We walk and drive around with our smartphones all day long, and most of us are usually within three feet of our phones 24/7. But, did you know that same amazing device that allows us to order a ride home via Uber or buy things on Amazon also provides a marketing opportunity for business owners attempting to gain your attention as you move closer to their business? From a marketing standpoint, it is one of the most hyperlocal targeting strategies you can use.

This strategy is called geofencing. So what is geofencing and why should you care about it?

How Does Geofencing Work?

Each mobile device is similar to a tracking device – using GPS, Wi-Fi, and radio frequency identification (RFID) to give off its location. Geofencing is used to send out a beacon from a desired market area to connect and communicate with smartphone users via SMS messaging, mobile ads, or in mobile apps. This geographic fence, hence its clever name, dictates the area the business owner is trying to influence and can target areas as small as a business address with messages for potential customers within that geofence.

How Geofencing Could Work for You

Geofencing is helpful for a number of businesses in a wide range of industries. Here are a few examples of how geofencing could work for your business:

  • Restaurants: Typically there are shifts or certain nights that are slower than others for all restaurants. With geofencing, you can create and test multiple incentive ads, target competitors’ areas, or even target office buildings nearby to broadcast your information to local potential customers. For example, if your restaurant is usually slower during lunch, you could use geofencing to target a nearby office building with a special lunch offer.
  • Car Dealerships: Speaking of targeting competitors, imagine you own a Honda dealership and want to highlight some of your service specials or APR/cash back incentives on your new 2017 models. With geotargeted advertising you could showcase those ads to consumers literally sitting inside competing Honda dealerships, or you could even branch out into competing brands to target a larger pool of potential customers.
  • Dentists: Trying to attract new patients? A lot of dental practices use direct mail to blanket entire neighborhoods with new patient postcards looking for consumers interested in a dentist. Imagine a cheaper alternative where you could have multiple messages delivered over the course of the month with different offers or practice branding messaging that grabs their attention. Geofencing advertising could be that solution.

Trying New Things

Digital advertising is about talking calculated risks with your marketing budget and testing out new strategies to see if they work for your business. While geofencing seems like a relatively new tactic, it has actually been used by businesses just like yours for years.