Remember mass marketing ­– when finding your target audience could be like standing at one end of the gym and trying to make a basket at the other end of the court? With tools like geofencing and remarketing, those days of “Hail Mary Marketing” are coming to an end.

Businesses used to waste thousands of dollars talking to the wrong people. We used to try to sell stormproof windows to renters. We offered coupons for Honeybaked Hams to vegetarians. College students were getting brochures for retirement communities in Florida.

Now, not only can we find our target audience but, with geofencing and remarketing, we can do it when they’re in the mood to shop or listen.

But before we go into the advantages of these marketing tools, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.


What is geofencing and do I have to climb it?

What it is: Geofencing uses technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.

How it works: Say you’re visiting Dick’s Sporting Goods and Academy Sports & Outdoors has cleverly setup a geofence around Dick’s. You walk in, you walk out, and the next thing you know you are seeing ads for Academy for the next few weeks on your phone. Now Academy may not know whether you’re looking for a sports bra or a kayak but they know if Dick’s has it, they have it, and you’re in the market. Cool but kind of creepy, right? That’s Geofencing.

Why it works: You may be thinking “this should be illegal” but the simple truth is, when done right, geofencing can give people the information they want when they need it, and it’s a win-win for both the consumer and the marketer. According to MarketsandMarkets, the geofencing industry is expected to grow by at least 27 percent by 2022. Until the next best thing comes around, geofencing is not going anywhere.

“Why is your husband’s underwear following you around on the Internet?”

Understanding remarketing

What it is: Remarketing is a tool that targets customers who have previously visited your website. After they leave your site, they are served ads about the exact product or offering from the pages they visited.

How it works: Remarketing is kind of like geofencing done on a website. Say you’re checking out bathing suits on Then, the next thing you know, ads for start sneaking up on you like jellyfish on the beach. Creepy but cool.

Why it works: Since only 2-3% of people convert the first time they visit a new website, you can see how this might be valuable to marketers. You may have already paid for ads or other media just to get them to your site and, in the blink of an eye, they get distracted by a child or the dog, and there goes your sale. Remarketing subtly (okay boldly) reminds them to come back and finish what they started.

From a shopper’s standpoint, remarketing can be kind of annoying. Say you’re shopping for underwear for your husband and a pair of black jockey briefs starts following you around the Internet. Disturbing, yes. But also effective.

Believe it or not, though, many consumers actually like remarketing because it serves as reminder to them to make that purchase. Remarketing has proven to increase sales dramatically for several industries.

Can these tools work for you?

Gone are the days when 85-year-old men are getting catalogs for American Girl Dolls.

To find out more about geofencing or remarketing, give Design the Planet a call. We can demystify these marketing tactics and discuss whether or not they make sense for your business.