How Local Businesses Use Geofencing to Draw In Nearby CustomersRamon Ray
While first introduced to the market over a decade ago, geofencing, a form of location-based marketing (LBM) is relatively new territory for small businesses. It works by creating “virtual barriers” that trigger promotional text messages, email alerts, or app notifications when a mobile device enters (or exits) a specified area.
I’ve asked Joshua Markham, SVP of Digital Media Products at ReachLocal to share his insight with us.
Small businesses have mostly left geofencing to big retailers and brands to pursue while they focus on foundational digital marketing such as enhancing their Web presence to be mobile friendly, implementing social media campaigns, and driving leads from search engines. But as small businesses get a handle on foundational digital marketing programs, they are looking for more innovative ways — such as geofencing — to attain their business objectives. Also, new cost-effective and easy to use geofencing technologies have recently come to market making this new strategic technique an attainable and attractive way for local businesses to meet their business goals.
Geofencing in Action
With the ability to combine geographic targeting with various criteria such as seasonality, community events, or time of day, small businesses can have a plethora of geofencing campaign goals. Beyond acquiring new customers, small businesses are using geofencing for market research and to even recruit employees from competitors. Regardless of the goal, successful geofencing campaigns have several commonalities: timeliness and relevance. Here are some of the innovative ways progressive small businesses are using geofencing.
Auto Dealer Steals Customers from the Competition
This past Memorial Day, a ReachLocal car dealer client used geofencing to target four competitive car lots with special deals. With a $500 advertising budget, the auto dealer sold 10 additional cars, which represented a significant ROI.
Restaurant Drives Foot-traffic to Store Location
Geofencing is extremely useful for restaurants with lots of competition in the area. Restaurants are using geofencing to target shoppers that are out and about during certain time periods (e.g. breakfast, lunch or dinner) or peak shopping seasons, such as the impending holiday. By offering timely specials (e.g. happy hour or 2 for 1 specials) to shoppers in the area, restaurants are getting more foot traffic to their locations.
Local Business Recruits Employees from Competitor
Small businesses know that hiring the right employees is critical to the success of their business. As such, it is not surprising to see the use of geofencing to recruit employees from a competitor. In today’s hyper-competitive environment for the best employees, this new application of geofencing is becoming a critical part of one of our client’s recruitment process.
In recent months, we have experienced a significant uptick in the number of small business clients interested in adding geofencing to their arsenal of digital marketing programs. As geofencing provides a powerful value proposition for a variety of local businesses and for a variety of goals, this interest is only increasing. Geofencing is helping small businesses in a multitude of industries connect with potential customers or in some cases potential employees in a very targeted, timely and personal way never before possible.