Mobile Geofencing: Maximize the impact of personalized location-based marketing
Written by
Pradyut Hande

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Mobile Geofencing: Maximize the impact of personalized location-based marketing

Published : March 22, 2021 | Updated : May 21, 2024

Steven Spielberg’s 2002 blockbuster – Minority Report – wowed global audiences with futuristic technology in the form of crime prediction software, autonomous cars, insect robots, gesture recognition, etc. But, one thing that caught a marketer’s attention in the film is the interesting take on personalized marketing. The specific scene that piqued our interest is the scene in which the main character, John Anderton (Tom Cruise), strolls through a mall and is immediately targeted with ads that mention him by name.

Sounds familiar in this day and age? 

Today, marketers have abundant customer data at their disposal such as their name, age, gender, past purchase data, product preferences, eyeball data, location, etc. Engaging relevant customers with relevant offers or multi-channel marketing campaigns is now a critical cog in an effective marketing strategy. The most under-utilized data-point in this wheel of customer engagement is often “location”. 

There are two main marketing technologies built using a customer location data:

  • Geotargeting or Geolocation
  • Geofencing 

What is the difference? 

Geotargeting: The most commonly used technology in which you can target your offers or engage customers based out of a particular geographic location.

For instance: 

This technology works best when you want to segment and target customers based on larger physical radius criteria like country, state, or city. 

Geofencing: Helps you create a virtual territory around a particular location and target only those customers within that proximity. It is based on the effective use of GPS, RFID, WiFi, or cellular data.

For instance: In 2018, Burger King used geofencing technology to steer hungry customers away from McDonald’s. Burger King app users received an offer for a 1 cent Whopper as soon as they got within 600 feet of a McDonald’s outlet. And it worked! 

See the power of geofencing?

So, how does geofencing work?

Geofencing using GPS technology to monitor the position of customers who have your app. 

Step 1: Define your territory 

You can set up a “fence” around specified locations and it activates whenever an app user enters that area.

For instance: Let’s say you’re a ride-hailing cab service app. You can create virtual territories of the radius you want around prime locations such as airports, railway stations, popular tourist locations, shopping malls, etc. So, when someone with your app on their smartphone (or smart device) enters that defined virtual territory, he or she gets identified as a prospective customer.

Step 2: Identify the intent

“Customers” could be just driving by or stuck in traffic around these locations – sending them targeted campaigns is not going to be of any use. So, you need to define another rule – time. 

For instance: Let’s say you define a rule – Only target customers who stay within your predefined geofence for more than 15 minutes. So, customers who are just driving by the airport or shopping mall will not qualify as prospective customers. Customers who remain in these locations for more than 15 minutes would have higher chances of conversion and ensure you spend your marketing dollars only on them.

Step 3: Create real-time personalized campaigns 

Once your territory or geofence has been defined and your target customers with an actual intent have been identified, you can use this data and send them relevant personalized app push notifications, SMS, or emails.

And, on Netcore’s intelligent customer engagement platform you can do all this and so much more!

Let’s dive deeper into how you can unlock customer engagement and conversions through the power of real-time geofencing, as part of your larger marketing strategy.

A good marketing strategy is defined by its details, let us start:

Define your conversion goals

No marketing campaign or strategy works without you clearly defining your conversion goals. Geofencing campaigns are no different. 

Let us look at a few use case:

  • Promote brand awareness 

Your customers might have downloaded your app but they are either infrequent or dormant users. Sounds familiar? This simply means that your customers don’t recall your brand. You can tackle this with geofencing through relevant messages that drive higher top-of-mind brand recall.

A little inspiration:

The History Channel used geofencing in a marketing campaign with Foursquare.

They set up geofenced locations around historical landmarks. So, any time a user checked-in to one of those locations on Foursquare, they were sent facts about the place. This geofencing campaign generated more than 400 million check-ins.

  • Create personalized customer experiences that boost app user retention
    Use geofencing to ensure your current customers spend more money – when your customers spend a predefined amount of time in your geofenced area, you can trigger a relevant notification.

But here is the catch – you need to be creative and ensure that you don’t annoy them by sending too many notifications. This could backfire – instead of getting customers to buy from you, you will end up creating a negative association with your brand. Relevance, timing, and frequency of such triggered campaigns will always be a delicate tight-rope walk.

