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How Restaurants and Stores Push Ads to Your Phone When You’re Nearby

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Here's how geofencing works and why you might want to consider it as a tactic for your business.

When you’re out and about and surfing the web, do you ever see banner ads for nearby shops or restaurants?

If so, you’ve likely been geofenced. The technique is sometimes surprising for consumers and has a lot of appeal for opportunity-based retailers. Compulse Integrated Marketing’s Joe Mann explains how it works:

1. An advertiser creates an ad and draws a fence

Not a real fence mind you – a virtual fence with, for example a one mile radius. Often, the center of the fence is the business itself.

2. The advertiser buys inventory on a geofencing ad network

3. Ads are served

When a person with a smart phone and their location services turned on enters the “fenced” area and surfs the web, websites and applications that participate in the ad network might display the banner ads to their phone.

These ads often encourage you to stop by, sometimes promoting a special offer. If you’re an opportunistic shopper, they can be a nice way to score a deal.

If you’re a business owner or a marketer, you might wonder how you can use geofencing technology to help get people into your store or business. Generally, geofencing is most successful when used by opportunity-based businesses (restaurants, convenience stores, etc.) with broad appeal, who make their business the center of the geofenced area.

Some businesses only advertise when business is usually slow, for example a lunch counter might offer a “buy one meal get one free” to fill up their seats, but only Mondays and Tuesdays between 11 and 2, when business tends to lag. Other businesses use a dayparting approach where they show certain ads at specific times of day. For example, a restaurant might advertise breakfast in the morning time, lunch midday and dinner in the late afternoon and evening.

The tactic can also be used for other businesses with less general appeal whose target audience regularly hangs out in a specific location. In these instances, the fence is placed not around the business itself, but in the area where the audience hangs out. For example, a used car lot could geofence a nearby community college, or a home repair service might geofence home improvement supply stores in their territory.

Want to learn more about how to use geofencing to drive customer acquisition for your business? Talk to the experts at Compulse Integrated Marketing.

The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving in ways that are of interest to business owners and marketers as well as the general public. Digital Discovery: Exploring Integrated Marketing gives concerned professionals and curious laypeople an inside look at cutting-edge developments in digital marketing.

Through discussions with subject matter experts at Compulse Integrated Marketing, we’ll unearth and unpack best practices, philosophical approaches and new technologies, all while keeping an eye on that ever-present question: what’s next?!

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