion for a product when you were actually shopping and close to the store, wouldn’t that catch your attention? Marketers are realizing the importance of targeted ads to the right audience at the right time, and that’s what Geofencing helps in.
Privacy Concerns in Geofencing
From the point of view of the customer
With all the benefits of Geofencing, it can also cause security and privacy concerns where people are tracked all the time using their mobile phones. All mobile phones, and app have permission-based location tracking, where users can instruct the app to track their location ALWAYS, ONLY WHILE USING THE APP, OR NEVER.
Choosing Never might prevent you from using the full functionalities of the app. You could choose the middle ground, and allow apps to track your location only while you are using the app.
From the point of view of the marketer
With a potent tool like Geofencing, it’s imperative that marketers practice responsible marketing. Always ask for permissions for location tracking if you have your own apps, do not infringe on customer privacy, do not stalk customers, stay away from sensitive topics, respect Unsubscribe options, allow options to block notifications easily, and generally be very careful about customer privacy.
The future of Geofencing
There are many applications of Geofencing in the industry today. And it is set to grow in the coming years.
- Tracking livestock or endangered animals as they enter or leave designated areas.
- Law enforcement where certain assets or individuals are tracked to ensure that they do not leave certain premises.
- Preventing entry to certain areas that are restricted or hazardous.
- Better utilization of resources in Logistics and Transportation industry by allocating vehicles that are closest to the where the demand is.
- IoT applications where devices can respond based on whether the customer is at home, away, or close to it. Fridges that remind you to buy milk, or air conditioners that ask you whether you need it switched on, or mobile phone chargers that remind you to charge your phone, is not far away.
- Military and Security applications where drones or other devices are prevented to flying over specific areas.
- Effective data collection about users gathered at a specific area, or frequent visitors to a specific area.
As the Digital world changes, the Digital Marketing world is also changing rapidly. Target your customer at the right place at the right time with cutting-edge Digital Marketing Services from Tagbeans Digital. Reach out to us today!