Ferguson Consulting Group

Geo-fencing Explained

Geo-Fencing ExplainedWith local marketing, it’s easy to talk from a 10,000-foot perspective. But if you’re a brand that wants to establish themselves in local and isn’t sure where to begin, geo-fencing is a good way to start thinking about your options.

Let’s start with the basics. For a long time, you’ve been able to target your customers using a simple kind of geo-fence. It involves drawing a circle of a specific radius (say, two miles) around a specific location and providing notifications or promotions to users within that fence based on what’s nearby. This isn’t bad, but it’s a bit of a blunt instrument. In order to get good results this way, you have to target users who have already signaled their intentions by searching on something or viewing specific content.

Today’s geo-fencing allows you to dig much deeper into what’s relevant to your customers. Rather than a circle, you can now draw any shape around a geographical area. In other words, you can isolate stores, neighborhoods, football stadiums, or just about anything else.

Needless to say, every brand will have different spaces they want to target. The key is finding a relevant location for your brand. This is an area where people will share intentions and allow you to find a higher percentage of people interested in your products or services (and more precision means higher conversions and hopefully increased ROI).

For example, neighborhoods often contain houses with similar characteristics and a similar price range. If you are a realtor, whenever your customers enter a neighborhood that fits their profile, you can provide them with notifications about homes they may want to check out while they are there. A textbook publisher, on the other hand, may want to target only people who live on college campuses.

Not surprisingly, a variety of vendors can help you with these things. Some, like Maponics and Urban Mapping, offer off-the-shelf products that allow you to target people as they move around neighborhoods, convention centers, and mass transit systems. Others, like Urban Airship, allow you to send push notifications based on a granular understanding of people’s location over time and their stated preferences and in-app behaviors – in addition to where they are right now. And if you need to fence off a not-so-obvious location, like a fairground where a music festival is taking place, don’t worry. You can also work with vendors that create custom geo-fences (we’ve used Placecast to do this successfully in the past).

Once you know your area, you have two major ways to reach your customers: text messages and push notifications through location-aware apps. Texting is more popular because it works on all phones, though it may need more outside promotion to gain users and could have some cost to consumers depending on their data plan. Push notifications work whether the app is open or not, and use the IP network for a much lower, sender-only cost. No matter which you choose, it’s always important to make geo-fenced notifications an opt-in for your customer – nothing will damage your brand more than spamming. To avoid this and other potential minefields, I suggest teaming up with an experienced digital agency, though I may be biased, and get up-to-speed on messaging best practices.

If you’re looking for inspiration on ways to use geo-fencing, the best place to start may be your favorite brick-and-mortar retailer. The reason? Pressure. As e-commerce has taken off, retailers are seeing their stores turned into virtual showrooms for companies like Amazon and Overstock.com. Many stores – like The North Face, Target, and Best Buy – are fighting back by using one of a number of platforms (such as Localpoint from Digby or Shopkick) that allow them to hit customers with offers whenever they enter a store. Retailers can also use new indoor targeting solutions, such as Meridian’s partnership with Urban Airship, to send messages targeted to specific aisle locations within stores.

Probably the biggest opportunity for brands moving forward lies in platforms that take these geo-fenced locations and combine them with behavioral data..

The Basics Of Learning How To Use Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is useful for advertising over a large area. Companies can use mobile marketing by traveling to different locations to demonstrate products and services to customers who have never seen or used them before. This article will give you advice to remember when using mobile marketing.

The fastest growing category with mobile browsers and mobile apps are social networking websites. So business must accept social networking and go where the people are. Mobile marketing success will depend upon your business making a presence on the social networking sites and using it correctly to grow your business.

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Make sure you mention your mobile marketing campaign in your other marketing efforts. You could have a link on your website where people can sign up for it, or mention it on your Facebook or Twitter page. If people know about your mobile marketing campaign, they will be more likely to sign up for it.

When using a mobile marketing campaign for your business, be as transparent as you possibly can. Identify yourself as clearly as possible right in the beginning and also the brands you are associated with. People want to feel secure and trust the marketing that is coming to their personal devices so you have to be transparent and let them know who you are.

Maintain your program. There is nothing more disappointing for a customer than to sign up for a mobile marketing campaign and never hear anything from the company. Take the time to send customers a message at least once a week, even if it just something simple, like telling them you are glad to have them aboard.

Find a way to get your customer’s phone number. Ask them to sign up for a member’s club or simply give them a sheet to fill in when they buy something at your store. Make them understand that you will be sending them messages about products and discounts in the future.

If you’re thinking about expanding out to a different market with a different product, make sure that you start this effort normally first before you branch out to mobile marketing. It’s going to be very difficult to pull people in from the mobile world to your new product, so go with what got you here and just repeat the process.

As stated before, mobile marketing can be a useful tool for advertising over a large area. Companies can use it by going to different locations to demo their products and services to a new audience of potential customers. If you remember the advice from this article, then you can use mobile marketing.

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