Geofencing Lesson 1: Geofencing Basics

What is Geo-Fencing?

Geofencing is a service that businesses can use to target and attract customers through advertising in a specific location or geographic area. It is a location-based service that uses the GPS in mobile devices to send specific messages or advertisements based where the customer is currently located.

You can think of geofencing in this way: imagine a city block with a number of different businesses, and maybe even some residences. This city block has a virtual fence around it. When people walk through this virtual fence into the interior, the GPS in their mobile device sends notification that they have entered the area.

An Example

Vinny’s Pizza happens to be inside this virtually fenced area, and they want to make sure people know about them. Vinny’s Pizza made the great decision to purchase a geofencing package, and now any person walking, running, driving, or riding within the geofenced area who is on any one of thousands of apps will have an ad for Vinny’s pop up on their mobile device. We can even take this a step further and target specific locations. Let’s say Vinny wants to start growing his customer base throughout the city. There’s a national pizza chain that has 12 locations throughout the city. With geofencing, Vinny can start targeting potential customers as the get close to his competition.

How is this significant? First of all, even though many people will say they hate advertisements on their device, studies show that consumers love receiving location-specific offers right on their phone, due to its location relevance and interest. Secondly, someone viewing the ad, may not have previously felt the need for the advertised service or product, but now they may feel like a nice hot slice of pizza. And guess what? Vinny’s is just down the road. Finally, it is a great way to connect customers with a company’s social media presence. With geofencing, businesses can notify passersby to look them up on social media for better customer engagement.

In fact, it serves as a company’s gateway to their social media and internet identity.

How Does Geofencing Work?

Just about every mobile device built in the last decade has built in GPS. In the early days this was just to track roaming fees, but it has expanded into almost unlimited capabilities. Almost every app created for mobile devices relies on GPS to work properly. For example, what good would an app concerning driving directions be if it didn’t know where you were at?

GPS relies on coordinates, primarily latitude and longitude. If you can remember back to your middle school days, latitude and longitude are numerical points that dictate where you are at based on a universal starting point. Latitude is the distance a point is away, North or South, from the equator. Longitude is the distance a point is away, East or West, from the Prime Meridian.

Every point (or “location”) on earth has both a latitude and longitude, even where the equator and Prime Meridian meet (0,0). Locations are geocoded by the GPS service provider, to make it easier for service providers and other software to do their job.

A geocode is…

Means to interoperate with web-based mapping services

Means to interoperate with GPS devices

Makes it possible to calculate distance between addresses

Makes geospatial analysis possible (i.e. identifying geographically similar addresses, etc.

Compact way to represent a geographical location

So thanks to geocoding we can geofence.

What We Sell

Our geofencing packages are aimed at helping businesses reach out to customers who use mobile devices–which these days is just about everyone. As opposed to our internet directory, where customers go to search for a specified business, service, or product, geofencing allows us to directly approach possible customers for those who purchase a package through us.

Our customers purchase a package from us, tell us what demographic (if any) they wish to target, select a target group and location, and we do the rest. If needed, we create the ads for them. The ads will hyperlink to a webpage of their choice, or, if needed, we can create a landing page for them to provide a better description of what the company does.

The basic package includes a target group and a landing page. They can choose a location where their ad will be displayed in a 1 mile diameter from the center.

How and When Will the Ads Show?

What we do is guarantee a certain number of views in a specified time period. What this means is that the customer’s ad will be displayed on a mobile device within the geofenced area a number of times determined during the sales process. For example, say the customer orders 4,000 monthly views. This means that the customers ads will show and be viewed 4,000 times during each month of the plan.

It is important to remember that we sell VIEWS not Clicks. We can never guarantee that a customer will actually click on an ad. Someone just finishing a meal at a hamburger joint is not likely to be hungry, and is not likely to click to Vinny’s ad. Nor is everyone driving past a house that is for sale interested in buying or selling a home. We guarantee Exposure.

We do offer ways to help trim down the types of people whom receive the ad notifications and when they get them. For example, A real estate agent wants to target people who have the financial ability to purchase a home. Therefore, they may want to target mobile users with a median income between $100,000 and $300,000, ages 30-60. We can do that. Suppose an agent only sells $milllion+ homes, they are likely to want to target mobile users with incomes of $250,000 and above. We can do that too.

Timing is everything , right? This is true for advertising as well. It wouldn’t do Vinny’s Pizza much good to advertise early in the morning. They want their ads to show after 10:00 a.m., when people start getting hungry. We can ensure that their ads show at time appropriate to reach the most customers.

Geofencing Ad Size

Even though the screen size on mobile phones continues to grow, they are still relatively small. Therefore the ads are not huge. They are about the size of a small post-it note. You need to keep this in mind when talking to customers about ad-design. Some customers may want a lot of information on their ad, but it won’t turn out very clear and readable. A logo or head-shot and a tag-line with a phone/email/website are the best way to go. The ad will link to their web page or to a landing page created by us which will display further company information (landing pages created by us are at an extra cost).

Questions and Comments You Can Use To Sell:

Easy customer reach: When it comes to reaching out to your customers, geofencing is an option you shouldn’t neglect — because it notifies your customer about your product/services whenever they’re close to your business location through their mobile phone. That’s cool, isn’t it?

Can you call the attention of your customers instantly when they walk by your store without shouting at the top of your voice? Through geofencing, you’re able to trigger instant messages that pique a customer’s interest and nudges them to come check out the latest deals in your store. Remember that 90% of SMS are read within 3 minutes — so, geofencing campaigns help consumers make informed and instant decisions.

Grows brand awareness: The mobile marketing strategy that leverages on geofencing provides local and multi-channel businesses, the chance to communicate with their potential consumers who are close by and ready to purchase through mobile phones. These messages serve as a reminder to your consumers to choose your brand out of the thousands of other similar businesses around a particular location.

Reduction in cost of marketing: With the high cost of creating ads campaign, using geofencing is sure to cut down the cost and still produce a great result — since it only focuses on local consumers and these consumers are likely to buy from you. Geofencing is more like an extension of your restaurant, store or shop. And with geofencing you don’t need to stand in front of your store to call anybody that passes by, because you’ve already known your potential consumers. You’re also provided with the opportunity to offer your products/services to your customers at the right time when they’re in need of it.

Go To Lesson 2: How To Sell