Originally posted on Hospitalitynet.org
Geofencing is a new technology that enables businesses to directly market to consumers based on their location. This technology is taking advantage of the boom in mobile device usage. However, as part of a robust marketing plan, geofencing's benefits go beyond placing an advertisement on a person's cell phone.
It Makes Your Ads Personal
The basic idea behind geofencing is that you can customize your marketing message based on location. Smartphones like the LG G4 are equipped with GPS location tracking, which is used for navigation, tracking the distance you ran in the morning and now marketing. The simplest version of geofenced advertising taps into this system when potential customers are in range of your store. It then sends a message that seems personal to the customers, almost like you are standing at the door and inviting them in.
It Offers a Service
In the foodservice and hospitality industries, Wi-Fi is a sought after commodity with strong marketing implications. Sending a message that tells people walking by that your business offers free Wi-Fi, especially if they are looking for Wi-Fi, drives people into your store. It shifts the message from being an advertisement into being a service. This also works for free samples and demonstrations of your product or service.
It Links Your Business to the Internet
All of your marketing messages should be the same or build on each other. Geofencing lets you connect the physical location of your business with your Internet presence. Your storefront becomes a portal to your social media and web identity. Use your geofencing software to remind passersby to look you up on Facebook to engage with them. The tourism industry, with its recent shift from storefront to e-commerce, is using geofencing to blend the two entities.
It Gives Real-Time Analytics
Marketing is a conversation, one that goes back and forth between potential consumers and vendors. Geofencing makes it easier to start these conversations. As people pass into the consumer fencing zone, you receive real-time data that you can immediately react to. Collect and analyze this data to make well-informed decisions. For example, if you want to put on a demonstration, use geotracking to know when there are the most people in the area.
It Turns Big Data Into Something Small
There are more than a billion people on Facebook. While you may want all of these people to be part of your demographic, realistically the people who you regularly see and are local are the most likely ones to buy your product or service. Geofencing helps you narrow down the huge potential market to a smaller niche demographic. To get the best bang for your marketing buck, only market to the people that pass into your geofence.
It Keeps Your Product Secure
The point of geofencing is that it tracks people's locations. This technology works equally well for employees as it does for customers. A novel use of geofencing is to track the movement of employees and would-be criminals to catch them trying to avoid work or to steal your products. Tagged products and GPS-enabled cell phones can be paired to match the movements between the two.