Geo-location Marketing Explained:
Geo-location as a concept is defined as the identification or estimation of the real-world geographic location of an object, such as a radar source, Internet-connected computer or mobile device.
Geo-location marketing refers to the collection of data about a person’s physical location, usually provided through GPS satellites and internet protocol (IP) addresses. If you’ve ever opened a map app and zoomed in to see just how accurate the little blue dot is, that’s GPS-supplied geolocation data at work. Alternately, when you open a map on your computer’s browser, it will automatically open in your general location or city based on your IP address.
If the phone’s GPS is turned off (or if you are indoors), the location data is instead triangulated from cell towers. This method is less precise, but it still works relatively well. If you’ve opened your map while underground or in a building, you’ve probably received your location data from a cell tower.
So smartphones and handheld devices ping a satellite or cell tower to determine where in the world it is. And once the device obtains this information, it can then share it with maps, restaurant guides or weather and retail apps.
Geo-fencing is the mobile generation’s answer to traditional web-based geo-targeting. This type of targeting uses a smartphone’s precise GPS location rather than its IP address. It’s also updated while the person is on the move, so it’s suited for timely mobile messaging. For instance if a clothing store app detects a user near a physical location it can utilize time limit marketing tactics like offering up a discount coupon to encourage an immediate store visit.
A geo-fence can be as wide as a city, but it’s most effective when targeting smaller regions like specific neighborhoods or streets. These targets are especially useful for apps that want to direct foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores or offer deals at nearby restaurants.
How to Get Started with Geolocation Marketing
Geolocation is intuitive from a marketing perspective, but it can be difficult to implement from an engineering standpoint. However, mobile marketers can easily get started by selecting a mobile marketing platform that already supports location-based campaigns.
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