Have you ever received notification as you’re stepping into your car heading back home that lets you know about the traffic, and how long your journey might take? We call this geofencing, a marketing tactic that most of the businesses having mobile apps are turning to, in order to target people in their local areas. This location-based service is really taking over the market at a rapid pace, especially because it enables businesses to target the right audience. With geofencing, you can literally create a virtual fence of your own size, and in the area of your choosing, once people enter in that area they receive your notifications. You will be able to promote your services only within the area you can easily serve. The application or software that is linked to geofencing will use Wi-Fi, GPS, RFID, or even cellular data to trigger these promotional notifications once you cross the targeted area. Depending on how the developers have set the configuration you can receive a text message, push notification, or even targeted ads on social media.
How geofencing works;
In order for the geofencing system to work the developer needs to first choose a specific location, and then establish a virtual boundary. It can be done by drawing a 100 feet diameter circle around a given location on google maps using API when developing an app. The virtual geofence will then be triggered when the device enters the specified area. The geofence is usually defined within a mobile application code; this is because users will need to select the location services in order for the virtual fence to work. For instance; when you’re attending a concert, they might have an app that they use to offer directions and more information about the event to anyone who crosses the virtual fence. This is among the most common uses of geofences in mobile applications, another common use for this virtual fence includes; the retailers who need to set up a fence around their store-outlets, in order to alert customers about the offers available at the store. The software has created a huge opportunity for businesses to easily manage their marketing campaigns
End-users can also set up geofencing capabilities for their mobile applications. The apps such as iOS reminders will enable you to select a location or address where you need to trigger a specific push notification or alert. This kind of command which is programmed to trigger an action based on another action is usually referred to as if this, then that’ command. You can use it for your home such as; when you’re certain feet close to your house, then turn on the lights or any other like us. The geofencing service is not only designed for mobile apps, but it is also used in various industries for tracking purposes. It can be used to track vehicles in shipping companies, can also be used to track cattle and other tracking services of the like manner. The geofencing service is also applied to most of the drones flying out there, especially the ones operating around airports, white house area as well as other open-air areas.
More geofencing applications;
- Social networks
Social networks have played a very important part in making geofence common to users, in platforms such as snapchat have been utilizing this service for a long time. You will find the location-based stickers, filters, as well as other shareable content made possible by the geofence. Using this app will make you experience location-based stories, promoted filter for certain concerts, custom made filters for a friend’s birthday, and much more other geofence enabled features.
Another effective use of geofence apart from social networking is marketing. Businesses enjoy using this service for promotional purposes of their various offers. They are able to target a specific audience in a given location, which is very helpful especially for the retailers with a limited range of services.
Engagement for those people organizing special events such as; concerts, fairs, festivals, and much more, can use the geofencing service for creating audience engagement in a specific concert. This is very good at networking and creating more fun at that particular event.
- Smart appliances
For Smart appliances, when geofence service is used with smart home appliances, it can create a virtual assistant who reminds you of the most important issues. For instance; with the Bluetooth enables refrigerators, it is now possible to program your fridge to remind you of home groceries when you come by a grocery store. Not only that, but you could also program your home temperature when you’re close by, and many more other applications.
- Human resource
For human resource, for most developed companies monitoring field-workers has now been made very easy with geofence services. The companies can track employees, clock employees, as they come in and out of work, and even automate the time cards.
For telematics, another important application of geofence is for telematics, companies can now easily create virtual zones around the working areas in order to secure them. The geofence can then be triggered by a person or vehicle, and the notifications will reach the operator.
For security, another great application of geofence is for security purposes, especially at your home. You can use your mobile phone to set up notifications once someone enters or leaves your home. You can also set your mobile phone to unlock once you get home, this all can be done by using the geofence service.
Benefits Geofencing can offer to your business;
As we have seen so far how geofence can offer a myriad of benefits to our daily lives, let’s now explore some of the benefits that are specifically related to the business side.
- Improved local optimization;
We all understand the benefits of search engine optimization in ranking our businesses on top of major search engines. When using geofence services for your local business, you will be able to rank higher in the local desired searches. This is because the location system will only target the local customers, as well as link them to your business.
