Marketing terms can get confusing fast – particularly when there are a few dozen terms all under the same umbrella.
Location-based marketing is one of those umbrellas. Though there are plenty of specific terms, tips, and tricks surrounding location-based marketing (which you can find more on here), but one of the biggest misunderstandings happens between the terms geofencing and geo targeting.
The difference between geotargeting and geofencing is a clear one, and understanding that difference can help you give a facelift to your location-based marketing.
What Is Geofencing?
Geofencing in location-based marketing is fairly self-explanatory; you’re targeting users based on a specific area. When you are geofencing, you are drawing a virtual ‘fence’ around an area that you want to trigger notifications or messaging for.
For example: GasBuddy uses geofencing in their mobile marketing strategy. Every time a customer enters a geofenced retail location, they receive a limited-time GasBack offer sent to their phone. This helps to boost engagement and sales by targeting customers in locations where they’re likely to make a purchase.
What Is Geotargeting?
Geotargeting is a more nuanced, specific way to target customers based on location and behavior. When you are geotargeting, you’re doing two things:
- Reaching a customer that’s inside a pre-defined geographic location (this is where geofencing can come into play).
- Refining the targeting of that customer based on other factors, such as behavior.
For example: The USTA uses geotargeting at the U.S. Open. By using proximity targeting, geofencing, and in-app behaviors in an all-in-one targeting package, the USTA was able to get 32% of recipients to click the ‘Buy Now’ button for tickets in the Message Center.
What’s the Difference Between Geofencing and Geotargeting?
Geofencing and geotargeting are both a part of location-based marketing, but they serve different purposes. While geofencing is simply drawing a virtual fence around a particular geographic location, geotargeting involves using various factors (often including geofencing) to reach specific users!
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