An introduction

This article compares and contrasts two location-based services, geofencing vs geotargeting, and addresses the following questions: how do they operate, and which one should you use? Location data is a crucial tool for boosting the efficiency of an advertising campaign’s efficiency. Advertisers who can get closer to customers in a certain place can have a major impact on engagement.

What is geofencing?

In layman’s terms, Geofencing is a location-based service that initiates actions in a mobile app or other software programme when the device enters a predetermined location. These actions could include app notifications, phone messages, coupons, security alerts, emails, or social media marketing, for example. Geofencing generates a specific area (zone) around a predefined location on the city map, entering or exiting which triggers the actions listed above, using radio frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi, GPS, or cellular data.

What is the purpose of geofencing?

Many aspects of modern life employ geofencing. It’s utilised in marketing as well as aviation and airspace protection for important infrastructure facilities. Let’s delve into the key geofencing functions.

Advertising and marketing

Companies can utilise the technology to promote goods and services to users who are close to the brand. Retailers can utilise geofencing advertising to help them convey special offers to customers.


The service includes functionality that allows the warehouse operator to be notified when a truck arrives for loading or unloading.

Collecting data about visitors

 Geofencing allows you to track visitors to a specific location. For example, a business owner can assess the frequency with which customers visit a certain outlet and the amount of time they spend inside.

Smart home control

The system can deliver commands to the controller to do particular activities as soon as the user enters the geofence location (for example, turn on the lights or open the garage door).

Parental control

 Technology allows parents to be notified when their child leaves the school, yard, or any other specified location.


The programme can remind the user what he is going to do when he approaches a specific store location via geofencing.

Time tracking

Managers can use geofencing to control the presence of personnel at a workplace, as well as the time they arrive and leave.


Geotargeting is a powerful marketing technology that allows people to see advertising based on their precise geographic location. The targeting technique is commonly employed in contextual advertising networks and social media platforms. Advertisers can choose from a variety of nations, cities, regions, and even exact locations on the map (for example, set up ads for visitors of a specific fitness centre in the city).

By combining geo-targeting with other user attributes, it is feasible to identify the most interested users while excluding those who aren’t. Geotargeting is beneficial not just to advertisers, but it also allows Internet users to easily find the information they are looking for. By default, search engines are set to the person’s location. When a user wants to know where the nearest theatre or cafe is, for example, the search engine will deliver information about surrounding businesses.

Geotargeting marketing’s business purpose is to “target” relevant target audiences with information and advertising messages. Geo-targeting advertising have a very high return on investment, as experience has shown. Advertisers engage potential purchasers, resulting in an increase in revenue.

Types of geo-targeting

Every month, geolocation technologies improve dramatically, allowing users to determine their whereabouts more precisely. Although the technology does not yet provide a customer’s exact location, it is progressing in that direction. Any marketing strategy that uses geo-targeting appropriately will generate more conversions. Let’s look at the many sorts of geo-targeting to better grasp the technology.

Local targeting

 ads are shown within the same region.

Hyperlocal targeting

Advertising takes place in a certain region, which is defined by a radius of 500 metres or by individual addresses (shopping centres, theatres, airports, parks, business centres, etc.).

Advanced geographic targeting

Ads appear for inquiries that include the display region’s name. Users from all over the world might see the advertisements in this situation.

Geofencing vs Geotargeting which one should you choose

Geofencing vs Geotargeting

Because geofencing and geo-targeting are both utilised for location-based marketing and are both effective and efficient services to include in a programmatic campaign, the issue is delicate. However, not only is the technology different, but so is the objective of their job. Let’s utilise the comparison table to highlight the differences between the two services.


Geofencing To swiftly convert potential customers to specific places, provide a highly appropriate advertising experience. While geo-targeting gives a more personalised advertising experience and raises brand awareness, it also helps to enhance future conversions.

Target range

All potential clients who enter the geofencing virtual fence can be targeted. They will view adverts in mobile browsers, mobile applications, and receive push notifications after arriving. While geo-targeting will only be used to target potential clients that fall into a specific group. Potential clients from specific regions, cities, or even nations may be included in the geographic scope.

