Geofencing: Applications, Benefits, and Challenges  [Geofencing Technology]

Geofencing: Applications, Benefits, and Challenges [Geofencing Technology]

Large facilities across the globe have been increasingly using geofencing technology to secure their perimeter and keep track of devices entering or exiting the facility. In addition to this, its advantages include real-time information on facility usage including asset tracking. This post explores the applications, benefits and challenges presented by Geofencing technology.

According to Google, "geofencing is a virtual geographic boundary, defined by GPS or RFID technology, that enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area."

Geofencing
In simpler words, an area surrounded by a virtual fence (Geofence) allows the admin to map the number of devices which come in and go out of the facility. In a government space such as a military base or a scientific establishment it allows for heightened security as visitors and their behavior can be mapped in real-time.

In a retail facility such as a shopping mall, the mall admin can push notifications of offers and deals of visitors located within the confines of this virtual perimeter. All this can be accomplished using a mobile application with geofencing technology.

However, to trigger response from users, they need to relay their location, making their devices recognizable for instant and real-time notifications.

What Enables Geofencing Technology?

With the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and local radio-frequencies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Beacons, geofencing technology works as an instant responsive tool for people.

Geolocation technology is undoubtedly a global phenomenon, for instance: you get into your car after work and commute towards home and suddenly a notification pops up in your phone saying that the route you are about to take consists of heavy traffic. This allows you to pick an alternate route and reach your desired location on time, every time.
Geofencing Technology
Geofencing technology is the reason behind this magic and this technology is said to be the marketing marvel in the promotion industry as well, states a survey.

How Does Geofencing Work?

There are 4 important elements to understand how this technology works:

  • The barrier
  • The crossing
  • The messaging and
  • The permission

How Does Geofencing Work
Firstly, the barrier is a preset placed with the help of technology restricted to limited geography which could be small, big or unimaginably huge facility.

The crossing is when the user enter your predefined zone and you will know it because the mobile phones of the users are often integrated with geofencing and this primarily works with Bluetooth.

The messaging is when the user enters the geofencing territory, a communication will be sent to the users individually via text messages, push notifications, and digital ads.

The permission is the most important part of this transaction, though it is mentioned last. To make the geofencing campaign work, users need to allow you to have access to your GPS information (location turn-on). This will work as permission granted step from the user point of view in order to send notifications, messages, and promotions related to your product, service or what not.

Applications of Geofencing

With impeccable productivity and instantaneous to-do lists to routine household management, geofencing technology has found acceptability in a wide range of applications over the years.
Here are a few of them:

  1. Uber
  2. Walgreens
  3. BMW
  4. Taco Bell
  5. Jet Blue

Uses of Geofencing: Location Tracking & Asset Monitoring

Almost all the contemporary enterprises today are already part of the geofencing family. Today, location-based promotions have become a boom and every other mobile app has integrated it for the promoting their product or service.

Geofencing can not only work as a mobile marketing tool alone but can extract the following in various industries as well:

  • User Tracking and Analysis
  • Facility Control
  • Security
  • Productivity

Geofencing - Challenges

The benefits of using geofencing technology are many but, however, there are few challenges faced by the users and the management.

  • Privacy Concerns :

    As the users need to disclose some of their information in order to avail the benefits of this technology, there is a scope of their information being hacked.

  • Relevant Messages :

    Another major challenge is that if retailers do not have a complete record of specific users, then other users who are not relevant at that point in time will receive communications i.e., notifications from them. Thus making it a pointless and un-ambitious strategy, which is a loss for the senders.

Geofencing Marketing

Many surveys disclosed several facts about why geofencing is a hit from day the day it was launched.

  • More than 65% of users expect to have information on their mobile devices
  • At least 40% users want information on the go
  • When sure about getting something in return, 70% of users are willing to share their location information
  • Due to location-based marketing (geofencing), stores have seen double the engagements than ever before. Read more and in-detail here.

Geofencing enables growth of retail technology is a promising one, particularly for all mobile application services. Moreover, the effects of using this technology have lead to more engagement, cost-effectiveness, time savings and a truly transformative experience for large enterprises.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

An Overview of Location-Based Marketing for Large Facility Marketers

An Overview of Location-Based Marketing for Large Facility Marketers

Understanding the pulse of the customers is the most challenging task for marketers, especially in the context of evolving patterns in customers' buying decisions. It is essential to know what triggers their minds and investing in location-based marketing is the key to know that, says research by eMarketer.

