January 2017

Geofencing: All the Secrets Revealed by NearIT


Imagine to draw a geographical area on a map. Now, imagine you can send content to users if they enter or exit from a specific perimeter: that’s geofencing.

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a kind of technology which create a virtual perimeter (called geofence) on the map. Areas’ dimensions can be more or less large such as the area around an airport, a neighborhood or a city. Geofences are connected to GPS systems to detect when a device with a LBS (location-based service) or a person enter or exit a geo-area.

What You Can Do with Geofencing?

Thanks to geofencing, you can create a one-to-one communication with users sending them content when they enter or leave a geographical area. Moreover, you can study and collect interesting data on app users’ behaviours.

You can know how many people have entered an area and when they did it. Thanks to this information you can, not only improve your marketing strategy, but also send content to people according to their behaviours (e.i. a discount to visit a museum to users who entered the old town center). Moreover, you can send rating surveys when users exit a geographical area you set (i.e. a survey to all event participants when they leave your city).

Geofencing Advantages

According to Instant.ly, many businesses have experienced click-through rates on geofencing campaigns that are as much as 700 higher than standard ads. Moreover, as Mark Robinson at Ellandi (UK’s Leading Community Shopping Centre Investor) said “There are real opportunities to harness the power of geolocation marketing to affect consumer behaviour”.

You can take advantages of using geofencing in a marketing strategy.

  • Dynamism: the virtual perimeter is active even when user keep on moving allowing you to know in a specific moment which is the current user position;
  • Context: sending context-aware notifications to users;

  • Analysis: you can analyse users’ behaviour and sending them notifications according to their past behaviours;
  • Benefit and Loyalty: you can give your users benefits or awards them for their purchase.
  • Flexibility: you can use geofencing in different fields, for retail, for cultural purposes or during events;
  • Value: thanks to one-to-one communication, it is possible to send specific content going beyond spam messages sent without contextual reasons.

Geofencing vs Beacon

Geolocalization has become nowadays a critical features for marketing purposes. Beacons and geofencing are the two most used technologies to send context-aware content to app users. Though they can be complementary, which are the principal differences between them? First of all, hardware. With geofencing it is sufficient to set a perimeter on the map, instead beacons, are small devices which should be installed and which works with BLE signals to send content to app users.

  • Macro-location vs Micro-location: geofencing is less accurate than beacons, the areas you can set with geofencing can be more or less large, while beacons are referred to a more precise object or to small areas;
  • Outdoor vs Indoor: with geofencing you can create content to send to app user in outdoor areas, whereas beacons are used to send indoor content.

Geofencing with NearIT

Geofencing uses geographical information given by smartphones’ operative systems to know when an app user enters or exit an area. Thanks to these details, integrating NearIT SDK in every mobile native app, you can send personalised content – multimedia messages, discount coupons or surveys – to users when they enter or leave a specific area you have previously set on the map. And even more! Thanks to NearIT, it is possible to send content according to app users past behaviours. For example, you can send coupons to users who were in a specific place a few weeks or days before the creation of your campaign. If, for example, a user has downloaded an app to have a museum’s interactive guide during his last visit, you can send him information on next exhibitions and a discount coupon for other visits he may plan. In this way, user engagement is really targeted and personalised.

Adding geofencing to our algorithm, we have improved our product. We’ve combined beacon with geofencing and thanks to the solution we’ve implemented, users can save device battery because beacons are searched only when strictly necessary. In this way, the dialogue between smartphone and beacons is more efficient.

Do you want to know more about geofencing?

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