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The digital marketing mix continues to evolve, offering marketers more and more opportunities to get their message in front of prospects and customers. One opportunity that marketers are using to enhance reach and tie the offline and online worlds together is geofencing.

Geofencing is the use of a user’s physical location through legal, ethical, and open-source methods to then show display ads online to them for a duration after.

Marketers can set specific “fences” around physical locations and for those devices that enter those spaces, they can then target them for up to 30 days after their visit. The reach and effectiveness of this tactic can greatly enhance other paid and organic search and display marketing campaigns.

In a time where we’re constantly trying to reach our target audience, we can’t always wait for them to search for us. Through running campaigns on search and social that target specific interests, demographics, and targeting, we can go outbound and put our sponsored content and ads in front of prospects.

By layering in geofencing, we can add another layer by factoring in physical location.

Specific Geofencing Examples:

Trade Show Support

There are a lot of ways to invest in trade show marketing programs. From official sponsorships to booth placement, or digital marketing campaigns to drive engagement before, at, and after the show, geofencing can provide a powerful supplement or alternative to traditional trade show tactics. 

By specifically “fencing” the conference venue–plus possibly popular conference center lodging–you can get your messages and display ads in front of a larger number of people than those that would show up at your booth. Plus, you can stay in front of them for up to 30 days after the show started. This is an affordable and effective way to reach a lot of people with trackable results. 

Sure beats buying the banner over the entryway (or supplements it if you’ve got that banner in your budget too)!

Competitor Location(s)

If you’re in a competitive landscape competing for sales and attention, then it probably makes sense to geofence your competitor stores or locations. For a grocery store, it could make sense to “fence” competitor stores in a certain area that competes with your store. Messaging could include discounts, promotions, and loyalty bonuses to entice your target audience to come to your store on their next shopping trip. 

You know why people are at the competitor’s store(s) and can safely assume that they are clearly in your target audience. By geofencing, you can supplement or find alternatives to more costly traditional marketing like direct mail.

Similar Audience Location(s)

Maybe your company is unique and doesn’t have a head-to-head competitor. You likely know who your target audience is and what other things they enjoy. A performing arts organization, for example, would know the venues and locations that their target audience goes when not attending a performance. There are likely other entertainment venues like theaters, movies, museums, and events in the area that draw the same type of crowd. By targeting these similar or common audience locations, you can present advertising and messaging to the audience you need to reach.

Your Own Location(s)

For organizations that have a captive audience in their own location, geofencing can be a powerful way to provide customer benefits. A sports team could geofence its arena and provide discounts, promotions, loyalty offers, and messaging to get the customer to come back and to stay top-of-mind. Ads can be served both while in the building and for a duration after. 

This is a great way to communicate with the captive and known audience who already knows the brand to increase lifetime value and engagement over time.

These are just a handful of examples and ideas. Interested in learning more? Have ideas for how you can leverage geofencing for reaching your target audience? We’d love to talk.

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