Location-based marketing has different aspects which work in tandem to keep your business ahead of the curve. Though concerns have been rising regarding privacy of customers' information, it is assured that their data is kept confidential and safe.

4 Primary Methods of Location-Based Marketing

  • Geotargeting
  • Geoconquesting
  • Proximity marketing
  • Geofencing

Location Based Marketing

All of these methods are interchangeable with one and another depending on the requirement of the facility. Now let's delve into each individual method.

GEOTARGETING - Geotargeting provides personalized content for visitors who have been in that location in the past. With that data of the visitors, strategic campaigns are built to target relevant audiences.

By using the visitor's immediate location, this technology sends push notifications that are specifically designed for individual visitors.

GEOCONQUESTING - Geoconquesting helps in targeting the visitors who are about to get into a competitor's store by providing them with a better offer or deal. Also, this method can work flexibly, provided it is served on the fingertips of the visitors; therefore, a Smartphone app will be an ideal platform to send relevant info.

Whether the visitor is nearby to your store or to your competitors, based on their recent visits, the app will show discount notifications that will trigger their visit to the store.

PROXIMITY MARKETING - This method is made possible with beacon technology, Wi-Fi, and NFC as it allows businesses to leverage the accurate location of the visitors and sends them contextual and relevant notifications.

Studies reveal that proximity marketing market is expected to grow by US$77.8 billion during 2019-2025. Huge companies worldwide are going to pick up this method to improve their business strategies and increase their bottom line.

GEOFENCING - Within a virtual boundary, geofencing works as a service that can trigger an action when devices enter or exit the boundary. Actions such as notifications, coupons, engaging offers, safety tips, etc. can be projected via this method, provided the facility integrates their communication with an app.

Few geofences are set up only to monitor the security of the visitors and the management. Businesses such as convention centers, shopping malls, large retail business, etc. can use this method to automate time cards, track assets, monitor users within the designated field and much more.

Location-Based Marketing (LBM) for Diverse Industries

Location-based marketing is undoubtedly the best marketing strategy that can be used via mobile phones and offer the visitors and the owners of the industries a handful of benefits. Look at how LBM can help these industries:

Location-Based Marketing (LBM)

Location-Based Marketing in Retail Businesses

Retail business solely relies on the user's location and LBM precisely provides them with the same information. Location becomes the pivotal factor in the retail business as it improves the conversion chances of the visitor.

Here are a few ways how LBM can positively impact retail businesses:

  • Provides Relevant Ad Campaigns
  • Brand Awareness
  • Better Discounts
  • Personalized Communication
  • Accurate Market Information

Location-Based Marketing at Convention Centers

In this digital era, people's interaction are heavily mediated through communication technologies, using technology everywhere they go. Now, it is the responsibility of the facility owners to serve visitors with immersive technological facilities which are prevalent in the market.

The potential of LBM can grab the attention of visitors by sending them push notifications on the ongoing offers within the venue. With these strategic notifications, visitors will stop by their store and check the offer eventually.

Other additional benefits:

  • Targets Receptive Visitors
  • Conversion (Sales) Rates are High
  • Builds Connectivity with Customers
  • Thinks from Customers' Perspective
  • Creative Communication

Location-Based Marketing at Healthcare Centers

Today's  digital epoch has influenced the patients in hospitals as well and today, visitors/patients are expecting advanced technology in healthcare facilities, just as much as they expect from any other large facility they witness in their day to day lives.

Therefore, healthcare centers need to market their services and customize them personally in order to create brand value among visitors. Also, the connection between the patient and the hospital builds only with the unique services offered to the patient.

Location-Based Marketing at Zoos & Wildlife Parks

If you look at most of the large facilities/industries, it is evident that the usage of technology is rapid, due to which the business functions properly and generates a healthy bottom line. Similarly, with zoos, visitors are looking for something that can help them have access to travel information, spontaneous bookings, and most importantly provide information on best offers and deals.

LBM in zoos will cut down a lot of unnecessary conversations & inquiries and directly lead visitors to their respective destination within the park. An ideal zoo marketing strategy should always target the audience/visitor who visits the zoo. Failing to reach out to the visitors within the park is the reflection of bad marketing strategy.

