Kid, You’ll Move Mountains: An Intro to Geofencing


“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

– Dr. Seuss

My brothers and I grew up with Dr. Seuss’s books on our shelf and that’s one of my favorite quotes. The doctor’s wisdom is undisputed and transcends ages, cultures, and even context. In marketing and advertising, unless you’re able to stand out from the rest, you’ll just be adding to that background noise people usually opt to skip.

When was the the last time an ad actually stopped you from changing the channel or hitting the skip button? It could have been the catchy jingle, a funny joke, dramatic image, or even a well-known song (who can resist singing along to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody?).

Why do some ads resonate with us more than others?

They’re able to reach their audience in the right place, at the right time. They stand out and reach the perfect audience at the same time. They do what no one else is doing.

Mobile phones and geofencing: Hitting the bullseye in everyone’s pocket.

You probably check your smartphone twice as many times a day as you think you do.

There’s no doubt anymore, we are glued to our smartphones.

As marketers, we’re excited about applying location-based technologies to reach out and market to our clients’ target audiences.

One exciting new technology we’re using is geofencing.

What is geofencing?

Geofencing is the ultimate targeted ad, as it finds potential customers living, travelling, or spending within a certain distance from your service — or location you’ve specified, like a competitor! — and sends them a relevant graphic or discount to entice them in.

It’s a marketing dream: not only do people check their phones constantly, we also have the advantage that 70% of consumers are willing to share their location information if they know they are getting something valuable in return, such as coupons, relevant info, or even loyalty points.

As marketing evolves, businesses are trying harder and harder to catch the attention of their local and regional audiences. One way of doing that is through geofencing, which allows you to draw a geographic “circle” around any location and then show ads to the people within that area.

Geofencing in action

Picture a party of five sitting by the entrance of your competitor’s restaurant or bar. It’s been 10, 15, or 20 minutes and they haven’t been seated.

Everyone is killing time on their smartphones as they wait. What if you could “feed” those hungry people an ad about your restaurant’s short wait times or a link to make an instant reservation?

Or imagine being a patient with a broken ankle, suffering for hours in the ER waiting area and browsing Facebook.

Then up pops an ad about the short ER wait-times in a competing hospital, and the great capabilities of their urgent care facilities.

If it didn’t hurt so much, you’d run straight there!

Geofencing is practical

Maybe a patient walks into a hospital, let’s say for a diabetes appointment. The hospital could push information to the patient’s smartphone promoting preventive medicine seminars or nutrition classes relevant to this particular patient.

Geofencing could even be used to offer condition-specific health information to the patient.

The end result is a well-informed patient who is better prepared for their appointment with the specialist. And while the patient is in the waiting room, marketers can influence the approaching patient-physician discussion.

[su_shadow][su_panel background=”#f06322″ color=”#FFFFFF” text_align=”center”]Ready to put a fence around your competitors? Schedule a FREE 1-hour session with 8 Signal to learn how![su_button url=”” target=”self” style=”flat” background=”#0091c6″ color=”#FFFFFF” size=”7″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”” icon_color=”#FFFFFF”]YES! GEOFENCE MY COMPETITION >[/su_button][/su_panel][/su_shadow]

Oh, the places you’ll ge-o!

How will you leverage geofencing to reach your customers?

Here are just a few geofencing thought-starters for you to mull over:

  • Target specific consumer types within geolocations. For example, target moms with young children for pediatric services.
  • Remarket to past visitors with gentle reminders to return, or offer a special promotion: “We miss you; come back and try our (insert your awesome product or service here)” or “Get a 10% off on your next visit.”
  • Use mobile video to spotlight a special offer or service. Videos are, without a doubt, very effective as a visual storytelling and marketing medium. You might show your audience a video of a new laser treatment or fitness class.
  • Leverage location data to showcase your products or services by targeting people who have visited home improvement retailers. Send them an offer like, “Need help with a DIY project?”
  • Focus your geofencing efforts on the local court and offer your services as an attorney.

These are just a sprinkling from the ocean of possibilities geofencing holds.

Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments or contact us to learn how to reach people in the right place at the right time.

The 8 Signal team is here to help you brainstorm and embrace targeted geofencing advertising.