So, how are marketers putting this exciting tech to use? Let’s look at three key types of geolocation technology and a how brands are creating engaging experiences with each:

  1. Geotargeting

Geotargeting allows you to deliver content within broader regions to a narrower audience. It uses the IP address, a number unique to each internet-connected device, to locate the user (more precisely, where the user’s device was last used). Utilizing a defined location range (typically something broad like a city), you can hone in on relevant targets within that range based on behaviors, demographics and interests. This allows you to offer your target audience regionally specific content all across the country.

Weather-Based Online Offers



Weather targeting is an example of how geotargeting can inspire uniquely relevant creative. By integrating a real-time forecast into your marketing platform, you can create relevant messages to visitors based on local temperatures or weather conditions. In this example, the clothing offers mirror the forecast and potentially the mindset of the website visitor.

  1. Geofencing

Unlike geotargeting, geofencing allows you to reach an audience within a specific geographic range. It uses global positioning (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define a geographic boundary (a digital fence), and deliver content to every device within that boundary. It’s a great solution when hyper-local location is needed to execute the concept. Most marketers have seen or even used this technology. It usually goes something like this: users pass through the geofence, recieve a location-triggered alert or deal, and they’re considerably more likely to stop in and shop because of where they are.

Burger King Whopper Detour 

I love Burger King's creativity in this example. They flip the script by geofencing their competition to drive traffic to their location from McDonald's.

This encourages trial of Burger King's online ordering via their app. The technology helps facilitate the offer but it doesn't feel like it's all about the tech. It's a great example of taking established tech that anyone can use and doing something that feels cutting edge.

  1. Beacons

Beacons are the most precise of the three. They use Bluetooth technology to map nearby devices and deliver content users can interact with. While beacons do require a native app, they can allow you to direct users within smaller spaces—down a grocery aisle or toward a trade booth. If geofencing is hyper-local, think of beacons as hyper-hyper-local. There are a number of ways to use beacons to make your customers' interaction with your brand flexible, convenient, and relevant:

  • In-store pickup notifies employees when a customer arrives.
  • Personalized, custom offers at the point of decision.
  • In-store navigation.

Levi's Stadium

San Francisco 49ers’ stadium has 1,000 beacons that make it easier for ticket-holders to find their seats and to have food and drinks delivered to their location.

What other tech can help improve your business in 2020?


1Factual, 2018

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