Renew Businesses with Location-Based Marketing & Generate More Revenue

Location-Based Marketing

Business heads tend to see good, bad and ugly days in their tenure, however, LBM can help businesses function with distinction and promises to attract audiences in all seasons. Business heads also need to identify the difference between proximity marketing and LBM in order to come up with better business marketing strategies.

Proximity Marketing vs. Location-Based Marketing

Both these marketing strategies have quite a lot in common, yet, they are fundamentally different from each other. Both these serve visitors with mobile marketing to target customers with relevant ads.

Nevertheless, the location of the user is determined by the latitude and longitude of the device which is connected via GPS. Technically, both work to fulfill the same objective of attracting the audience but LBM is ahead of proximity marketing in terms of its geographical range.

The larger a facility is (geographically), the better one can target the audience with LBM, whereas with proximity marketing, not more than 50 meters range can be targeted. So, the precision of LBM is weaker than that of proximity marketing because of the different ranges they cover within an indoor facility.

However, it is best to combine both these strategies into one single plan and leverage from a successful marketing campaign.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Proximity Marketing: Its Application & Benefits for Businesses

Proximity Marketing: Its Application & Benefits for Businesses

In order to increase their bottom line, business heads need data that can generate information about their customers, both one-time and recurring. Information such as likes & dislikes, time spent at a particular store/point, and engagement with other recreational zones among others when gathered can then be used for planning an effective proximity marketing strategy.

What is Proximity Marketing?

Proximity marketing, the new wave for large facilities help communicate with their customers in real-time while personalizing notifications right to their Smartphones. It is a system that uses technology to directly communicate with customers via adaptable devices. This is the modern way of targeting the visitors and the best part of it is that it engages them as well.

Isn't that a great news for large facility marketers?

How Does Proximity Marketing technology Work?

First of all, we need to understand the fact that this feature can be enabled with an indoor positioning platform only.

Once integrated into a Smartphone app, proximity marketing works to fine-tune the approach of the facility to improve customer experience and engagement.

Go through these points to know how it works:

1. Firstly, beacon technology is deployed within the facility, within the range of the store.
2. Bluetooth enabled Smartphones detect these signals and send the ID number attached to these signals to the cloud server.
3. Now with the help of this ID number, the server responds accordingly and sends notifications to the respective customer in the form of discounts, new products, feedback, or even greetings.

Hence, proximity marketing works best for both entities, the customers and the management. This survey has more details.

shopping-mall

Proximity Marketing with Beacons - The Fifth 'P' for Business Marketers

A renowned marketing professor Edmund Jerome McCarthy from America in his book titled Basic Marketing proposed this concept of 4Ps of marketing in the 1960s. The 4Ps being Price, Promotion, Product, and Place, the basic marketing mix.

Today, with rapidly growing market trends and indecisive customers, the need for the fifth P has evolved and, therefore, Proximity Marketing. Visitors in large facilities are looking out for something that can notify them with exclusive offers even before they explore the store.

Here it is then, with proximity marketing with beacons, facility heads can target their customers based on their previous interactions, and make them avail discounts, made exclusively for them.

Proximity marketing with beacons becomes very important in order to seek the attention of the digitalized masses of the 21st century.

Proximity Marketing with Wi-Fi

Ever heard of Wi-Fi being used as a proximity solution? No right! However, with the widespread usage of Wi-Fi among the masses, marketers are now using it to send notifications. With the help of Wi-Fi hosting website, managements of the facilities will be able to send location-specific content to the visitors. Technically, Wi-Fi is not the best fit for proximity based marketing though because of the less accuracy it provides.

Proximity Marketing with RFID Based Systems

The most common usage of RFID tags is to track store products and inventories in warehouses. After its introduction in 2003, it received great recognition from the masses, however, it was ephemeral.

The biggest challenge for the large facility owners in deploying this technology in their facilities was it required various components. Tags, readers, apps, and much more such hardware is required to setup an RFID technology.

In short, it needs a substantial amount of investment upfront as it does not inherit compatibility with mobile or other platforms.

So, proximity marketing with RFID is a costly affair and business heads have too many pockets to feed.

The traditional strategy of sending push notifications and discount coupons to visitors is long gone. It is time now for personalized content delivery. The role of the modern proximity marketing is to enhance and attract the customers' store experience and in the process build genuine loyalty and gather feedback as well.

