Geofencing Marketing – A Guide to Location-Based Advertising

geofencing marketing

Geofencing marketing is a location-based marketing strategy that uses technology to target potential customers when they enter or exit a specific geographical area, known as a “geofence.” It’s a highly targeted approach that leverages mobile devices’ GPS, Radio-Frequency Identification, Wi-Fi, or cellular data to send relevant messages, advertisements, or notifications to users’ smartphones or other connected devices when they are within the defined geofenced area.

Why Is Geofencing Marketing a Great Strategy?

Geofencing marketing is considered a great marketing strategy for many reasons:

Precision Targeting: Geofencing allows businesses to precisely target their audience based on their physical location. This is especially powerful for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations or those looking to reach people in specific areas.

Relevance: By sending messages or advertisements to people when they are in or near a specific location, you can make your marketing efforts more relevant. For example, a coffee shop can send a coupon to people passing by in the morning, increasing the likelihood of them stopping in.

Personalization: Geofencing enables personalization by tailoring marketing messages to the local context. This personal touch can make customers feel more connected to the brand.

Increased Engagement: Messages sent through geofencing can be highly engaging because they are timely and contextually relevant. This can lead to higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates compared to generic marketing messages.

Competitive Advantage: Businesses that effectively use geofencing can gain a competitive advantage by reaching potential customers when they are in the vicinity of their competitors. For example, a restaurant can send promotions to people near other restaurants in the area.

Customer Insights: Geofencing can provide valuable data and insights about customer behavior and preferences. Businesses can analyze location data to understand foot traffic patterns, peak visiting times, and customer demographics.

Cost-Effective: Compared to traditional advertising methods, geofencing can be cost-effective because it allows businesses to target a specific, interested audience rather than broadcasting messages to a broad and potentially disinterested audience.

Real-Time Campaign Adjustments: Geofencing campaigns can be adjusted in real-time based on performance metrics. If a campaign isn’t performing well, businesses can quickly tweak their messaging or targeting to improve results.

Enhanced Customer Loyalty: By sending special offers or rewards to loyal customers when they enter a geofenced area, businesses can strengthen customer loyalty and encourage repeat visits.

Offline-to-Online Integration: Geofencing can bridge the gap between the offline and online worlds. For example, a retail store can use geofencing to send promotions to in-store customers and direct them to an online store or app for additional deals.

Environmental Context: Geofencing can also take into account environmental factors, such as weather conditions or traffic, to optimize marketing messages. For example, a retail store can send a message advertising rain gear when it starts raining in the area.

Geofencing Marketing Uses

Geofence marketing campaigns can be applied to various industries and business objectives.

Retail Promotions

Shopping Mall Discounts: A shopping mall creates geofences around its stores and sends special discount offers to shoppers’ mobile devices when they enter the mall, encouraging them to visit specific stores.

Competitor Targeting: A clothing retailer sets up geofences around competitor stores and sends targeted ads to shoppers entering those locations, offering discounts or incentives to visit their store instead.

Restaurant and Food Delivery: A food delivery service uses geofencing to define its delivery areas. Customers within the geofenced zones can receive promotions and notifications about available deals and menu updates.

In-Store Promotions: A restaurant uses geofencing to send promotions to people passing by or entering the area, enticing them to dine in.

Event Marketing

Concerts and Sporting Events: Event organizers create geofences around event venues and send event details, ticket offers, and parking information to attendees as they arrive at the location.

Conference Promotions: A conference organizer sends notifications to attendees about session schedules, exhibitor discounts, and event updates when they enter the conference venue.

Real Estate

Open House Alerts: Real estate agents set up geofences around properties with upcoming open houses. When potential buyers enter the vicinity, they receive notifications with property details and viewing times.

Neighborhood Information: Agents send information about local schools, amenities, and neighborhood highlights to potential buyers as they explore specific neighborhoods.

Travel and Tourism

Tourist Attractions: Tourist destinations use geofencing to provide information, discounts, and guided tour offers to visitors when they enter the attraction’s area.

Airport Advertising: Airports send ads for transportation services, airport amenities, and nearby hotels to passengers’ mobile devices when they enter or exit the airport.

Safety Alerts

Emergency Notifications: Local authorities use geofencing to send emergency alerts, evacuation instructions, or weather warnings to residents in affected areas during natural disasters or emergencies.

Trade Shows and Expos

Exhibition Booth Promotions: Companies participating in trade shows create geofences around their booth locations and send notifications to attendees with information about product launches, giveaways, and demonstrations.

Local Advertising

Small Businesses: Local shops and businesses set up geofences around their locations to send special offers, loyalty rewards, and announcements to potential customers in the vicinity.

How to Set Up Geofencing Marketing

Setting up geofencing marketing involves several steps to create and implement an effective campaign.

  1. Define Your Goals:

Clearly define the objectives of your geofencing advertising campaign. Determine what you want to achieve, whether it’s increasing foot traffic to your store, promoting a specific product, or driving online sales. Setting specific, measurable goals will guide your campaign strategy.

  1. Identify Your Target Audience:

Identify your ideal audience based on demographics, behaviors, and interests. Understand who you want to reach with your geofencing ads to ensure your messages are relevant to them.

  1. Select Geofence Locations:

Choose the specific locations where you want to set up geofences. These locations should align with your campaign goals. You can create geofences around your business location, competitors’ locations, event venues, or other places relevant to your target audience.

  1. Choose the Right Geofencing Software or Platform:

Select a geofencing advertising platform or software that suits your needs. Popular options include platforms like, Gimbal, or platforms offered by major advertising networks like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Ensure the chosen platform provides the features and targeting options you require.

  1. Set Up Your Geofences:

Using the chosen platform, create virtual geofences around the selected locations. Define the size and shape of each geofence according to your campaign objectives. Some platforms allow you to draw custom geofences on maps.

  1. Develop Compelling Ad Creative:

Create engaging ad creative that resonates with your target audience. This could include text, images, videos, and calls to action. Craft messages that are specific to the location and the context in which users will receive them.

  1. Set Campaign Parameters:

Configure the campaign parameters, including budget, bid strategy, ad schedule, and targeting options. Ensure your ads are scheduled to run when your target audience is most likely to be in the geofenced areas.

  1. Implement Conversion Tracking:

Set up conversion tracking to measure the success of your geofencing advertising campaign. This allows you to track key performance metrics such as store visits, website visits, or online sales attributed to your ads.

  1. Launch Your Campaign:

Activate your geofencing advertising campaign. Monitor its performance closely and make adjustments as needed. Platforms often provide real-time data that can help you optimize your campaign.

  1. Analyze and Optimize:

Regularly analyze the campaign data to assess its effectiveness. Pay attention to metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, return on investment (ROI), and other key performance indicators (KPIs). Use this data to make informed optimizations to improve your campaign’s performance over time.

  1. Comply with Privacy Regulations:

Ensure your campaign complies with privacy regulations, especially when collecting and using location data. Obtain proper consent and provide users with clear opt-out options to respect their privacy.

  1. Review and Refine:

Continuously review and refine your geofencing advertising strategy based on campaign performance and changing market conditions. Experiment with different geofence locations, ad creatives, and targeting criteria to find what works best for your goals.

The success of your geofencing advertising campaign depends on careful planning, ongoing monitoring, and adaptation based on performance data. Regularly assess and refine your strategy to maximize its impact.

For help with your geofencing marketing, retention marketing, holistic marketing, or general marketing services, reach out to the New Target team.

A global team of digerati with offices in Washington, D.C. and Southern California, we provide digital marketing, web design, and creative for brands you know and nonprofits you love.

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