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Distinct - Local Marketing Experts

Geofencing Campaigns: Three Channels For Getting Your Message Out

May 27, 2020 2:28:14 PM / by Vincent Aguirre


Local Marketing Strategy


Between December 4 and December 8, 2012, Burger King employed a local marketing campaign that earned more than 1 million downloads of its app and more than 3 billion impressions from consumers.

What was this super successful marketing strategy? A form of geofencing that Burger King dubbed "The Whopper Detour." Consumers who downloaded the Burger King app would receive a push notification every time they were within 600 feet of a McDonald's restaurant. That notification offered consumers a Whopper for just a single penny.

By detouring consumers away from McDonald's and to Burger King, the fast food franchise earned brand awareness, media coverage, and sales. Geofencing worked.

Sending consumers messages that promote your business whenever they are within a certain geographic area is an effective local marketing strategy because it alerts consumers to your brand right when they are in a position to act on that knowledge. Geofencing can earn you instant results.

When you embrace geofencing local marketing, you can choose from three different channels for getting your message out to consumers who are in the vicinity of your brick and mortar business. Here is a brief look at each of these channels and how you can leverage them to effectively connect with potential customers.

Geofencing Channel 1: Push Notifications


Geofencing Push Notifications


Push notifications are the notifications a business app sends to a mobile device. For example, if you have ever received meal discounts from your favorite restaurants or update messages regarding a game you downloaded on your phone, you have received a push notification.

Push notifications work for a geofencing campaign if consumers have already downloaded your app. This was the channel of choice for Burger King during their Whopper Detour campaign. As consumers passed by a McDonald's, they would receive a message on their smartphones alerting them to the one-cent Burger King Whopper available to them.

Push notifications are convenient because they appear on an individual's mobile device even if the app is not currently open on their phone. In order to add geofencing to your mobile app, you will need to add a geofencing technology to your app. This technology will use GPS technology to pinpoint the consumer's proximity to your store with an accuracy of a few hundred feet, and then send out whatever message, discount, or promotion you want the customer to know about.

The exact message of your push notification will depend upon your business and your marketing goals. However, examples of the kinds of messages you can use include the following:

  • Sale promotion
  • Discount or coupon offer
  • Free gift offer
  • Brand benefits

These push notifications often work best if you pair them with a sense of urgency and/or distinguish yourself from your competitors.

For example, put a time limit on the offer or discount, consider which products and services your customers may be going to the competitor for and focus your push notifications on those, and offer deals and benefits your competitors do not offer.

Geofencing Channel 2: Text Messages


SMS Geofencing Campaign

Text messages are an appealing geofencing channel because consumers read them almost instantly. One study found that more than 90 percent of people read their text messages within 3 minutes of receiving them.

In order for SMS geofencing to work, you will need to collect consumers' contact information, specifically their phone numbers, beforehand.

Consider using some of the following methods for getting phone numbers for your SMS geofencing campaign:

  • Event registrations
  • Checkout account setups
  • Online promotions for sign-ups to receive offers and discounts
  • In-store promotions for sign ups to receive offers and discounts
  • Contests and giveaways online and in-store

Once you have those phone numbers, you can begin your SMS geofencing campaign. The same types of offers and messages that work for push notifications should work for text messages too.



Geofencing Campaign Timing

Just because someone is in the vicinity of your business does not mean they want to hear from you. For example, unless you are a coffee shop, pinging someone's phone at 6 a.m. is more likely to annoy than to attract a potential customer.

In general, follow these rules for sending an SMS:

  • Send after 10 a.m.
  • Send before 4 p.m.
  • Avoid all rush hours
  • Consider time zones and holidays

In addition, consider industry-specific times to send your text messages. As a restaurant, you may want to use your SMS geofencing primarily around mealtimes, while a coffee shop may very well want to encourage customers to embrace a little pick-me-up before work.

When in doubt about the best time to engage in your SMS geofencing campaign, try testing the same text across multiple times of day. The texts that perform the best will tell you when your potential customers most enjoy hearing from you.

Geofencing Channel 3: Paid Advertising


Google Ads Geofencing

Paid online ads, like Google Ads, can also serve as a channel for your geofencing campaign. Geofencing is often one of the many targeting options available for these advertisements.

You simply tell Google, for example, what the radius is for recipients of their ads. Then, Google will display your ads when customers are within that area and are searching for the specific keywords for which you have ad campaigns.

For example, say you set a radius of one mile around your business, and run a Google Ad campaign for "vegan chai latte." Anyone within that radius who searches for "vegan chai latte" will be served one of your Google Ads.

This geofencing channel is appealing because you do not have to go through the work of convincing people to download an app or give you their phone number. It is, therefore, in some ways less work than the other geofencing channels.

No matter which geofencing strategy you choose, you may want the assistance of an expert local marketing advisor.

This professional knows the ins and outs of geofencing campaigns (and other forms of targeted local marketing). They also know your local area so they can help you craft a customized ad campaign designed to succeed in YOUR community.

If you want that kind of localized professional support, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can provide you with a local marketing advisor and all the support you need for any type of geofencing or other local marketing campaign.


Topics: Digital Marketing, marketing, Distinct Web Design, DWD, Google Ads, MemberBuzz

Vincent Aguirre

Written by Vincent Aguirre

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