Merrick, NY--Remember the ads in 2002’s Minority Report movie? Tom Cruise enters the mall and the ads, specifically targeted to him, begin appearing. Today geofencing, a type of digital ad, is not that far off from the future imagined in that movie.
According to Fruchtman Marketing, ‘geofencing is a location-based mobile service that lets marketers send messages to smartphone users when they enter a predefined area around a specific location, such as a shopping center.’ (More here.)
The Centurion spoke with Kyna Steinfurth, Fruchtman’s media director about geofencing.
“It’s a service we recommend to our clients,” said Steinfurth. “Like anything else, geofencing has its place. We recommend it for jewelers in a shopping center/mall or within a few miles of one.”
Think of geofencing as building a virtual fence around a real-world geographic area. How do banner ads using geofencing look to a user with a smart phone who enters a mall, for instance? If the mobile user is waiting for a friend inside the mall and using their phone to play a popular game (Candy Crush anyone?), then a banner ad would appear inside the game. Or if a mobile user is keeping up with the news, then a banner ad would appear when they browse CNN, says Steinfurth.
Geofencing allows jewelers to specifically target who receives a targeted ad. If you are selling and advertising bridal, “then you can target unmarried adults aged 25-44 who have, through their mobile usage history, shown an interest in engagement rings or proposal ideas,” she says.
For other jewelers with free-standing stores not in heavily trafficked areas it’s much lower on an advertising priority list. For those jewelers, geofencing may be a useful tool for local events. “Use geofencing as a branding vehicle to show your support of the community and its philanthropic efforts,” says Steinfurth.
Jewelers most often use banner ads, although geofencing encompasses more than just that. Steinfurth explains these messages can be texts, emails, app notifications or banner advertising.
C.D. Peacock, with three locations in the Chicago, IL area, has been using geofencing with good results. According to marketing manager Theresa Wood, geofencing works.
“We’ve been using geofencing about six months. We have seen a major increase in sales for Jan/Feb 2016 compared to Jan/Feb 2015 in bridal. We attribute that increase to geofending since that was our main focus in marketing for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2016. We also attribute geofencing to the number of new clients we obtained,” explained Wood.
And how does geofencing compare to other online ad methods for Peacock? “We feel it’s effective because we like to target clients that are already in the mall.”
For jewelers not utilizing digital ads, could the use of geofencing be a shortcut to better targeted ads? “It could be, if your stores are in heavily trafficked areas,” says Steinfurth. “The first thing any jeweler has to own is their own home base. The best return on investment for a store in a shopping center, are the people in the shopping center. They park, eat, shop and often stay for a while.” And of course almost every one of them has a smart phone that they will likely engage with during that time.
Geofencing through app notifications offer attendees an interesting on-site experience. Rolling Stone reported recently that the band Matchbox 20 used geofencing throughout their latest tour. From this article, “ ‘We can talk to fans as they come in and out of the venue, welcome them to the show, give them a hashtag to participate. It’s a great way to get information to people without being uber-intrusive but also remind people what they can do to be an interactive part of the show. We’ve had killer fan engagement.’” The band uses a custom app and notifications have to be enabled for a fan to receive the messages.
The future of ads is arriving and geofencing it will be yet another instrument in your tool box to better target and reach customers.