What is geofencing?

Recently, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably received a message or promotional ad from a company you’re familiar with simply by being in its vicinity.

You probably thought something along the lines of: “How do they know I’m here or near?” Well, if you must know, this is a marketing tactic known as ‘Geofencing.’

In layman’s terms, geofencing can best be described as a virtual fence. It’s a technology that can use GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth technology to define a geographical boundary. When we enter one of these boundaries, a business can send us push notifications of ads, updates, or coupons to entice us to walk into their store. Cool, right? Alright, maybe it’s creepy; but you can’t deny how innovative it is.

If you’re a business owner, or even just a consumer, you may be asking how this works?

All that is needed for this concept to work is a smartphone and an app. If you utilize an app designed for a certain brand or service, it can detect when you enter its predetermined boundary and send you timely/pertinent alerts. Examples may be:

  • A coupon to a local store or restaurant
  • An alert regarding an event you may be interested in nearby
  • A company like Uber letting you know there is a driver near your location

Geo Pizza.jpg

The hope is that these incentives and timely messages will engage the consumer with the brand. PlotProjects states that, “studies have shown that users are far more responsive compared to other types of mobile advertising such as banners, as notifications are far more personalized and better delivered to the user.”

So how does this benefit you? Well, if you’re a business owner, you can potentially increase engagement with your brand and traffic to your store. If you’re a consumer, you may be able to take advantage of a promotion you otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Or maybe, if you’re hungry, you’ll be able to get a free order of fries with that sandwich you’ve been craving.

So the next time you’re walking in the mall and the burger chain 50 feet away sends you a coupon, they’re not stalking you, they just want you to eat there.