geofence marketing is a must!

What is GeoFencing and How it Helps Your Small Business

Adrienne Wilkerson July 14, 2016

Geofence marketing and geofencing apps use invisible boundaries to target nearby customers with surveys and coupons and it is an emerging powerhouse marketing technique for small and large businesses.

As a marketer, when I look at the benefits of geofencing technology, I honestly get really, really excited. If you are a business owner or responsible for the marketing and sales in the business you work for, you need to be seriously excited about what geofencing can do for your business. There are just a few reasons you should be excited about this newer technology:

A recent study included retailers like Starbucks, Toyota, and ASDA to collect data on geofencing technology, its uses, effectiveness etc. In the study, after the customer entered the business or left the geofence area, a targeted ad was shown to them. The campaign resulted in an astounding 60% more traffic to the involved businesses! The study also found that the click-through rate for the ads increased by 40% for retail and 33% for restaurants. Gordmans reported a 200% increase in click-through rates on their geofencing campaign and Hauser-Ross Eye Institute says they have brought in 333% more revenue from their geofencing campaigns and techniques!

One of the challenges in the past has been that you have to get people to opt-in or download a specific app to get the coupons, offers, and other pieces of information you might want to convey with your program. The beauty is that now with Facebook offering this option in their ads, everyone on Facebook has automatically opted in!

Now that you are sold on the geofence let’s talk about some items that can make your campaign as successful as possible!

  1. First off, you want to make sure the content of your offers, coupons, and whatever you are pushing out to people who come into the geofence you set up is relevant, interesting, even addictive. For instance, giving loyal customers a reward when they come into the general area around your retail store would dramatically increase the chance that they will stop by your place and invest more in your products.
  2. Second, you can leverage your location. Sending a targeted offering in the parking lot could steer a customer away from a competitor. You can get even more creative and a florist could target a chocolate or dessert business nearby with the reasoning that if a person is buying chocolate, they might also want to buy flowers.
  3. Third, leverage the hyper-local power of geofencing. As a retailer or restaurant, you can tailor your offers and coupons for local events. A local family restaurant could target the nearby soccer fields during the championships and increase traffic after the matches. Similarly, a local ice cream shop or stand could geofence a local park and push out offers everyone in the park.
  4. Finally, remember not to make your geofence too large. For instance, you will dilute the reach too much if you set it to be the whole city. Instead, be strategic about where you set it and the size. Big enough to include a big enough group to make it worth your while, but not so big that it reaches people that are too far away to make the effort to do something with the coupon or offer. A good rule of thumb is to keep the fence small enough that people can commute to your location in less than four minutes (either by car or on foot). One exception to this rule would be sending alerts about an upcoming special or sale in advance. In that case, you might instead set up a geofence around a competitor’s location or around a place where your customer/patrons frequent, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with your location.

Especially with Facebook adding the option to their targeted ads, geofencing is not something you can ignore these days, especially if you are in the retail or food industries. But I think just about any business can benefit from it if one is creative enough. For instance, a tailor could use a geofence around high-end clothing stores in town, an orthopedic surgeon might target the local tennis park. There are many uses for geofence marketing. We would love to get creative with you and discover how geofencing could help your small business marketing! Give us a call at 907-563-6008 or email us at [email protected].

*Special thanks goes out to Christian for all the help with the research on this blog!

AUTHOR BIO

Adrienne Wilkerson, President

Adrienne is one of the founders, an owner, and the president of BEACON. She specializes in content marketing, graphic design, branding, and training on Inbound Marketing techniques. She is the founder of Beacon Digital University and a co-founder of Alaska Inbound Marketing Summit. Adrienne was recognized as the 2015 Marketing Visionary of the Year by the American Marketing Association's Alaska Chapter and has won numerous awards for her brand and graphic design projects. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the Top Forty Under 40 in Alaska by the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

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