Location is crucial to the success of a business. Having your business in a prime spot is not always possible. But you can make your location useful to you in more ways than one with the help of geofencing technology. So, what is geofencing exactly? How does the technology work? And how can you use it to get the most out of your location?
Not sure? Let’s take a look at geofencing and how you can use it to benefit your business.
Geofencing Meaning: What Is a Geofence and How Does It Work?
Wondering what is a geofence or what is the geofencing meaning? Geofencing software is a location-based tool. It keeps track of devices via their GPS, radio frequency identification (RFID), WiFi, or cellular data. Its basic function is determining when a device enters or exits a geofence. Think of it as a virtual boundary set up around a particular location.
You establish geofences around business locations, events, and/or nearby areas frequently visited by target customers. Identify the exact parameters of the virtual fence surrounding a specified location using a satellite image. You can specify the barrier using latitude and longitude, usually with the help of web-based maps, like Google Maps.
What Is Geofencing Used For?
Now that you know what is geofencing, you might be wondering what it’s used for. There are various reasons why you would establish a geofence. Here are the technology’s many applications:
- Marketing. Businesses can more effectively engage in targeted marketing through geofencing technology. A store’s WiFi marketing platform alerts to a device’s entry into or exit from its virtual boundary. Then through proximity advertising, automated promotions or other marketing communications are sent to said device.
- Social networking. Location-based, customized filters, stickers, etc. that are widely used when sharing content on social media are possible through geofencing technology. An example is the ability to use filters and stickers specifically designed for an event like a concert. The venue can also deliver information or crowdsource social media posts about the event to increase audience engagement.
- Home automation. Using geofencing to trigger smart devices every time a smartphone enters or leaves the house. These smart devices include smart thermostats, smart fridges, smart lighting, and other similar home technology.
- Employee monitoring. Geofencing helps keep track of employees doing fieldwork, automate time cards, etc.
- Security and asset management. A geofence keeps track of and records entries and exits. This adds an extra layer of security around business premises, events, public spaces, airports, and even private residences. Track business-owned technologies and equipment with geofencing to ensure they remain within the premises.
- Law enforcement. Geofencing alerts authorities if an individual under house arrest and wearing an ankle bracelet leaves the premises.
- Telematics. Geofencing is useful in monitoring the movement of vehicles, equipment, and other assets via GPS technology and onboard diagnostics (OBD).
Overall, geofencing is a powerful tool that can be used in a variety of ways. You can reach a specific audience, track customer behavior, create personalized experiences, and increase brand awareness.
What Is a Geofence Alert?
Now that you know what is geofencing, let’s talk about its alert system. A geofence alert is a push notification or email you receive. It lets you know when a device has entered or left your virtual boundary. This is particularly useful if you want to ensure that business equipment remains within your premises. Or, if you’re tracking the whereabouts of company assets, vehicles, etc. for logistical purposes.
Geofence alerts are valuable to businesses when used for marketing purposes. Wondering how? For example, a geofence alert is sent by a store when a customer comes within a certain distance. Then, mobile alerts might offer the customer a discount on their next purchase. You deliver targeted messaging, enticing the customer to shop.
Geofencing Platforms: Alexa-based Geofence Trigger
You can set up a geofence to work alongside the voice assistant, Alexa. Ask yourself what is a geofence location that can make your day easier then let Alexa do the hard work. It’s especially useful if you want to customize certain routines based on location. Needless to say, you’ll need devices that are compatible and enabled for Alexa. Here’s how to set up your Alexa as one of your geofencing platforms:
- Launch the Alexa app. Take note that Alexa will judge your location to coordinate your geofencing routines based on the device you choose. So, choose a device that you always have with you and make sure location services are always turned on.
- On the Alexa home page, select “More” in the lower right corner, then select “Routines.”
- Start creating your routines. For example, you can create a routine called “Coming home.”
- Tap on “When this happens,” then “Location.” Enable location-based services, if you haven’t done so yet. You can choose your current location (if this is where you want the geofencing routine to be set up). Or, select/input an address.
- Choose the routine triggered when the device Arrives or Leaves.
- Back in the New Routine page, tap on “Add action” and input the geofencing routine. You can select “Smart home” to review the devices you can work with.
As an example, you have an Alexa-controlled smart lock. You can set up a geofencing routine that triggers the smart lock to lock the door when your device leaves the house.
What Is Geofencing Marketing?
These days, businesses typically use geofencing alongside their guest WiFi networks. So you might wonder what is geofencing marketing.
Geofencing is a form of location data marketing. Guest WiFi networks have the ability to detect devices whether or not they connect to said networks. Geofencing augments this ability to improve targeting marketing efforts. A business can set up a virtual boundary around its location. Or, a nearby location where they want to target customers.
An active geofence can sense and track a device if the customer has opted into location services. Additionally, the customer has the right mobile app open. A passive geofence is always on and relies on WiFi and cellular data to track devices.
You can configure your geofence to send targeted promos on social media. Or it can deliver location-based marketing data, prompt mobile push notifications, or trigger mobile alerts.
Geofencing Examples of Targeted Marketing
What is geofencing for marketing purposes? Here are some geofencing examples that you can try.
- Set up a geofence around a competing business nearby. When a potential customer passes through the perimeter, they’ll get a push notification. This alert prompts them to visit your establishment.
- Trigger a discount coupon or sale alert every time a potential customer enters your geofence boundary.
- Set up a geofence around events that may attract your target market. Send attendees targeted ads and sale alerts to prompt them to visit you soon.
- Set up your geofence to send a notification to nearby customers with your downloaded app. It will remind and encourage them to stop by.
- If you can, collect customers’ mobile numbers. You can use geofencing technology to send automated text messages to their phone when they’re in your location.
- Use geofencing alongside location targeting for PPC campaigns. Target potential customers who enter your virtual perimeter and search for businesses like yours using specific keywords. They will receive your targeted ads in response to their keyword search while in your vicinity.
Final Thoughts on What is Geofencing
We hope we’ve offered a clear understanding of what is geofencing and how it can benefit your business. It’s used for a variety of purposes, such as marketing, security, and automation. Geofencing is becoming increasingly popular. Especially as businesses and individuals look for ways to improve the way they interact with the world around them. It is a relatively easy tool to set up and use, and used for a variety of purposes.
The results you get are only as good as the WiFi marketing platform you use alongside your geofencing technology. Make sure you have a WiFi marketing platform that perfectly works in tandem with geofencing, a platform like Beambox. Set up your geofence and let Beambox do the rest of the heavy lifting. Beambox collects all the data you need for a more informed marketing strategy. When combined with geofencing, Beambox’s all-in-one WiFi marketing solution extracts powerful marketing data from guests who enter your virtual boundaries.
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