What is Geofencing?

Jul 7, 2023

I want to talk about a juicy topic today and one of my favorite marketing tactics: Geofencing.

Before we dive in, I always feel like geofencing is a marketing secret. Or perhaps it’s one of those topics that isn’t broached at the dinner table… The proper folk don’t talk about it.


Well, I’m here to say a few things about geofencing – loud and proud!

  1. Geofencing is an efficient tool for reaching your key audience.
  2. It’s value add for any full-funnel strategy.
  3. If you’re not geofencing to reach your audience, it’s pretty likely someone else is!


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What is geofencing?

Every mobile phone has a unique device ID number that is connected to the cloud. As we move through our lives, that device goes with us. In fact, 85% of people keep their phones with them day and night!


woman using iphone in geofenced area As we think about our target audience, we need to think about where these customers go. What places and locations do they visit? And, if our customers are visiting those locations, so are their phones!

With geofencing, we want to spend time really dialing in our target audience and make a list of the places we know they visit. This is where customer archetypes are really important! We need to know who we are trying to reach. Once we know that, we can get really focused in our marketing.

Once we have our location list, we apply a digital “fence” around those addresses. This gives us two things:

  1. We can look back at the audience demographics who visited that location in the last six months. This gives us more data about customer behavior, household income, how often they visit that location, etc.
  2. We can apply specific criteria to serve customers who entered our geofenced area with targeted digital advertising. This is great because we can be very specific with who we serve, knowing that we are reaching our target audience rather than blanketing large areas where only a percentage of people are in our target market.


Ok but, how does geofencing actually work?

Let me give you a couple of examples:

If you’re a gym owner, one audience segment you want to capture is probably:

  1. Someone who already exercises.
  2. Someone with an income level that supports a gym membership.
  3. Possibly someone who is eating healthy or taking supplements.
  4. Someone who buys sports-related equipment

With that in mind, you may want to consider geofencing:

  1. Other gyms in the area.
  2. Mid-to-high level grocery stores.
  3. Places that sell supplements.
  4. Retail locations who sell athletic shoes and equipment.
  5. Trail heads or popular biking areas.
  6. Racketball, pickleball, or tennis courts.

You may also want to consider geofencing physical therapy clinics and serving ads focused on low-impact excerise options like walking, swimming, and water aerobics.


If you own a Medical Spa, one of your key customer personas is likely to be:

  1. Adult women with disposable income.
  2. This specific customer group is likely interested in the cosmetic benefits of these and similar services. (You can consider a second persona for individuals accessing med spa services for medical reasons.)

With this in mind, a medical spa would want to consider geofencing:

  1. Other medical spas in the area.
  2. Locations offering services similar services.
  3. Mid-to-high end salons.
  4. Locations offering eyelash extensions.
  5. Massage and spa locations.
  6. Gyms.


Once we dial in the locations we want to geofence, we can further refine our parameters to serve ads based on customer demographics, such as gender, age, household income, etc.

Geofencing as part of a full-funnel strategy

Geofencing helps us be more efficient and precise with our marketing while also generating a lot of data. And, with any marketing tool, we want to use this as part of a full-funnel strategy – partnered with strong SEO, SEM, social media, and other tactics.

Digital Marketing Funnel

The key with geofencing, and with all marketing strategy, is to be very clear on the customer persona of who you are trying to reach. That will guide your thinking about what tools to use and, if geofencing is in that toolbox, what locations do we know our customers visit?

If you’re interested in geofencing or want to get some fresh eyes on your marketing strategy, call us today!


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