A little inspiration:

You can use geofencing to try and get more footfalls through your doors during off-peak hours. Try sending out a creative personalized app push notification during mid-afternoon to your app users when they walk by your geofenced location nudging them to stop by for a cup of coffee to get their caffeine fix.


A campaign could be designed to add value to your customers and make their life easier. Let’s say when your app user enters your store and you can then send them a notification that takes them directly to the “promotional offers & discount” section. 

Equipping your app users with this information gives them exactly “what they want when they want it” which is a hard feat to achieve in marketing. Service without interruption promotes customer loyalty.

  • Customer service
    A value-added customer service can easily become your USP – building a strong foundation for brand loyalty. Geofencing need not be used only for promotions and to get your customer’s attention, it can be used pragmatically to provide value in your customer’s journey.

A little inspiration:

BMW cars come with BMW Trackstar that monitors the position of the vehicle. Once a customer activates this service, the position of their car is tracked and pinpointed every 20 seconds. If the car moves out of the geofenced area or moves without the keys, BMW gets notified right away. This triggers a real-time notification to the owner to see if he or she is aware of the situation.

This improved security measure is a huge marketing point for the company. Geofencing helps them go the extra mile to provide customer service – a complementary and profitable strategy.

Location: 4 places you can leverage geofencing marketing

  • Your enterprise location
  • Competitor location 
  • Relevant events or trade shows
  • Locations that are relevant to your business – airports, tourist spots, railway stations, shopping malls, highways, information desks, etc.

Define the right size for your geofence

Oversized geofences will not drive the desired results. The key here is to make it convenient for your customers.

For instance: Let’s say you define a geofence within a 15 miles radius. It is unlikely that your customers who are beyond a 2-3 mile radius will visit your store. The temptation to “over-target” has to take a backseat when compared to common customer-centric sense.

Understand your app users

It is imperative that you have answers to critical questions like – “Who are my active app users?”, Where are my active users coming from?”, “How often are my users engaging with my app?”, “What are the key actions that my users are performing on my app?” etc. You need to understand what they want, their preferred time of engagement, their behavior patterns, and usage habits.

Use the right dashboard that will help you answer these questions easily. Make customer behavioral data and analysis the nucleus of your mobile marketing strategy. 

Give your app users a reason to act

Your geofencing push notifications should always compel your app users to act. It shouldn’t just be an advertisement for your business. You must give your users a reason to visit your store or engage with your brand.

For instance:

A coffee shop could send a push notification like “Take a break! Come to CoffeeHouse for BOGO on any handcrafted beverages from 2-7 PM”. Tell your app users exactly what to do and what they get out of completing that action.

By giving your users a reason to act, they’re more likely to take advantage of your offers. You’ll see more success with geofencing when you create compelling propositions that resonate with your app users.

Track and optimize your campaigns 

Optimize the success of your geofencing marketing campaign, as well as your other digital marketing efforts, by reviewing your campaign performance data on a routine basis. 

If analytics is uncharted territory for you, you can always partner with a geofencing marketing company that gives a real-time bird’s eye and granular view on what’s working and what’s not.

Why should geofencing be a part of your brand’s marketing strategy?

According to research, the geofencing market is pegged to reach $1.8 billion by 2022. This implies that the applications of geofencing marketing are only going to increase with both offline and hybrid brands looking to add greater personalization and relevance to their marketing efforts.

Here’s more food for marketing thought:

Geofencing marketing offers a plethora of opportunities for both customers and marketers.

Marketers have long wanted a link between personalized engagement and customer action. Geofencing is one of the answers to that age-old gap. 

Geofencing technology allows marketers to gauge how customers react when they come across an actionable triggered and timely campaign. This can be a major factor in increasing marketing ROI.

When to add geofencing to your marketing mix?

Any brand that has a physical location on the map and your KPIs are:

  • Acquiring new customers 
  • Retarget customers to increase customer loyalty 
  • Provide better services by truly understanding target customers 
  • Maintain attribution 
  • Increase ROI

Need some help planning a mobile marketing geofence-driven strategy that is tailor-made for your business? Contact us, today.

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Written By: Pradyut Hande