We can think about geofencing as a virtual fence based on mobile devices’ location tracked through satellite GPS. Particularly, geofencing is a location-based service that allows software using GPS, RFID, or NFC to perform a pre-programmed action when mobile devices get through a virtual area, aka geo-fence.
So, how this utility works it’s pretty simple… In theory!
At the entrance and on the way out of a specific real geographic area, a software program performs a pre-programmed action, as we said before.
- involves both users and programmers;
- could be implemented for several commercial purposes;
- is strategic because you can monitor a specific area and get detailed data to provide better services;
- allows marketers to track users, send them push notifications, and collect valuable data for the marketing team.
Geofencing is particularly easy to set up. No hardware deployment is required. All you need to do is to set up geofencing areas, which will trigger push notifications when users’ mobiles get in or out, even if the app is closed and the device is locked!
You’re going to catch your users’ attention thanks to their real-time location!
Let’s have a look at an example of an international company: Netflix!
Netflix uses geofencing to make available only some specific content in specific countries. Using geofencing allows Netflix to prevent users living in certain countries from watching specific movies or TV series, maybe because it’s forbidden or because copyright hasn’t been paid.
Thanks to geofencing, a lot of data can be collected to better understand customers’ shopping habits and purchasing motivation. In particular, implementing geomarketing based on geofencing has the following pros:
- Dynamism: the virtual fence is always working, even when the device is moving. Thanks to this feature, you can follow users’ location any time. That means better organization during events, real-time alerts, location tracking
- More effective push notifications: you can send personalized push notifications because you know when users get in and out of a specific area. That means more powerful push notifications = enhanced user engagement = user loyalty
- Data collection and analysis: you can study users’ behavior, actions, and purchasing habits, not only users’ location! This way, you can send them even more customized push notifications. That means strengthening your mobile marketing strategy and boosting sales
- Providing high value: using 1:1 communication helps you avoid spam. That means connecting potential customers to your business
Don’t worry, there’s no catch! But, as you know, any technology has its limits or disadvantages. What about geofencing, then? Luckily for you, there are few disadvantages compared to the several advantages related to this technology:
- User’s permission required: if the location service isn’t active in users’ mobile devices, geofencing won’t produce any results. In particular, in Europe geofencing is only opt-it: users have to explicitly consent to its use.
- Privacy issues: be careful when using geofencing because sometimes the data collected through localization isn’t anonymous. Despite that, it doesn’t include sensitive information, such as user name or account. In most cases, the collected information regards user’s IP address and location. So, it doesn’t gather any information linked to a specific user.
- GPS and 3G network needed: mobile devices need a GPS location and a 3G network, at least, to be geofenced.
- Marketing: physical stores can set up a virtual area near their shop. Using geofencing allows marketers to send promotions to users’ devices when they’re in the area. And this will boost in-store traffic, increase customer satisfaction, drive more sales, improve productivity, etc.
- User engagement: marketing techniques for promoting products or disseminating interesting information through geofencing may be successful when used during events like concerts, festivals, and trade fairs. For example, during a festival, organizers can use geofencing to promote social posts or give useful information.
- Social networks: companies can use social media and geographic boundaries to promote content based on users’ location. Think about Instagram’s filter based on location. It can be used during events hosted in a specific area.
That means push notifications and in-app messages sent at the right user at the right time and at the right place!
How to use geofencing on mobile devices
- Geofencing in Android: it’s easy to set up this strategic tool using apps like IFTTT, Automate, or Tasker. This last one is a sort of programming language, which enables you to perform geofencing actions. The disadvantage is that it’s really difficult to use. On the other hand, IFTTT and Automate are easier to use, but they’ve fewer features. Wanna know more? Read this guide!
- Geofencing in iOS: using IFTTT you can define all the actions you want to perform in your geofencing strategy.
You should consider investing in this utility!
After discussing in details, what geofencing is, I just want to give you my last tip: read to data!
According to MarketsandMarkets, the geofencing industry should grow by 27% within 2022. This result will be achievable thanks to all the technological advances in using data and an increase in the number of geofencing apps.
Let the data speak!
What about NOW?
- Discover more about all the marketing strategies based on users location! Have a look at this article 👉 6 Winning Strategies for Location-based Marketing
- If you already know what I’m talking about, have a look at our Engagement Platform and discover all the various kinds of notifications you can implement to reach your users