Geo–fencing marketing is a hot and cost effective trend in the ever-changing world of digital advertising. Epic Productions took this strategy for a test drive, presenting a geo-fencing marketing case study for a mobile centric marketing campaign initiative. You will see how we strategically, yet geographically, target potential customers based off their location. Being at this certain location can trigger your campaign whether it is a banner or a video advertisement; it’s a very strategic approach for brick and mortars that lack one of the three property values: location, location, location. Essentially, geo-fencing is creating a virtual fence around a particular physical location and targeting all of those that have visited or plan to visit it in the future. It’s like standing in front of a competitor’s doorstep passing out flyers, without getting the authorities involved of course! If location plays an important role to your brand then this strategy is for you. Geo-fencing marketing campaigns make sense if you’ve ever used your smart phone for GPS purposes. Smart phones “ping” consumer’s locations more than we are aware of. Search your favorite restaurant and you can observe their peak hours and most popular times they are frequented.   Geo-fencing campaigns tap into those same metrics; they’re not only trigged when someone visits a physical location but also when a person shows interest in visiting a location.

  • Physical Location: Location where a user is physically located
  • Location of interest: Location that someone was searching for or that was related to the content that she was viewing

There are multiple ways to target a customer when it comes to digital marketing including websites customers frequently visit, topics of interest, keyword searches and most recently, their location. Some of the marketing strategies are saturated, for instance, the “near me” search. It was a great approach in the beginning however as popularity picked up, so did biding on this term. According to Google, mobile makes up 88% of all “near me” searches, with those mobile searches growing at 146% year over year. Geo-fencing marketing works much like “near me” searches,  geographically targeting potential customers at a fraction of the cost. In this particular case (study), we’ll take you on a test drive so you can see how geo-fencing can assist your campaign efforts. One of our dealership clients has always utilized broadcast television to attract more customers, rightfully so; their competition located at an Auto Mall does the same.

geofencing marketing

Location Pinpointed with Specific Mile Radius | Our client was established decades before the auto mall was built and therefore is located approximately 15 miles from the Auto Mall itself. Broadcast television commercials are a great campaign initiative to generate brand awareness however it’s a bit costly, mostly due to the supply and demand. This is where we need to think outside the box, utilizing the competition’s strength and apply it to our client’s weakness- their location. Strategically utilizing geo-fencing three miles around the Auto Mall and one mile around our client was more cost effective than campaigns triggered for “Auto-Enthusiasts.”

geo-fencing marketing

Attracted a New Customer Base | From these particular geo-fencing marketing efforts, it attracted a different demographic than anticipated. Past efforts targeting auto enthusiasts were generally males in the 35-44 age bracket. In this case, we promoted the least expensive “monthly special” our client was running for the month (a new car for $9,999). We found that by doing so it attracted 16% more females than males and 27% of which can fall in the inexperienced category of buyers who range in the ages of 18-24.

geo-fencing marketing

Timing is Everything | Along with location, timing is everything. Since we’re being strategic, it’s important to be there when needed and have the funds as well. What we gathered with this geo-fencing campaign is that the peak times for automobile searches ranged from 9AM-5PM, with 11AM leading to the most clicks. However, the best conversion rates consisted late at night, 10PM to midnight and spiked again around 7AM.

geo-fencing marketing Most Cost-Effective Targeting Method Thus Far | Comparing geo-fencing marketing to other campaign targeting methods, we found it was least expensive per click because no competitors were bidding on this inventory or this strategy. We’ve bid on the search term “Auto Mall” before and it was costly due to the supply and demand. This means that other dealerships have bid on this keyword before and are will usually pay up to $2.00-$3.00 per click, depending on their budget. Targeting by interests is also another targeting strategy, however, not always the most cost effective and precise.

geo-fencing marketing

Crossing the Finish Line | Overall, we found geo-fencing marketing to be the most cost effective method because competitors have yet to saturate such an inventory, therefore leading to a successful ROI (return on investment). From these findings, we then utilized video to retarget these customers. This video campaign performed at the lowest cost-per-view and longest view rate we’ve ever observed! As long as you have a physical location, it’s something that is worth taking advantage of before supply and demand has the chance to fluctuate costs and ultimately saturate the market.

Targeting trendy hotspots as a location of interest is heavily assisted in the phenomenon we know as Uber. This ultimate personal chauffeur app first promoted their services by targeting customers based on places where they would go throughout metropolitan areas. Uber then strategically places drivers within locations of interest and piggy backs on locations promoting efforts.  Other than car dealerships utilizing geo-fencing marketing, here are a few other industries that may want to tap into geo- fencing campaigning:

Realtors could target specific homebuyers geo-fencing certain developments/ neighborhoods

Restaurants that are new to the neighborhood or next to a large event/area

Insurance/ Temporary Housing agencies looking to reach areas in need or effected by natural disaster

Hotels/Hospitality can target people searching competitor’s locations

Small Businesses that can’t afford the steep budget costs of attending a large convention can utilize geo-fencing to attract potential customers

At the end of the day, if you haven’t looked into Geo-fencing and you have a physical location, it might be something you may want to take a second look at and take advantage of early on. If you’ve ever ran a print campaign, targeting areas such as a “Every Door Direct Mail” (EDDM) campaign, you’ll gain immediate results on how well certain areas respond over others at a fraction of the cost. Geo-fencing also serves as a great retargeting measure for outdoor advertising, check out this campaign where we used geo-fencing marketing to retarget those that saw another client’s billboards on the their commute to the office.