The Art of Mobile Geofencing

Mobile geofencing creates virtual geographic boundaries.
Mobile geofencing creates virtual geographic boundaries.

You’ve built a connection with your customers. Sales are up. Everything is running smoothly with your mobile app. But you’re not one to settle. So, how can you make your marketing campaigns hyper-focused? Start by considering mobile phone usage. We are seamlessly connected in today’s world. It’s time to leverage this tremendous opportunity in the form of Mobile Geofencing.

What is Mobile Geofencing?

Mobile geofencing is the process of using GPS, WiFi, and RFID technologies to create virtual geographic boundaries, allowing you to reach potential customers when they are in a defined location. You can set up geofences by assigning triggers that will fire when a customer enters or exists a geographic boundary. The geofences can be active, requiring users to open an app or a web page, or passive, meaning they are always on and working in a device’s background. These geofences provide locational data that allows for geotargeting.

What are the Advantages of Geotargeting?

Geotargeting enables you to create customized content or promotions based on users entering or exiting a geographic boundary. Below are some industry-specific examples of geotargeting:

  • News and media: Sending push notifications on news articles with respect to a user’s city
  • Sports: Featuring scores and statistics of local teams on mobile browser
  • Retail: Sending loyalty point reminders, distributing coupons, promoting in-store events and providing store map assistance based on entrance into a store

Naturally, the next step in this process is to analyze all of the data you’ve gathered and piece together your future campaigns.

Use Marketing Analytics to Plan Geofencing Campaigns

Here is where you can push customers over the edge when they have high purchasing intent. With marketing analytics, you can take data and use it to stitch together the customer journey. You can do this by determining the most active times of day by foot traffic, for example. You can also correlate online and offline behaviors, view how much time is spent in-store and study movement patterns by segment. From there, you can score and model customers using RFM modelingengagement indexing, and high value customer typing.

Privacy Concerns

Mobile geofencing can certainly provide the edge you’re looking for with your marketing campaigns, but it is important to note that customer privacy carries very serious technical, social, and business implications. So, what are privacy best practices? Given that no one set of practices will cover every type of organization, be sure that your privacy policy is clearly documented and accessible online.

It’s crucial that you choose your privacy policy words carefully. You’ll want to avoid phrases such as, “This app follows you around” and “We watch where you go.” Be sure to avoid collecting personally identifiable information in the data you gather. Moreover, you will want to provide strong encryption during data exchanges, protect your app from common vulnerabilities and limit access to app lifecycles and publishing.

Solutions

When it comes to methodology, you may also want to consider custom solutions and SAAS solutions. Let’s start with custom / native app solutions. iOS implementations use iBeacons, which are part of Apple’s Core Location Framework, while Android devices use the Geofence objectGoogle Awareness API is also an option for custom solutions. As far as SAAS solutions, options include Adobe Marketing Cloud Points of Interest, Pulsate, and simpli.fi.

Is Mobile Geofencing Right for Your Business?

This decision involves balancing the technical resources available in your organization with the potential program ROI, as well as balancing your brand identity and company culture with the demographics of your customers. Know your company. Have you already established a distinct mobile presence? Do you have the in-house staff to do the planning, development, and quality assurance work, or should you use a hosted solution? Finally, know your customers. Will geofencing enhance or detract from your brand messaging? High security businesses, such as banking, may not be geofencing candidates, whereas retailers and businesses with mobile-centric users make for the best candidates.

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