By Paul Reyes-Fournier
Geofencing is a new form of geo marketing that sends a message to consumers once they enter a predefined geographic area. Using a smartphone’s RFID or GPS system, a company can send promotions, advertisements or coupons to customers when they are near enough to act on the company’s marketing message.
One of the simplest ways to use geofencing is to shoot customers a message while they are walking by your store. However, there are other reasons to make geofencing part of your marketing plan.
Before you start sending coupons and promotions, build up your brand awareness. Today’s smartphones like the Galaxy S6 are equipped with high-resolution displays and professional-grade cameras. This gives both your business and your customer the ability to snap photos and post them online. Tagging these images and placing them in your geofencing queue lets potential consumers see your brick-and-mortar business before they are in front of it. This increases your brand awareness without needing to launch a large, potentially expensive marketing campaign focused on reputation.
From Static to Dynamic
The new trend with web design is responsive design, which changes the look of a website depending on the device that it is being viewed on. Geofencing has its equivalent with situation fencing, which adds a layer to the user’s location that identifies what the user is doing. This makes the marketing dynamic by creating the possibility of developing a marketing conversation. Car service Uber, for example, uses a form of situation fencing to identify a person at an airport that seems to be waiting for a ride.
Metrics and Targeting
Geofencing is highly targeted on specific demographics that are location based. This lets you devote your marketing energy to a focused group of people. Being well concentrated opens opportunities for analysis on your marketing successes and failures. According to an article for PlotProjects, most people open an app once on their phone and never do it again. You can avoid this with spatially marketed advertising by pushing messages and reminding users about your business app. Then, you can analyze the data that is sent back to you.
Better for the Budget
There are more than 1.5 billion Facebook users. Even at a fraction of a penny each, marketing to everyone on Facebook would cost millions of dollars. And worse, most of the people would not be in a position to act on your advertising. Geofencing is budget friendly because it only looks at a predefined distance outside of your door. Even looking at the per person rate, geofencing is cost limited to the number of people that walk by your store or the number of members in a jogging group at the park. You define the fence and save your marketing budget. Even large companies like Starbucks get a good bang for their buck by geofencing the local store areas.
Wave of the Future
One of the most important reasons to embrace geofencing is because you are expected to use it. In this day of smartphone interactions, consumers are becoming more and more accustomed to depending on digital technology for information. As geofencing becomes commonplace, consumers will only look for businesses that are pushing geographically appropriate information.
With a Bachelors in Physics and a MBA, Paul Reyes-Fournier worked in aerospace and education but his passion to do something good for the world led him to a career in the non-profit sector where he has served as the CFO of a multi-million dollar rehab agency. Paul has lobbied Congress for funds to help homeless individuals and served on the BOD for social service organizations. He is a published author, co-author of CoupleDumb.com, and has written for JG Wentworth, Walmart, and LifeLock.