As you may know geo-fencing is a term that refers to creating a virtual perimeter in a geographic area. Geo-fence tools monitor when mobile devices or other physical objects enter or exit an established geo-fenced area and provide an opportunity for an action to occur like sending a text messages, email notifications, phone calls or other types of communication.
What if an advertiser could put their messages in front you in physically and digitally?
That is the theory behind the Outfront Media’s new mobile network offer, a way to extend the reach of an OOH campaign by incorporating Geo-fencing.
Outfront Media contends that an advertiser’s target audience is exposed to messages all day long. This audience is also tied to their mobile device and continually throughout the day, using mobile apps for a variety of needs; checking the weather, sports scores, stock market, playing Candy Crush, etc. Exposure to messages in the outdoor space and on mobile devices “primes” the target audience to take a desired action at some point in the future.
Here’s how they see it working:
You are walking down the street in a city to get to your bus for your morning commute to work and before crossing the street to get to your bus stop you happen to look up and see a Billboard for Dee Donut Shop with a steaming cup of Latte next to a delicious looking donut. You get on the bus and head to your office. During your ride you pull out your phone, and open a sports app to check the final score of your favorite team’s game last evening. When the app opens you see a banner add for Dee Donut Shop pop up. This makes you consider going to Dee Donut Shop for your morning coffee. Your bus arrives at your and you exit. Looking up you notice the sky is cloudy so out comes your phone, you open your weather app to check the forecast, and there it is again, a banner ad – Get A Free Donut with Any Size Latte. By using banner ads and geo-fencing, Dee Donut shop was given the opportunity to influence the consumer. Instead of going to the coffee stand you usually go to, you are presented with another option.
What you didn’t know is behind the scene, this was a planned marketing campaign to manipulate your behavior. Dee Donut Shop and their agency did their research on bus patterns and the stops, as well as work offices and their proximity to a Dee Donut’s Shop location, and the amount of people that take these buses to work. All these factors contributed to deciding where these large physical banners were placed and what area to geo-fence. The Outdoor ads were used to “Prime” the audience. With the audience primed, an offer with a strong call to action is placed in front of them at an ideal time when it is easy, and likely for the desired action to take place. In this case, the ads were used to drive sales of Lattes on the slowest day for sales of the week.
Right now you may be thinking that’s brilliant and perhaps it is, in theory. The only way to know if this plan is going to work as intended is to track the campaign and register the lift in sales at the target Dee Donut Shops. Switching the days is a great way to track the effective ness of a campaign to see if the lift in sales is a repeatable. Sometimes sales can lift due to outside factors so you want to make sure to consider as many variables as you can and test all of them, analyze the results, and see what combination of outdoor ads and geo-fencing works best for Dee Donut shop.
In Part 2 I will be sharing my thoughts on the value of Geofencing as a compliment to traditional O.O.H. advertising. Stay tuned!