Location Data

Geofencing collects location data and creates a map of a user’s travel history. Geo-targeting does not keep track of your location.

Benefits of geofencing

Customers are more easily accessible.

You may reach out to clients at the exact correct time and place with geofencing. Advertisers can utilise the technology to set territory boundaries and have different events happen when a mobile device crosses them. Given the proximity of potential customers, attracting their attention with an advertisement is simple.

Advertisers use geofencing to contact clients on their mobile phones. Promotions can be delivered right to customers’ hands using this manner.

Boost your local sales

Local marketing aids conversions and business growth, and local businesses were among the first to investigate geofencing technology. Geofencing marketing is a great way to get local customers to come to your store. It allows you to construct a more effective local marketing campaign.

Clients can use the internet to find nearby cafes, hair salons, medical and dental offices, art galleries, and other businesses. Only a few out-of-town clients will utilise these services on a regular basis.

Geofencing allows for customization.

Almost every client enjoys the feeling of being recognised and special. Personalized adverts that are specifically targeted at customers are unlikely to go unnoticed.

Geofencing aids in better understanding an audience so that offers and promotions may be made that continually draw customers. Furthermore, advertisers can use geofencing to determine which kind of promotions generate the most interest and interaction.

Increase brand recognition

Geofencing marketing has the added benefit of increasing firm brand awareness. The higher the brand’s engagement and the more customers interact with its advertisements, the more likely they are to conduct business with it. Because of its location-based technology, geofencing marketing is profitable.

The accuracy of geofencing

To achieve optimum geofencing accuracy, the system combines GPS, mobile phone, and Wi-Fi data. Geofences can be accurate to 100 to 200 metres in contexts like cities, where cell towers and Wi-Fi routers are everywhere. The accuracy can reach several hundred metres in rural regions without the necessary equipment.

It’s worth noting that geofencing works best when Wi-Fi is turned on and GPS services are enabled on the mobile device.

What is mobile geofencing?

For almost ten years, geofencing has been available on both iOS and Android. The service was first introduced in 2011 with the release of iOS 5, which included geofencing features. Geofencing was utilised by the built-in Reminder App to set up reminders that were activated when the device owner visited a certain location. Geofencing was introduced to Android two years later, in Google Play services version 3.1. Although the current version of the operating system was 4.3 at the time, the new services also supported older versions – up to Android 2.2. (Froyo).

Geofencing is typically defined in the mobile application’s code. A virtual border must be set by an administrator or application developer before it can be used. It might be as big as a city or as small as a single structure. Boundaries can take many different forms. Marketers can build geofences in polygonal shapes for more sophisticated applications, or they can be circular for simple cases.

Customers who have downloaded the relevant retailer or affiliated mobile app will then be triggered by pre-programmed actions (such as mobile alerts, in-app content, or data insights) provided by the developer. Marketers should be able to simply construct, maintain, and reorganise their geofencing using an API dashboard provided by a successful geofencing solution.

Geofencing ads in a DSP

Geofencing is a terrific technique for digital advertisers to improve the efficacy of mobile advertising campaigns. Furthermore, demand-side platforms (DSP) are frequently used by marketers for this type of advertising campaign to streamline the bidding and buying process for mobile advertising.

Many DSPs offer geofencing to assist marketers target their mobile advertising audience. Advertisers and the advertising space are separated by the DSP. They automate the bidding and purchasing of advertising space, letting advertisers to target the correct demographic at the best possible price. Advertisers can easily bid for ad space and target advertising using a DSP.

DSPs poll for data to research advertisers’ target audiences in mobile advertising, assessing demographic information, online behaviour, and other aspects that may influence their response to advertising. The DSP then utilises this information to determine which advertisements to show and where they should appear. DSPs can go even further with geofencing, placing ads depending on the physical behaviour of the target audience.


Location-based services have already established themselves as an essential component of web advertising. Geofencing is a cost-effective and convenient way to improve customer communication. A business gains a substantial competitive advantage by implementing a geofencing application. Understanding the differences between geofencing and geo-targeting, as well as how to use them effectively, can lead to successful marketing efforts.