What is Advanced Geo-Fencing Display and Why You Should Use It?

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Advanced geo-fencing is not the same as geo-targeting…not even close.

What is geo-targeting?

Geo-targeting or location targeting typically refers to either counties, states/regions, DMAs, cities, counties, or zip codes that your digital advertising campaigns target. In some cases, you can target a radius around these locations, but really it’s just referring to the locations you are targeting within your digital advertising campaign and it does not get any more granular than zip code targeting.

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Well then, what is advanced geo-fencing?

Advanced geo-fencing is a combination of hyper-local targeting based on the location of a user while also adding an element of retargeting that is available for display advertising on mobile devices.

Geo-fencing works by targeting specific longitude and latitudes, which can include custom shapes, radius targeting, or even places (stadiums, stores, etc.). This type of technology shows mobile ads in-app starting the moment a person enters your pre-defined area.

So, what’s the big deal? You can target users for just a couple hours while they are at a specific location? Well yes, but that’s not all! Once said person’s phone enters the location you are targeting, you can then retarget them for a duration of time you feel makes the most sense to accomplish your goals. This can range from 5 minutes up to as long as 30 days after they have visited the location. Unlike traditional retargeting, which both requires a user to visit your website and relies on tracking cookies, retargeting from advanced geo-fencing only requires a user to have a mobile device and that mobile device to enter the location you are targeting.

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Hopefully, this type of location targeting (and retargeting) technology is starting to get your brain spinning on how you could apply it to your business. To assist you in this process, here are some scenarios where this advanced geo-fencing technology should absolutely be considered as part of your paid media strategy.

  • Scenario #1: Your organization is considered B2B. You invest a significant amount of your marketing budget in specific events, such as tradeshows. Trade shows are where the majority of where your target audience is. There’s an upcoming tradeshow at the Wynn Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV on the weekend of Friday, December 2.

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  • Scenario #2: You are a struggling sports franchise that is having trouble selling season tickets (Cleveland Browns, anyone?). You have a strong following from your fans, but the majority of your home game attendees purchase single-season tickets. Your goal is to try and convert single-season ticket customers into season ticket holders for the 2017-2018 season.
  • Scenario #3: You are a brick-n-mortar men’s clothing retailer at an outlet shopping mall. You have a weekend sale going on and there are several other men’s clothing retailers also at the shopping mall. Your goal is to drive in-store visits to your store.
  • Scenario #4: You are a regional health system promoting breast cancer awareness month to women with the hopes of increasing the number of women who get a breast cancer screening at your hospital.
  • Scenario #5: You are a car dealership with a competitor right down the road. You offer similar cars from different manufacturers and you are running great lease specials at your dealership. How might you steal prospective buyers from your competitor? A geo-fencing campaign could be the answer.

Above are just a few instances where geo-fencing can really be a great piece of your overall marketing and advertising strategy. Based on the examples above, you can see the key benefits of advanced geo-fencing include:

  • Targeting mobile users close to (or physically inside of) your business
  • Retargeting users for up to 30 days once they enter your geo-targeted location (no cookies required). This is completely different than site retargeting where users physically have to visit your website in order to be retargeted.
  • Enhancing the relevance of your marketing messages in terms of time, location, and offering
  • Increasing brand awareness and driving physical foot traffic to your location(s)
  • Targeting and stealing customers from your competitors

Advanced geo-fencing is really an exciting targeting tactic. It allows you to use a combination of offline—i.e., physical behavior of people—and online information to really hone in on prospective buyers in ways you cannot using either just online or just offline. If you think a bit outside the box, most companies could find a scenario within their organization where geo-fencing makes sense. Think about it…and give it a try!

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Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments. In the meantime, check out our blog You Are Not Your Audience: Why PPC Capabilities Are Not Enough to learn the difference between knowing who your audience is and really knowing your audience.

About Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Online Advertising at Fathom. He has over 7 years of experience in digital marketing with a concentration in PPC/paid search and display advertising. He primarily works with healthcare clients, but his experience spans across all verticals. Joe is a frequent blogger for Search Engine Journal. In his free time, he enjoys working out and spending time with family and friends.

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