In previous posts, we discussed how location should be central to your omnichannel strategy. Mobile and geofencing technology is another powerful tool to take your personalised marketing strategy to the next level.
Geofencing is a form of mobile marketing that involves setting up a virtual perimeter around a physical space such as a retail store or place of interest. When a customer enters the "geofence", retailers can send them a text messages or push notifications provided the customer has opted in to receiving these special offers. This gives retailers the ability to send highly targeted one-to-one communications related to location using geolocation.
Geofence solutions can be integrated into your current mobile applications. Alternatively, new specialised applications can be developed or can even work with the collaboration of a mobile network for pure text messaging alerts without an application.
When used correctly, Geofence solutions can double the ROI of your marketing campaigns, increase brand awareness and strengthen customer loyalty.
GPS or Beacons?
There are a couple of options for a customer's location to be detected and geofences activated to send a message. You can either use location services on a mobile device or, even more interestingly, work through beacon technology.
Beacons are small bluetooth transmitters (installed in shop premises) whose signals can be detected by mobile applications within a certain range. The disadvantage of using the inbuilt phone location services such as GPS, is that lack of indoor accuracy and the potential to drain the battery. A few technical things can be done to minimise this, but some customers may still view this as a negative when using the geofencing application.
Beacons on the other hand can be used to pinpoint indoor location much more accurately. They can be used for more targeted promotions (the actual item someone is looking at within a shop for example), but they require installation and have a much smaller range.
The technology you decide to use will ultimately come down to what the business wants to achieve and the experience you would like to give your customers. A combination of both could also be used for broader targeting. For example, you could entice a customer walking outside a shopping centre into your store and then send them much more personal targeted messaging once inside.