There is a new trend that is becoming more and more popular in the advertising and marketing world, though there is still some debate how to best use this method. The term is geofencing and though you may have heard the term being bandied about, you might not know what it is all about.
The term geofencing (more info) refers to the practice of creating a digital fence around a geographical area, according to Cio. The general area is contained in something of a common radius and there are still tests being done to find out just how large of a geographical area can be involved in geofencing.
Geofencing advertising, as well as geofencing marketing, are rising trends in the industry. As technology develops and accessibility to customers and audiences change, so to do the methods in which advertisers reach those audiences.
The idea behind geofencing is to obtain information about a certain community or town. By creating a geofence, information is obtained exclusively about people within that geofenced radius. The goal here is to reach a very specific portion of the audience based on their location.
For more reasons why you should use geofencing, see this page.
Why is Geofencing a Growing Option?
These methods of advertising are helpful for more localized businesses to target their area. Instead of traditional print media that we are familiar with, the idea is to project advertisements to smart phones, tablets, and computers within that geofenced area.
With the growing popularity of mobile devices, the potential reach is huge. Whereas print media had a finite reach within a certain community in days past, geofencing has the capability of reaching a much larger percentage of that community.
There are caveats to this, however. To effectively utilize geofencing as an advertising and marketing option, a person must be able to view their smartphone, tablet, or computer. This is ideal when a person is stationary and able to view their device; it might not be so useful to those who are on the move or in their cars. For that reason, geofencing advertising and marketing are not perfect options.
Still, the majority of people, especially in the United States, have a smartphone of some capacity. Being able to reach those users, even for a few seconds, is a huge advantage to advertisers that did not previously exist.
One of the keys to geofencing is establishing the boundaries involved. If geofencing is being done in a defined area that has clear boundaries, it may work better than an area where there is an adjacent geofence zone. The kinks are still being worked out.
Ultimately, geofencing potentially provides a more refined and specific way to access users in a certain geographical area. This works for location-specific services as well as smaller, local businesses who appeal to a certain community.
Being able to advertise right to the smartphone of users in a specific area gives geofencing advertisers a leg up on the competition. As the technology is refined and becomes more accurate, it will only aid advertisers in reaching their target audiences.