Have you ever received an email or a notification from a business when you just so happen to be right around the corner from it? That’s not a coincidence; it’s geofencing.
Geofencing is a way to digitally connect people, places and things. Using location-based technology, such as GPS and Bluetooth from mobile phones or internet-connected devices, marketers can draw a virtual perimeter around a geographic area and target messages those within the area who have opted to make their real-time data available.
This type of mobile marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking for prospects. More than 50% of shoppers visited a specific retailer after receiving a location-based alert from that business, according to research compiled by Salesforce. Of those shoppers, roughly half said the visit was an impromptu decision inspired by the notification itself.
Delivering the right message to the right people at the right time is the key to success with geofencing. Here are tips on incorporate geofencing into your strategy and maximize your success.
Reach people on the go
Mobile devices are a marketer’s best friend. Most users carry them wherever they go and check them obsessively. A study by tech company Asurion found that Americans check their phones about every 12 minutes, which adds up to 80 times a day. Businesses used to have fleeting moments to reach consumers as they glanced at their devices sitting on a bus or waiting on a latte. Now, they have much bigger windows of opportunity to advertise to them.
For instance, with geofencing, companies can send discount notifications to prospects’ devices when they are near a business, which might be enough to get them through the door and on a path to purchase.
That value is not limited to brick-and-mortar retailers or B2C marketing. Geofencing is also a good tool for B2B marketing strategies. For instance, if an accounting firm is looking to reach clients within a certain geographic area like a downtown business center, geofencing technology ensures the firm’s messaging is highly targeted, hitting only those within that specific perimeter.
Find better prospects, faster
Geofencing is like casting a net. So long as you pick the right spot, the net will do the rest, collecting data around the clock and helping you find valuable prospects and warm leads.
Imagine a real estate agent trying to sell a house within a large subdivision. If a geofence is drawn around the neighborhood, it can trigger an email alert to buyers looking at other houses in the area. The agent will spend less time on the hunt for those who might be interested in the neighborhood and more time focused on those who already are.
Beat the competition on their turf
Because geofencing consists of a virtual boundary, you can connect with potential customers in places you can’t go otherwise.
For example, picture owning a restaurant and another restaurant is siphoning away your business. With a geofence set around your competitor, you could alert customers who are stuck waiting for a table and entice them with half-price appetizers. People leaving a downtown concert might want a dessert and coffee before heading home and would like an alert knowing what desserts you have available.
In addition, there is a lot you can infer from pinging devices, such as how many customers are visiting a certain business and at what times. When the data is analyzed at the aggregate level, it’s possible to decode, to some degree, what the competition is up to and how you can respond.
Learn about your existing customers
Geofencing offers a trove of data on your customers, which is vital to creating and customizing marketing campaigns.
For instance, your prospects may respond better to a coupon notification sent immediately when they enter your business. Or, after test-driving a discount campaign, you may realize your customers respond better to messages that offer exclusive access to new products or services. You could also discover that prospects in one part of your designed area tend to convert faster than those in another part, prompting you to adjust the scope of your geofence and become hyper-targeted in your approach.
It’s all about harnessing the information at hand to generate the biggest return on your marketing investment.
Test your boundaries
How do you know what geographic area your business should advertise to? It’s an important question because, while you may think you understand a location, it’s hard to get an accurate picture without some insight into what you’ll find there.
For instance, by expanding your campaign to a neighboring city or metropolitan area, you could increase your pool of prospects substantially without taking you too far afield in your search.
Earlier this year, American City Business Journals launched a new tool to help marketers make better use of location-based strategies. The cloud-based platform leverages a comprehensive database of information on more than 19 million private companies across the U.S. It’s designed around a map-based interface, and it enables sales professionals to target customers with enhanced precision.
BizLeads is a cloud-based B2B prospecting tool, and arms teams with contact information and insights on over 19 million private U.S. companies. Users get access to contact information, revenue numbers and more, so they know who to reach out to and how. Plus, it offers the ability to export that data to facilitate marketing campaigns.
Now more than ever, consumers expect businesses to meet them where they’re at. Incorporating new technological tools can make that easier and more powerful than ever before.