With proximity marketing in industries such as shopping malls, aquariums, museums, convention centers, warehouses, among many. the scope for enhancing their visitor experience and increase in bottom line is much certain.

Additional Benefits of Proximity Marketing Solutions

Apart from notifications, enhanced customer experience, and customer personalization, it can offer benefits such as:

• Customer Engagement - It is already an observed fact that more than 75% of customers have associated themselves with a Smartphone app to avail the benefits of proximity marketing while they are shopping.

• Customer Insight - To know what your customer is looking out for is impossible but with proximity marketing, the entire purchase map of your customers can be gathered at the end of the day and, henceforth, you can drive your consumers in their future visits.

proximity-marketing

• Hyper Customer Personalization - Based on the data you gather on each customer, the mall heads can hyper customize the selected customers with much higher discounts as a token of gratitude. This will certainly double the visitor engagement.

• Higher Conversion Rate - The fact that your interaction within the facility is recorded and customized, the consumers are by nature motivated to buy. Therefore the conversion rate of engaging will convert to buying.

• Mass Personalization - Multiple customers at once can be personalized with each one's data scrutinized digitally to avoid any form of miscommunication or confusion.

The leading retailing businesses across the world like McDonald’s, IKEA, Amazon Go Store, etc. have already integrated proximity marketing within their businesses and have improved their bottom line.

proximity-marketing

Proximity Marketing Will Create a Win-Win Situation for Businesses

Looking forward to the near future, business heads will use this technology to collect critical visitor behavior data and allow them to engage them in a better way which eventually will result in a healthy RoI.

However, proximity marketing is not confined to beacon technology alone. Depending on the facility and the services it demands and their budget, marketers will have to pick the relevant one and break the gap between online and offline customers to reach out to larger visitor segments.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Types of Indoor Positioning Systems [Key Features of Indoor Navigation, Magnetic Positioning and Indoor Localization Technologies]

Types of Indoor Positioning Systems [Key Features of Indoor Navigation, Magnetic Positioning and Indoor Localization Technologies]

Indoor positioning is the most commonly used umbrella term which includes all of these ‘indoor GPS’ technologies. However, when observed closely at the technological platform they thrive on, the rationale for using these varied terms to describe them individually becomes self-explanatory.

Indoor navigation, magnetic positioning, and indoor localization refer to technologies adopted by large facilities to help them locate objects, spaces, or people inside the facility where the satellite-enabled Global Positioning System (GPS) does not work due to the infrastructural elements such as walls, cabin material, glass, etc. In order to counter this challenge, Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) use a wide array of platforms to enable users locate and navigate within a facility, wayfinding to their points of interest.

Types-of-indoor-positiong

One of the primary reasons for incorporating this technology within a large facility is the flexibility it offers inefficient facility management. Once adopted, users can effortlessly locate, navigate and way find on their smart devices.

An extension of these technologies makes Location Based Services (LBS) possible as well.

Indoor Positioning Technologies - Key Features

So what are the key features of these three positioning technologies? What industries can they be adopted by to help manage the facility better? Which is the most cost-effective type?

It has been eruditely mentioned in an article in 2013 that for this technology to be successful and arrive at a point where precision becomes the norm, a combination of technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ultrawideband may be the answer. Towards the end of the article even leveraging benefit from Internet of Things (IoT) was mentioned, which as we know today, is a reality that has emerged faster than it was predicted.

The table below lists these three terms against parameters used to identify them. With growing focus on the applicability of these technologies, as mentioned in this highly engaging feature, it is important to understand the fine differences between these three terms as well.

Indoor Navigation Magnetic Positioning Indoor Localization
Used for Navigating inside a large facility Locating people or objects inside a building Locating a device or a user inside a building
How does it work? Uses radio waves, acoustic signals, and other sensory information Uses magnetic sensor data from a Smartphone Recommended for use with Wi-Fi & IoT
Technology platform Wi-Fi, Beacons, Bluetooth, Radiofrequency Magnetic Fields within a facility Wireless Infrastructure with IoT
Accuracy 80% and above 90% and above 95% and above
Industry applicability Office Spaces, Wildlife Parks, Resorts, Shopping Malls, Convention Centers Office Spaces, Shopping Malls, Warehouses Hospitals, Shopping Malls, Disaster Management
Indoor Data Tracking Possible Possible Possible
Additional Infrastructure Wireless Infrastructure, Beacons, etc None Wireless Infrastructure
Cost Subject to hardware installation Comparatively cheaper Subject to hardware installation
Works as a mobile application? Possible Possible Possible

What can be gathered from the above chart is that using an IPS will have to be based on the industry it is set to be implemented in.

