Julianne Watt is a sales and marketing analyst at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy.
Last week, I left my home to drive 30 minutes to my favorite retailer. Later, when I was almost home, I remembered I needed tennis shoes, and I should have gone to the shoe store before leaving the shopping center.
If this shoe store used geofencing, a mobile-friendly action — like a push notification or text message — would have triggered when I entered the shopping center parking lot. The result would have been a successful sale for them and running shoes for me.
Now, we’re not all business-to-consumer businesses with physical locations. Not to worry — geofencing is for everyone.
Time magazine reports Americans check their phone 47 times a day — many more if they’re younger. Where are your customers? On their cell phones. Business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) organizations should take note: this is where to connect with your customers directly.
You no longer need your own mobile app to take advantage of geofencing. Instead of a push notification or text message, your audience can view your ad in another app that serves ads or on a web browser. This translates to cost savings and means customer adoption rates are less of a concern. You don’t have to hold your breath for people to enable push notifications directly from your app. They’ll see your ads on sites they are already checking.
The most common use of geofencing for B2C companies is drawing nearby customers into stores. Geofencing can also increase customer retention by giving customers what they want, when they want it. Walgreens sends push notifications to customers when they enter the store’s parking lot. With one motion, the Walgreens app opens, and personalized coupons immediately display.
Enhance customer service by providing people with quality information they need before they ask for it. Uber uses geofencing to proactively notify travelers landing in LAX about how many cars are available.
B2C companies aren’t the only ones benefitting from geofencing. B2B organizations are finding savvy ways to implement this technology, as well, especially in trade shows.
People attend tradeshows to learn, network and connect with prospective customers. At large tradeshows, meeting everyone can be difficult. By pushing digital ads that lead to in-the-moment relevant content to tradeshow attendees, you’re building awareness of your company and brand. Gate the content with a contact form, and you’re acquiring leads.
Also imagine geofencing a company’s building two weeks prior to cold-calling. Now when you call, your brand already sounds familiar. The call is no longer completely cold. It’s one touch-point in a series of targeted engagements.
Businesses of all kinds are finding creative new ways to use geofencing. As you consider how this tool can work for your business, remember the focus should always be about knowing your customers’ minds and habits and how you can meet their needs.