Imagine for a second that you’re the proprietor of a well-established local produce store. You’ve noticed your revenues dropping as your loyal customers are trying out the new big brand grocery store that just opened up in town. How do you compete? Wouldn’t it be nice to send an offer directly to your customers at the very moment they decide to try out the competitor’s store? Absolutely! This is not such a far-flung possibility with a tactic gaining popularity in digital marketing known as geo-fencing.

What is geo-fencing?

Wikipedia describes geo-fencing as “a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area.” To put it very simply, imagine drawing an enclosed shape on a map and being able to fire different events based on the type of action an individual takes while within that shape. With geo-fencing, in the case described above, we could draw a perimeter around the new grocery store and its parking lot and fire an event to send a very enticing loyalty offer for your own store, right at the moment when a customer enters that perimeter with his/her mobile device.

Geo-fence shapes

Geo-fence events can be triggered when an individual performs a trigger event within a specified radius of a given coordinate or within a coordinate-defined polygonal shape.


There are three main actions taken by an individual that will trigger a geo-fence system event:

  1. Enter – Triggers an event when an individual enters a geo-fence.
  2. Exit – Triggers an event when an individual leaves a geo-fence.
  3. Dwell – Triggers an event when an individual spends a variable amount of time within a geo-fence.

One lesser-known tactic is to use a time-release event after an individual has exited a geo-fence. For example, when a customer leaves your store, a system event is triggered to time the customer’s absence from the store. After a variable amount of time, let’s say 30 days (for the purposes of this example only), the system can fire an event to serve a “we miss you” offer.

Thanks to our connection to our mobile devices, this sort of advertising is very much a real-world possibility. Geo-fencing has many practical applications useful far beyond simply advertising, but isn’t it exciting to know we can reach our customers in those micro-moments when they need us most?

Geo-fencing is just one of many tools we employ in our digital marketing strategies at CurveFront. Stay tuned for more blogs clarifying digital marketing tools, channels, terminology, strategies, and more! Remember to share this article on your social media feeds, so your friends can learn about the flexibility digital marketing can offer. Thanks for reading!