Feature Friday: Mobile Marketing, Meet Geofencing
Guest post by Gina Yeagley
Quickly evolving mobile technology brings many questions to the future of market research. It is becoming increasingly difficult to reach people through e-mail or get them physically online on computers to take surveys. Alongside from making sure all of our surveys are mobile friendly; we have to plan a step further. You and many others are probably starting to ask questions such as – How are we going to reach people on smartphones? How are we going to engage with our customers? How are we going to tailor our services to keep retention?
In research trends this year, you have probably read a story or two about geofencing and have a general idea of what it is. Geofencing allows you to trigger an event when a mobile device enters a specific location range that you define. At the moment, a geofence can be defined by an approximate radius through the Global Positioning System (GPS). The technology is still fairly new, but it is quickly and constantly advancing. In the next 5-6 years it would not be surprising if we could define exact locations or larger covered areas such as city blocks and more. Geofencing can be used to measure shopper insights, as a store promotion, to measure competitive intelligence, customer satisfaction, voice of customer research and more.
With the Holiday shopping season just a blink away, there is a large opportunity for retailers to use geofencing. Many popular retail chains have their own mobile application and analytics to measure the number of app users and how often the app is being used. People that have already downloaded and are using these popular shopping applications are like a mobile community – not much different than traditional online recruited panelists. They are following your brand and listening to you through your application – but are you listening to them? In store locations, geofencing can trigger promotions or incentive based rewards for completing a short survey when someone enters a store, exits a store or has been in a store for a defined set of time. From this data, retailers can act in real time to make sure shoppers are happy and even send coupons or discounts for returning visitors encouraging them to come back.
What about privacy concerns associated with geofencing? The print that you will be collecting location data can be stated right in your mobile app terms and conditions. With a users consent, when their mobile device enters the defined “fence” a push notification can be sent to their phone. A geofencing pilot study last year by Alliance Data found that not only did the pushed messages influence purchase decisions for 39% of participants – but 68% of users would sign up for a location based campaign again and 60% of users were not concerned about privacy when communicating with a retailer.