What is Geofencing Marketing?: The 4 Things You Need to Know

When it comes to making the best ad campaigns available that keep up with the new ways we can reach our target audience, we have to consider all options that are involved in the marketing mix. This brings us to a relatively new and yet extremely effective way of marketing: geofencing. Now I know what you’re thinking. What is geofencing marketing? Luckily, that’s what we’re here to answer today as well as how you can get involved in a new and very popular technique to reach a whole new demographic of targeted people.

Justin Croxton, a geofencing expert who works at Propellent Media in southern Atlanta, Georgia, is part of this amazing new trend, and he’s full of knowledge that’ll not only answer the question, “What is geofencing marketing?” is but also turn you into an expert of geofencing yourself! Let’s go over the things you must know when starting your own adventure into the world of geofencing, as well as the best ways to use geofencing to the advantage of your small business.

what is geofencing marketing

What is Geofencing Marketing and The CLICK Technique: “C” for “Curious”

Before we get into solving the mystery of what is geofencing marketing, however, we have to talk about The CLICK Technique! A 5-day crash course of my own invention, The CLICK Technique is designed to help you out if your website is currently sitting dead in the water.

Each letter in the word “CLICK” stands for a step you can and should be taking towards generating more successful traffic and leads, and the results honestly speak for themselves.

In the case of figuring out what is geofencing marketing, we’ll be focusing on the first “c” in the word “CLICK”, which stands for “curiosity”. Before you start with anything else, you need to make sure that your advertisements are making people interested in your website and services. Through piquing your targeted audience’s curiosity, you’re encouraging them to find out more about what you offer and how you can help them with any problems they could be having.

When it comes to answering the question of what is geofencing marketing, the very same notion applies. Since geofencing is a way of advertising, you need to make sure that what you’re putting out there is making people curious about what you can do to help them versus what other people are offering to do (or possibly currently doing). Geofencing lets you get the upper hand on your competitors while also keeping the idea of your brand in the mind of a potential customer, and that’s what curiosity is all about!

What Is Geofencing Marketing: 4 Things To Get You Started

Now that we know what we’re focusing on, we can return to the initial question at hand: what is geofencing marketing? Honestly, geofencing is unique, different, and what a lot of people are asking for nowadays. With the way it works compared to other marketing campaigns, it adds a nice change in the marketing mix for people who’re looking for something that’s a little more targeted in its approach.

There’s a lot to learn, and hearing all of the information at once might seem a little overwhelming, but by understanding the basics of geofencing marketing, you can start to see where it could be beneficial to you and your business. These are the things you have to know about geofencing before diving head first into a new way of advertising and marketing.

1: What is Geofencing Marketing About?

The base of this lies in the question of what is geofencing marketing, and why do people seem to be flocking towards it? In short, the idea of geofencing comes down to building an electric fence around a certain area that allows you to serve ads to people who visit the said area. The fence is, of course, technological, and can be fine-tuned to the exact contours of a specific building that you have in mind—whether that be your own storefront or the building of a competitor.

This technique is different from other ways of marketing due to the fact that geofencing gives people the ability to serve ads to individuals based on the physical places that they go rather than their interests. With geofencing, you can target people in very precise areas such as buildings, events, parks, trade shows, conventions, and conference centers. Instead of targeting people by state, city, or zip code, you can target very small, dense areas, giving you a chance to get very specific with the message you’re sending and who you’re sending it to.

People usually tend to go the way of creating a geofence around the building of their competitors. That way, when somebody walks into that building and into that geofence, you can capture the mobile device ID to their smartphone device. From that point, for up to thirty days, you can serve ads to them in two different ways.

The first way and the most popular way is through mobile applications. Think of things like Angry Birds and Words with Friends. The other is through websites that allow mobile advertisements, which you’ll see when you browse with Safari on your phone.  

When it comes down to answering what is geofencing marketing, it’s less about which application this person is currently using. It’s about the audience you’re generating and where they’re physically going. Because you can follow them for up to thirty days, you can track their foot traffic to see how often they return to the spot they were. Or if you’ve geofenced your own location as well, you can see just how often they come back to your storefront after visiting your competition. It’s a nice marketing mix to an advertising strategy.

2: Geofencing is Completely Mobile

That’s right—geofencing is done completely through applications and websites on your mobile device. When it comes to solving what is geofencing marketing, you have to remember that geofencing doesn’t connect to social media like Facebook or Instagram, nor does it connect to Google.

With geofencing, you have access to well over twenty to twenty-five ad exchanges, and geofencing gives you the ability to serve advertisements through so many different applications and websites.