- Enhances data collection activity;
When using various online platforms for your business, it is always difficult to collect important data about your clients. This activity becomes very easy and effective when using the geofence services since you will be able to acquire more refined data. Things like how your customers found you, why they chose you, how long they stay on your site, as well as the effectiveness of your messages, will all be known to you when using geofence. Once you acquire this data you can combine it with other tools such as Google Analytics to get more detailed data about the activities of your clients.
- It offers personal element;
With the data collected above using the information in the preceding paragraph, you will then be able to create personalized offers to your customers. This is because you will be able to know the kind of message that excites your local customers more, and what kind of things steers them up. With the people being frustrated with bombarding offers that have nothing to do with their interests, the use of geofence will change all that.
- Make money and save money;
It doesn’t matter the amount of money you have set aside to spend on your marketing campaigns, geofence will enable you to use it more effectively. Targeting refined and potential customers will enable you to spend less money, and earn more from the sales.
How to blend your marketing strategy with geofence;
By now I believe that you have acquired a lot of information and benefits of using geofence services to your business. Now, let’s get into how you can successfully implement your marketing strategy by blending it with geofencing.
- Narrow your target;
We have seen how effective geofence can help you refine and target more potential customers. However, I don’t advise you to target a broad audience; you can just start with the people in your neighborhood and expand slowly as you grow. You have to consider the effectiveness of your customers to drive or walk to your local store, this is why starting with your neighborhood is a brighter idea.
- Set a very clear call to action;
The key to your marketing strategy will be carried by the message you send your customers, so it is important to make sure that you’re as clear as possible to the desired call to action. Send them the offer you have prepared, then be clear to the action they should take, most probably is visiting your store. This is another important step in implementing your marketing strategy using geofence service.
- Create effective in-store promotions;
Creating promotions are still the best way to attract customers into visiting your store. With geofence, you can design best offers for your clients, and then push them to your target customers. It is important to create mind-blowing offers every once in a while in order to frustrate your competition and attract more customers to your store.
How to make it work;
Until this point, I’m sure that you have known all the benefits that geofence can bring to your business and life in general. You have also known how you can blend in your marketing campaigns with geofence services to make them effective. So let’s get to the technicalities of making things actually work.
Work on the location;
In order to create an effective working push notification, geofence will require a combination of tools to work with. From Wi-Fi, GPS, as well as other cellular triangulation that will be required in the process. In this factor you will also need to consider mobile-friendly triangulation to use since as for the GPS it is much known for battery draining, therefore you will need to consider user-friendly tools.
You don’t need hardware;
Using the geofence service is quite cost-effective since you won’t need any external hardware for the system to work. The software can be implemented into your mobile app directly, and you will also have a well-designed dashboard to manage your software easily. It will be using the APIs in refining the exact location, as well as the code of your mobile app in defining your geofence area.
Your privacy is covered;
The issue of privacy is a major concern for most of the internet users especially with various innovations taking place every day. However, the geofence software is totally concerned with the user’s privacy; it won’t be snooping on the user’s whereabouts without their permission. The user will be in total control in allowing the software to monitor their location as well as sending them notifications.
- Think out of the box;
At first, you will need to set the geofence around your business location, but this shouldn’t end there as you’re not restricted on how to set your virtual fence. Most of the time your customers will be waiting to hear what you have for them, your quietness will then open a door for your competition. So be always creative is setting up different offers, you should also spend enough time studying the behavior of your customers, to ensure that you always come up with personalized offers.
- Right timing;
Setting up great inviting promotions for your customers will be useless if you don’t know how to time right. You don’t send a notification to inviting people to your restaurant while struggling to serve the available ones. Or rather send a notification to your target audience when it’s time to close your store. You have to learn the best time to send your customers notifications, and when not to.
- Give your customers what they want;
It is very annoying being bombarded with various marketing messages all day long. Focus on giving your customers exactly what they want, and be short and clear in hitting the point. If you keep sending a series of messages for different offers to customers not only will you confuse them, but also annoy them. If you do this a couple of times it will result in your customers turning off the notification, and will also become frustrated with the business
Hopefully, this guide has been very effective in giving you all the important information you need to know about geofencing. Now that you understand the benefits of using this virtual fence in your daily life, and more importantly to your business, it’s time to this information into practice. Unless you’re good at taking action in using these innovations for your benefit, they won’t be much of a help to you.