Geo-fencing at a high level is nothing more than its name – a virtually drawn fence around a geographic area. When marketers or businesses create a geo-fence, the end goal is to target the people that enter this area with advertisements in real time and for 30 days after. The GPS service on every phone is what allows marketers to see when someone has entered into a fenced location and serve an ad.
In most situations this data is used to trigger an in-app advertisement to the person who entered the geo-fence. Ideally, this ad will be served while the person is still inside the fence.
If this still sounds vague, here’s a few quick use cases to clear up any fog in your mind.
Example 1 – Car Dealership
A car dealership in Dallas creates 30 custom-drawn geo-fences around their nearby competing dealerships. When a customer carrying their mobile device enters the competing locations, an advertisement comes up on their phone showing them a special one-time offer on a car. This potential customer can’t find a reason to stay at the dealership they’re currently at because the offer is so good, thus, they leave and head over to the one who sent them the offer.
This may be the ideal scenario, but we’ve seen this exact situation play out time and time again.
Example 2 – Airplane Enthusiast Event
A huge event is coming up next month for airplane enthusiasts and all the attending vendors want a way to reach the attendees digitally. So, they set up a geo-fence around the event location and when their target audience steps into the fence, they can promote themselves to those people. Even better, they can target these same people for up to 30 days after the event and work on getting that sale from the right person.
Example 3 – Urgent Care Center
An urgent care center needs to promote their fast service, and cheap prices. So they geo-fence 20 of the nearest hospitals and target all who has entered those hospitals with an ad promoting their speedy service. And when someone enters one of these fenced areas, they can also push discounts based on the time of the year, such as cold and flu checkups during winter.
What you can do with Geo-fencing
Geo-fencing, or virtual fencing gives you the power to target a hyperlocal area, but this means you can use it for several different purposes. Here’s some of the different things you can do with geo-fencing.
- Competitor Conquesting: Identifying your competitors and sketching out a location around them lets you target their customers in real-time.
- Event or Trade Show Targeting: If an event or trade show that’s valuable to your business is happening soon, you can target everyone in that location in real-time with your message.
- Staying top-of-mind: When a potential customer enters a location that is of significant value to you, you can stay top of mind with them with branding ads for up to 30 days.
- Related products/services: By sketching out a fence around a building that offers a product or service that is related to your big ticket items, you can reach the right people.
- Owned location fencing: Geo-fencing your own businesses location allows you to target people who have already bought from you on their phone, desktop, or tablet.
Another awesome thing about geo-fencing is that it doesn’t have to just be one tiny area. It could range from a whole city, all the way down to a tiny chunk of sidewalk. Anyone in a location that is considered high-value to your company can be subject to your branding, deals, or promotions.
And that’s another thing, your message doesn’t have to only say “Get 50% off over at X location!” You can play with the message to match that exact audience, at that exact time, with a custom promotion. You can even build a page custom for a geo-fencing campaign that is linked in an advertisement you created. This way, when a lead clicks through, the sales funnel is all the more effective.
What’s a real-life example of Geo-fencing?
During our work with CareNow, we provided geo-targeting solutions customized for their business. This was a piece of the overall solution we used for their business that lead to a raise of 33% in their new patient acquisition.
Check out the case study here.