What’s the Difference Between Geo-fencing and Geo-targeting?

In a study conducted by BIA/Kelsey, it is estimated that location-targeted mobile ad spend will increase from $12.4 billion to $32.4 billion by 2021. While the technology for location-based search has been around for several years, it wasn’t until recently that the required infrastructure was put into place. Now businesses are beginning to utilize the value and potential of real-time location-based marketing.  As with most new marketing techniques, there is some confusion between geo-fencing and geo-targeting. In this post, we will explain the differences between geo-fencing and geo-targeting and tell you how beacons can enhance a campaign.

How is Geo-fencing Different from Geo-targeting?

Geo-fencing is the use of GPS and/or RFID data to create a hyper-specific boundary based on a user’s precise location and/or their location in relation to other people and/or objects. Ads are then shown to users who enter that geo-fence. More simply, Geo-targeting takes a pin, drops it on a map, and sets a perimeter around that pinpoint. For example, everything or anyone within 5 miles of zip code 30318. Ads can then be shown to anyone that enters the targeted circle.  

Geo-targeting takes geo-fencing one step further. It takes a user’s precise location and fires an ad based on that user’s exact location and if that user meets specific criteria determined by you. Geo-targeting establishes targeting criteria through demographics, interests, and behaviors.  

  • Geo-fencing Example
    Your company sells bottled water. You create a geo-fence that is the perimeter of an outdoor summer festival. Anyone who enters this perimeter will be shown a push-notification from the festival app for 10% off your bottled water.
  • Geo-targeting Example
    Your company sells bottled water. You create a geofence that is the perimeter of an outdoor summer festival and identify the dance floor via GPS.  Then, you create a campaign that shows a festival goer a display ad on their cell phone for your bottled water when a person walks off the dance floor but is still within the perimeter of the outdoor summer festival.

How are Geo-fencing Campaigns Delivered?

Geo-fencing campaigns are shown through an app push notification, display ad, or text message.

I Often Hear of Beacons. What Are They? How Do They Compare to Geo-fencing?

Beacons are Bluetooth low energy devices that broadcast signals to a beacon-enabled app on mobile devices. They cannot pinpoint users on a map. Instead, these devices are only able to estimate when someone is in range of the Bluetooth signal. Beacons are better for proximity detection and can be paired with a geo-fencing campaign for maximum efficiency.

Give me an Example of Beacons and Geo-fencing

Your company sells bottled water. You create a geo-fence that is the perimeter of an outdoor summer festival. In addition, you place beacons at your three concession stands at the outdoor festival. You create a campaign that shows a festival goer a 10% off coupon on your cell phone app for your bottled water when the person gets within 10 feet of the concession stand.

Geo-fencing and geo-targeting are two of location-based marketing you should consider as this trend continues to grow. You can also incorporate beacons to take your strategy to the next level. Location-based marketing allows you to attract more customers, boost engagement, increase ROI, reward loyal customers, convert impulses into sales, and easily measure results.

Whether you’re interested in targeting a broad group or a specific subset of consumers in a defined area, Bearpaw Partners can help you. Let us help you build your digital marketing strategy in 2018 and beyond! Give us a call today at 404-500-6499.

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