‘En Garde’—Geo-Fencing/Geo-Conquest One of Latest Tools in Battle for Customers

fencing for geo-fencing item 307That small screen. You know, the one that you wake up and check first thing in the morning and shut down when your eyes feel like they are about to bleed right before you fall asleep at night. Although it’s hard to believe, the fully interactive mobile phone has only been around for eight years, yet most of us often feel naked and helpless if it’s not within our possession.

In less than a decade, the mobile phone has become a key marketing channel for just about every industry. Businesses use this channel for apps, email, text, native ads, social media posts, digital ads, push alerts and more to deliver their brand message.

You’re not reading anything you haven’t already experienced yourself. However, if your business is still relying on traditional marketing such as TV, print, radio, mail and billboard, and is not “inside” the phone with geo-marketing, specifically geo-fencing and geo-conquesting, then please read on. Note: those traditional marketing avenues are still extremely important and, when used in conjunction with geo-based target marketing, can create a maximum impact, especially with that super sought after millennial crowd.

Although geo-fencing sounds like the cross-pollination of a Nat Geo writer and a sword-wielding three musketeer, it really involves the use of a smartphone’s GPS locator to set up a zone where paid app ads, native ads, social media ads, quasi-push alerts and the like show up on the screen when the device crosses into the aforementioned zone.

For example, a user is walking down a city block. In the next block, a geo-zone has been set up for a nearby retailer. Depending on the placement tactic and offer, when the user enters the zone, they’ll receive an offer for a promotion or discount with the retailer if they click on the targeted ad, which is sent via alert or placed within an app which they are viewing. When hitting the right audience in the right geo-fence, these ads are highly effective, especially for retailers.

In addition to the digital ad hitting at the right time and location, the “clicked to” landing page can fully optimize the mobile device experience by allowing potential clients to immediately receive directions, be able to place a phone call or text message and visit a company’s website.

On the backend, a business can see which apps their clients are visiting for better ad spend, see heat maps of how clients are finding a business and test different ads for more effective results. Companies can adjust their zones in relationship not only to current and potential clients, but even the competition’s locations (the “geo-conquest” part of the strategy).

Like a digital pirate? Yes. By zoning your competition, you can place digital ads on mobile devices when your clients visit or are close to your competition. Is it dangerous? Potentially, yes. You don’t want to do anything negative that could cause you to misrepresent your competition’s brand. But dropping a better deal on a mobile device as your client is entering your competition is pretty much the same as running a matching coupon ad in your local paper, it’s just digitalized and more accurately targeted.

The next generation of advertising has to be mobile and personal, allowing the right offer to meet the right person at the right location at the right time. Geo-fencing and geo-conquesting are two of the fast-growing ways of providing a digital advertising experience that meets this challenge. Because if you do not get on that small screen today, you may soon find your business getting much smaller tomorrow.