Robert Forbes, Product Analyst

Now-a-days a company can easily have an application built through any online app developer and quickly promote it to customers and fans. One of the most interesting options is to include is a 'geo-fence'. A geo-fence is a virtual perimeter for a targeted geographic area by utilizing the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define boundaries. A geo-fence acts as a virtual tripwire for marketers. For mobile marketing, geo-fencing allows for a customer's location to be another data-point in determining what promotions to send and can quickly increase ROI during marketing campaigns, allowing for business to send locally-targeted and pertinent promotional offers to those within range.

Now with geo-fencing, a company could send out messages to those customers who opted-in whenever they crossed the figurative fence. This fence could exist anywhere: around a parking lot to steer customers toward your store with special offers or around a competitors store to poach customers away by offering time sensitive deals or coupons. Geo-fencing ensures that the marketing messages are delivered to individuals most likely to take action and this can lead to above-average conversion rates and results.

A small business's geofence radius can be whatever they wish, so setting one's fence to include their entire state would not be recommended. You need to ensure there is an appropriate link between message and proximity to the sender. The appropriate radios depends on the amount of competition one's business faces in the area: those with tight competition might want to target the areas immediately surrounding their store (or around a competitors stores).

If you are thinking of including a geofencing app to your local or small business, think carefully about the content and frequency of the messages you send out. The goal is to organically interact with customers and build value, not spam them with messages.