However, as has been written about in our earlier blog posts, a facility needs much more from a mobile application than positioning and navigation alone.

Hence, the success of any of these three technologies lies in seamless integration with other features like indoor navigation which would help in superior facility management.

How Important is Accuracy and How Accurate is an IPS?

Let’s not forget the fact that an IPS should not be evaluated by its accuracy alone, though accuracy defines the effectiveness of the technology. And with recent improvements in algorithms, it’s much safer now to call IPS the most accurate technology for navigating as GPS systems do not work effectively indoors. This journal article has plenty of details on the accuracy of an IPS.
indoor-navigation-system

Tracking People and Objects

The safety & security of people and objects is assured with IPS as it can control people and restrict them to certain areas. Also, it gives a visual overview of all the personnel within the house which makes it easy to monitor.
IPS plays an important role in facilities that need to track personnel and ensure accountability of their safety as well. For instance, while someone (personnel) is in a static position in a space not meant for them, this technology will identify it and notify the management instantly.

Additional Benefits of IPS on Tracking People and Objects:

• Protection from theft and misplace of assets
• Assurance of tracking compliance and protocol
• Helps avoid accidents and enhances the safety of the workers and the visitors
• Tracks suspicious gestures and optimal employee accountability

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

How Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Enable Functioning of Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS)

How Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Enable Functioning of Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS)

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies in large facilities can be availed to enable indoor positioning systems for better asset management and indoor location tracking. Here is a brief exposition of how the technology works using various wireless systems.

At the outset, let’s understand that indoor positioning technology is an umbrella term with many connotations, yet referring primarily to indoor positioning and indoor navigation. Based on a facility’s requirements, the adoption of different types/mediums such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are used in order to serve several purposes, with positioning and navigation being predominant.

Also, read our blog All You Need to Know About Indoor Positioning and Navigation Systems

How Does an IPS Work?

In this hi-tech era, we hardly hear people getting lost in a new city or navigating to new places in their place of domicile as Smartphone’s with internet and GPS enabled in them make locating points of interest an effortless, and sometimes an enjoyable task.

However, how do we navigate when we are indoors in a large facility such as a shopping mall, a healthcare center, an educational institution, or a place like an amusement park?

Much like how GPS helps us navigate outdoors,  enabling IPS with the help of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Sensors can aid visitors in wayfinding and reaching their desired spaces with ease inside a facility.

IPS works through several categories such as:

Proximity Positioning- With the help of a receiver or a device, the proximity of the locations are detected and delivered as output. These proximity-based systems have the ability to detect the general location of a person, object or service rooms within the facility based on several technological platforms such as:

Indoor Positioning System

  • QR Codes / NFC tags
  • Bluetooth
  • Visible Light Communication (VLC) devices
  • Wi-Fi Access Points
  • Ultrasound devices

Fingerprint Positioning- This system is built through signal measurements across the facility to compute the position of the visitor. However, it is hypothetical because every position within any facility is almost unique and incomparable to the other.

This system is most commonly used to improve the accuracy of other positioning technology within the facility and moreover, combining multiple sources can increase the accuracy of the technology which can eventually lead to productivity. Similar to the above system, fingerprinting also uses similar technological platforms such as:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • Magnetic field

Apart from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, there are other platforms as well which chip-in based on the implementation costs and the precision in locating the visitor intended destination within the facility.

The chart below will give you a deeper understanding of indoor tracking.

Indoor Tracking

Just like the way GPS functions outdoors, it is IPS that does it indoors. Often placed in large facilities like shopping malls, zoos, convention centers, resorts, etc. IPS aids visitors on a real-time basis displaying pathways and shortest routes while ensuring management of these facilities obtain necessary data to make more informed business decisions.

IPS is in itself a technology which is blended with a combination of other technologies to provide the best possible precision and accuracy for visitors at large facilities.

Fingerprinting and proximity positioning can together increase the rate of accuracy as high accuracy is the need of the hour in indoor tracking services.

Not all facilities require precision and accuracy but facilities that have large tracts of the area and huge infrastructures need to deploy IPS to serve the twin purposes of indoor positioning and indoor navigation within the facility.

 

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

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