The kinds of advertisements you can provide through geofencing are versatile as well. Though they’re mainly image-based (i.e. static, .png, .jpeg, and .gif), you can also serve video ads. Video, of course, is more costly, but you have the ability to do both, so using them intermittently can bring you a lot of success.

For example, feel free to open up your phone and check out any application you want. You’ll see the ads along the side, on the bottom, and at the top. They’re animated or static, but they’re there, and they catch your attention with every use of that application.  

Additionally, the ad spend compared to Facebook and AdWords PPC is great! The first thing you’ll want to know is that in most display campaigns, that average clickthrough rate is .1%. In terms of cost for geofencing and figuring out the world of what is geofencing marketing, the cost per 1,000 is what your rate is going to be based on. Some will charge you a reasonable fare, though some will charge more depending on how much the client is spending in digital marketing. Justin’s agency, for example, only charges $1,000 to get started in geofencing.

It’s important to note, however, that when you’re looking for agencies, you need to consider what’s most important to you. Can you measure foot traffic? Are you able to get 24/7 access to reporting to show which applications the ads show up on? Can you see analytics? Look at the full attributions to see what you care about the most when it comes to figuring out what is geofencing marketing.

3: You Can’t Geofence Everywhere

When tackling the important question of what is geofencing marketing, you have to remember that you cannot set up a geofence anywhere you’d like. Though geofencing is based on the idea of not being intrusive but more about being able to target people based on their particular location, you can’t make that particular location anywhere you’d like. There are laws that will prevent you from geofencing specific areas, and it’s important that you’re aware of them before you start.

For instance, there are several laws in place that will not allow you to geofence a location that’s near a middle school, elementary school, or kindergarten, due to the fact that children ages 13 and under cannot be targeted.

Additionally, there are medical limits as well. Geofencing locations such as abortion clinics and cancer centers are illegal as well, due to the sensitivities surrounding both topics. With those in mind, you can rest assured that other ground is fair game, and this method of advertising isn’t as intrusive as beacon technology, where push notifications are sent specifically to your phone as a means of getting your attention.

Geofencing is, ultimately, about doing what you want to do on your own terms. For example, if you see the advertisement in the application you have open and it looks compelling enough to click through—or, at the very least, have you thinking about the brand that’s offering their services—you’re succeeding. There are so many different uses for geofencing, and it makes you think strategically about where your customers hang out and how you can reach out to them in a more efficient way. By taking a more passive approach that’s still targeting people based on intent, you can make a strong foundation without being overly pushy and turning people away before you’ve even gotten a chance to make a proposal.

4: How Geofencing Stacks Up Against Other Campaigns

What is geofencing marketing, and how does it compare to other advertising campaigns? It’s hard to say for sure if it’s more or less effective against AdWords PPC or Facebook Ads, though, in terms of being apart of the marketing mix, it’s shown to be incredibly effective.

As stated above, you have the ability to measure foot traffic back to a client’s storefront by using geofencing. By building another “conversion zone” around your client’s location, you can measure how many times customers visited your competitors and then returned back to your initial location. You’re achieving way more ad efficiencies with geofencing because you’re getting right down to the person you’re trying to reach.

If you can’t measure your results, it’s not always worth it to expand in that area and spend the extra money in order to reach people in a different way. That’s why geofencing and answering the question of what is geofencing marketing is important to the marketing mix in working alongside things we’re all well versed in, such as AdWords or Facebook ads.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that advertising in and of itself is disruptive. You’re putting yourself in front of people and giving them a reason to reach out and think about you when they’re looking for something you can provide. Because of this, you’re getting more efficiencies in your ad spend with geofencing. You’re not targeting a whole swath of people that you don’t intend to reach, compared to things like creating an audience on Facebook of people that might not respond. Instead, you’re getting down to the individual building that people are walking into and serving ads to those exact people.

What is Geofencing Marketing?: Be Wise and Be Smart

All in all, answering the question of, “What is geofencing marketing?” comes down to what kind of technique you want to use when trying to reach out to your potential audience. By utilizing the power to target people so specifically, you’re reducing the waste you could be used in other places by taking a chance on diving into an audience that might not respond. This way, you can get your message out in a way that alerts people to what you can do while they’re already in the mindset of needing your specific services, cutting the roundabout time in half.

Just remember: when you’re staring down the journey of what is geofencing marketing, you want to make sure you let the professionals take care of it. You’ll waste more money trying to figure out how to do it on your own, and when there are people around who can do it for you—and at a reasonable rate, too—there’s no reason to not take them up on that offer. Since it’s a new and developing campaign tactic, there’s always going to be more to know about geofencing, but this guide is certainly the best place to start learning how to use it effectively and as soon as possible!