Imagine yourself at the airport. You’re peacefully waiting for your flight, scrolling some entertainment sites, maybe catching up with the latest news.
Among all the ads you see along the way, there’s one that grabs your attention. A discount at a cafe. The one that you know is just around the corner.
More like geofence advertising.
In this post, you’ll learn:
Geofencing is a technology that enables companies to advertise to potential customers who are within a specific geographical radius in real time.
It also allows to collect audiences from specific locations or fenced areas and retarget them later.
While geofence advertising has been there for a while, the ever-growing popularity of smartphones now makes it a precious marketing tool.
How does the app/website know a user has entered the geofenced area? There are several ways how a location can be recorded:
It might look like geofencing technology is quite complex, but it isn’t. Let us prove it to you.
The process usually consists of three steps:
Imagine you're a sporting goods business that wants to geofence a ball field and create an audience for the latest promotions on sports products.
Here's what you can do:
The audience to capture would be into sports and fitness in a specifically targeted park. Golf enthusiasts, in this case, would be targeted using golf courses.
Other audiences can include students (spotted in universities or colleges) or tourists (spotted in hotels).
Geofence advertising gives a lot of potential for marketers, either with online or onsite presence.
Here are some kick-off numbers that speak for themselves:
Let's overview some of the biggest pros geofencing offers: enhanced brand awareness, better engagement, higher sales, and improved analytics.
First and foremost, location-based targeting (geotargeting) grows your brand awareness and promotes online channels.
Geofenced ads benefit in reminding customers about the fact that the brand exists, where it exists, and that it's ready to serve them. So they become more aware of your business and location.
All the insights you get help you refine your geofenced campaigns, thus raising engagement rates. You have tools to experiment with CTAs and copies.
For instance, you can offer a 20-dollar voucher for sports shoes instead of a 20% discount for all the goods. Then, choose what engages best by examining the response rate and generated leads.
Also, advanced targeting ensures your message is much more relevant to those around you. When mixed with other targeting techniques, it's a recipe for success.
If you're looking to increase your local performance – geofence is the way to go.
As it's purely based on location, you can consistently target people in a specific geographical area.
You can display banners for customers in a defined area with limited-time offers that will likely grow your sales. Not to mention local optimization – ranking high in local search results – can do miracles for your business:
If you don't use geofencing, tracking local sales can be nearly impossible. Unless you survey each customer who enters your store (most likely, you don't).
Yet geofencing provides a whole new level of tracking. It gives you data about demographics, what type of offers interest your clients, or even what products they most often purchase.
Having all this data allows adjusting your ads on the go.
Just like any other targeting type, geofence also comes with some cons.
There are limitations to using this kind of advertising and you should consider them before setting your campaign goals.
Let's look at some practical examples of how big names use geofencing in their marketing strategies.
As a matter of fact, private car hire networks like Uber can't pick up passengers at this airport because they don't have the required license. Except for the luxury service, which is the only one properly insured and commercially licensed.
Well, Uber didn't take it as a complete NO.
As a way out, they use geofencing ads outside the pickup points, in places where drivers can wait for fares.
When users land at the airport, they get push notifications inviting them to order an Uber car. Just in case they forgot.
Carlsberg, a Danish multinational brewer, run a geofence campaign with Eskimi to collect audiences from local supermarkets in Azerbaijan and retarget them with ads promoting its flagship brand Baltika.
Brewer’s ads were aimed at men between the ages of 18-54 who happened to visit any of the geofenced stores. The ads were then displayed on users’ that met the required criteria screens while they were scrolling through the internet or using apps.
Carlsberg's geofence campaign hit a whopping 567K+ impressions and reached more than 25K people in total.
Starbucks is well-known for implementing geofence to advertise drinks to interested customers.
What's unique about their campaign? Starbucks offers certain drinks for half the usual price and notifies nearby users about this promotion. But that's not it.
Starbucks employs geofencing to put clients into diverse categories to display the most relevant notification. This way, depending on whether you're a cappuccino or a latte drinker, you'll get a tailored notice.
During its geofencing campaign with Eskimi, consumer electronics brand Philips wanted to target mothers-to-be and women who have recently given birth in four cities in Kazakhstan.
Electronics giant used interactive rich media ads to advertise to 25-34-year-old women around 80 locations like gynecological centers and maternity hospitals.
This particular Philips geofence advertising campaign has successfully reached thousands of women and even exceeded the expected number of clicks 15 times.
You might have heard of a Whopper Detour – the famous story of how Burger King took McDonald's clients back in December 2018. And you guessed it right – implementing geofencing helped them.
Here's what they did:
Was it a success? HUGE one.
Burger King's CMO said customers used a promotion approximately 20 times more than any previous app offer. Not only that, but the campaign also generated over 1.5 million app downloads.
Think about all the usual steps you'd take when launching a campaign, just with some on the top.
Before kicking off your geofenced ad campaign, do extensive research to learn about your customer demographics and WHO they are.
As anywhere marketing-related, knowing your audience is key to getting the most out of a campaign.
Try to keep it moderate. You don't want to choose a geofenced area that's too tiny or too big.
The key here is to use common sense and think about population density, how long people spend time in a specific location, and whether or not they use their smartphones there (apps/browsing).
The latter is especially important. Unless people use their smartphones there, you won’t be able to target anyone even if the place is crowded.
You can display ads for prospects who are in your geofenced area or who’ve already left the geofence (and headed back home, for example). Either way, the goal is to make the audience act as soon as possible.
Make sure your ad has a clear CTA that requires prompt action. Instead of inviting them to claim a "special" gift, tell them they'll get a second sandwich for free.
Straight to the point.
We already mentioned it and will do that again (probably more than once) – optimize, optimize, optimize.
Leverage a good deal of data that geofencing provides and refine your campaign until the results are maximum.
Don't let geofencing do all the work alone and, most importantly, don’t put all your budget into combining it with other targeting techniques.
What you can and should do is try different targeting options alongside geofencing, like:
The steps for setting up a geofence campaign may vary depending on the advertising platform. For example, the process of building a geofence on Facebook can be a lot different than using a DSP (software that allows advertisers to buy ad placements with the help of automation).
For instance, setting up a geofence campaign in the Eskimi DSP is as simple as it gets:
Note: Using the Eskimi Report dashboard, you can track:
On top of the traditional campaign reporting, Eskimi DSP gives you more powerful, deep audience insights. It can aid in predicting and analyzing your target audience's behavioral patterns, like:
The accuracy of geofence can depend on several factors, like how far the location is from cell towers/WiFi routers, technology, or the geofence system used (coordinates, polygon mapping, etc.).
For example, the more precise your location coordinates, the more accurate the geofence will be.
In an ideal case, advertising platforms and DSPs can deliver accuracy of up to 10 meters.
The opportunities are endless for a creative marketer and the right brand. For those that are not, here are some examples to help inspire you:
With Eskimi, you can also target locations by:
Facebook's geofencing feature allows businesses to advertise in a specific area and get as specific as a 1-mile radius.
Geofencing on Facebook comes with a few limitations though:
Location-based advertising and, in this case, geofencing can be one of the most effective ways to not only reach your target audience but also help you sell.
As it’s focused on people nearby or users who visit/like to visit particular locations, geofence advertising is a great way to show them tailored ads that require less convincing. And that’s just one benefit besides many others, like better local marketing and increased brand awareness.