Among the new technologies applied in almost all the areas of life, we can name GPS and its allied tools. In recent years geofencing has gained much popularity and proved to be a relatively cheap technology with a lot of functions and multiple applications. Before we analyze the types of geofencing and it’s usage in business, we need to define what a geofencing is. The first example coming to your mind might be the speed-limited zones in the streets and highways. So, a geofence is a system of geographical boundaries separating a certain area for a certain purpose. Geofencing is the group of technologies based on GPS activity of the authorized devices. Each time internet or GPS-friendly device enters a geofence, multiple alerts and messages can be designed in advance to provide the owners of the device with a specific type of information. In may cases, we talk about advertising messages on your phone, push messages, alerts on social media you get when you enter a specific area.
The usage of geofencing
So, before we concentrate on the application of geofencing techniques in business, let’s analyze the existing types of technology. The most widespread ways of applying geofencing are the following:
- No-entry zones
For the areas with potential hazards or the zones of specific control in the process of holding police operations, the so-called no-go zones can be defined. So the geofencing is used to inform about the attempts of entering the zone and keep people from doing it, as they urgently receive alerts to stop or leave the zone.
- Confinement zones
Geofences can be used to control the people who are already in the zone and keep them from leaving it. So, police, municipal organizations, and emergency control state bodies can create these zones to alert people they should not leave the specified zone, otherwise, it can be dangerous for them, like in the case of hurricanes and other natural disasters.
- Emergency zones
In the case of emergencies, geofencing is used to inform about the evacuation zones, so people can easily and quickly leave a dangerous place. Wi-Fi, GPS, and radio waves are used to create and maintain this zone. So, on one hand, they inform people to eave a potentially dangerous zone. At the same time, the system informs the official organizations when people leave the specified area.
- Industrial sites
In the industries where employers move from their workplace to different production sites, like in the case of mining, pipelines, and construction, companies define geofences around the industrial sites, so they get alerts as soon as their workers enter and leave the site. They can also track equipment in this way in order to avoid its loss or theft, and if it’s materials transportation, they also control where and when the trucks move within the zone and when they leave it.
- Speed control and speed limiting
In different parts of the roads, highways, and streets outside or within the cities and towns road, police define the zones with speed limiting due to potential dangers for drivers, such as sharp turn-points, or potential risks for pedestrians (in the nearby areas of schools, hospitals and so on). So, drivers get notifications they have entered this specific type of zone, so they have to decrease their speed to the specified limits.
- Marketing and advertising
Many businesses widely apply geofencing to establish communication with their potential customers within specific areas around their shops, in the places where their audience lives and works, or in the areas around their competitors’ offices. In this way, people who enter these zones are sent information about the brand via messages and are informed about sales, promotions, new arrivals of goods, or shop openings.
How does geofencing work?
Geofencing is used in startup development as it helps new companies easily gather the marketing information, define their audience precisely, try new approaches in their business, and estimate the potential of a certain marketing strategy. Local-based applications with applied geofencing are designed to initiate the communication process with the clients. Usually, these applications are based on Google Maps or other similar programs popular within a given region. So, developers construct a system of pre-programmed messages and filter the future addressees of the alerts to the information about the main audience segments. The system will cover the chosen audience and send them messages vis social media, notifications in the maps application, browser alerts, and SMS as soon as they get close or anger the specific geofence.
Benefits of geofencing for business
- Relatively low cost of audience analysis and involvement
No matter whether you target the area near your offline shop, or the locations around the shops of your competitors, by applying geofencing you can easily estimate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and make sure the audience you are trying to reach is exactly what you need. Besides, you can easily predict the ROI for a geofencing advertising campaign, and in comparison to other types of advertising, it is definitely cheaper and easier to organize.
- Reaching the audience at the right place and the right time
There’s much more possibility that your potential client visits your shop when he is a couple of steps far from it than if he was at home scrolling the invitation posts on Instagram. So, using geofencing in advertising is about reaching your audience at the most suitable time, when the probability of their entering the funnel is very high
- Personalization of advertising activities
In comparison to other much more expensive types of outdoor advertising, via geofencing, you can send more customized and personalized messages to your audience, which is very effective if you want to present your brand identity, as it boosts brand awareness and makes your customers feel you care about them. Getting a well-designed message about the new collection arrival in a shop nearby makes the audience feel that they are exactly who you want to see in your shop. It works really well.