As I was watching the second episode of the new season of Black Mirror titled, “Arkangel” where a self-absorbed mother takes helicopter parenting too far through GPS technology, I was reminded of the importance of this technology through Geo-fencing. With Geo-fencing companies put up a virtual perimeter to track who leaves and enters the area. This data is then utilized for a variety of different reasons such as child location services, sending out alerts if vehicles are stolen, and emergency situations. For example most recently the false alert that was sent out in Hawaii over a ballistic missile utilized Geo-fencing to determine who the message would be sent to ahead of time.
Geo-fencing can also be used through a marketing strategy to hone in on certain demographics, interests, and to locate consumers. A person within a created Geo-fence will receive specific advertisements tailored by the business. An ease of access means that Geo-fencing can be done on a variety of different platforms including, mobile, tablet, computer, and even gaming devices with internet access. Stores can use Geo-fencing to send out special deals to those nearby and to analyze where consumers are going from a day to day process to better target them with other forms of advertisement. Shoppers can be targeted by different shops just from stepping foot into a mall, directing them towards the respective store.
Like any marketing strategy, there are ways to be successful and other ways you can ruin your potential usage through Geo-fencing. Here are some quick tips that will help you with Geo-fencing:
- Remember that Geofencing is not only limited to mobile devices, you may also target desktops and tablets.
- When geofencing on mobile, the user must be within either an app or a mobile web browsing session.
- Geo-targeting doesn’t work if consumers keep their phones in a pocket so find ways to get them to look at their phones, primarily in situations where they are not distracted
- Always consider an effective call to action to attract consumers before it is too late to engage with them
- Ask yourself if it is even worth it? Are you targeting a specific location or a broad one? Geotargeting is useless without a clearly defined virtual space that you know will be filled with worthwhile consumers.
Business owners must find better ways to make Geo-Fencing more popular and effective. One of the biggest challenges with location-based targeting is getting consumers to feel safe with providing their location to businesses. Being transparent is one of the most important practices that any business can adopt to better their trust with consumers. Another challenge is trying to get consumers to impulse buy. Studies have shown that this type of consumer practice is not the norm for today’s consumer society. Geo-targeting would work best for small purchases in places like coffee stores or convenience shops where it is easier for consumers to make quick decisions about where to spend money.
Taking a look at other companies who have succeeded in this tool is worthwhile to better understand the importance of Geo-Fencing. Personagraph is a great company that gives users more control of their data while continuing to extract important location based data. This user driven program allows consumers to curtail their experience, giving them added reassurance when it comes to privacy. Through programs like Personagraph, Geo-fencing is something that more businesses could invest in.