Geo-fencing

This week I wanted to talk about an area of digital marketing that I feel while not necessarily the newest of ideas, is one that is constantly being innovated upon and changed as technology allows it. I am of course talking about geo-fencing and its use in the digital and mobile world of 2017.

What is geo-fencing though? The term which will be unfamiliar to most does indeed describe a type of technology that will have impacted more than a few in their day to day lives. A good definition of a geo-fence from a quick search of Google can tell you it is a virtual perimeter that surrounds a geographic area, therefore making geo-fencing the practice of creating such a perimeter.

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An example of a geo-fence

Using global positioning, mobile data or Wi-Fi, devices that enter this area can then be tracked and interacted with by an administrator monitoring the system. Because of its ability to track devices, the technology has for a long time been implemented across a range of law enforcement, emergency and civil services. As time moved on however and technology became ever more interconnected, the potential uses of geo-fencing multiplied and attracted the attention of not only government agencies but private organisations as well.

A Nice Explanantion of Geo-fencing!

The implementation of geo-fencing technology across organisations for marketers has provided many new avenues of data collection, customer analysis and advertisement otherwise thought unavailable.

Creating a virtual fence around a store has traditionally been used in a few different ways, either to attract close by customers or deter the use of competitors. For example in order to attract more customers to a store using a geo-fence a marketer could create specialised advertisments notifying consumers that the store is nearby or a short walk away when they are in the area. In addition they may wish to offer enticing deals to those within their virtual region and act as a magnet of discounts once a customer enters their area. Otherwise the technology can also be applied when customers are leaving the virtual area and send them last minute deals to try and bring them back and make a sale.

carrefour-ble-tracking

Creating a geo-fence around a competitor can also be beneficial when trying to sway customers to your store by actively advertising against them. For example, when a customer draws close to a competitor store this will in turn prompt an advertisement that rivals or beats the potential offerings of the competitor therefore dissuading the customer from purchasing there. An example of this may be McDonald’s advertising their $10 for 10 nuggets deal on a mobile device when a customer comes in range of a certain KFC store.

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The Fast Food war continues!

Above and beyond these methods however, organisations continue to innovate with their geo-fencing capabilities. Using McDonald’s again as an example currently being tested is mobile ordering in the US to speed up the purchasing process. As a part of this, the stores participating use geo-fencing technology to let the staff know when the customer is approaching the store where they ordered the food so it can be prepared ahead of time. Then once the customer arrives their meal is already cooked, paid for and ready to be taken instantly. In terms of customer satisfaction this could provide a huge advantage over traditional competitors in the form of speedy service and also add a new venue for customers to actually make their purchases from, all stemming from the successful use of geo-fencing.

This is but one example of how geo-fencing continues to evolve and be used with great success by the modern retailer. Can you think of any new innovative ways that such a technology could be used for? If so let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply.
see you around the blog!

Some Interesting Links:

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/03/15/mcdonalds-mobile-app-ordering/

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/geofencing

https://developer.android.com/training/location/geofencing.html

 

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Data Collection: Has it Gone Too Far?

Its well know among the majority of digital citizens that nothing you do online is completely private and you leave a digital footprint wherever you go. But has a certain level of tracking and data collection for “advertising purposes” gone too far? I say this having just scrolled through my Facebook feed which had ads for the Cheesecake shop and tourism in Townsville Australia, both of which have no relation to my personal data, or do they? Could these advertising agencies be getting so sophisticated in their tracking of us that they realize I for one have birthdays coming up and I might need a cake? Or that my parents are going on a holiday down the East Coast and I may like to join them? Whether or not these  advertisements are closely linked to my own personal data or if I’m just being paranoid and they are just generically placed one thing is certain: Organisations certainly have the access to data which would tell them these things about me and others in more ways then you would expect.

Taking Facebook as an example seeing as they seem to know me quite well it is no surprise to learn that they have some interesting methods of data collection. Ever been on a Facebook call? I certainly have, but I didn’t know Facebook would be listening in on the call. According to some, the social media giant uses voice data collection in your private calls to better craft targeted advertising to you. Of course Facebook was quick to refute these initial claims in 2016 stating that it “only shows ads based on the individual’s interests and other profile information” but who really knows. They do indeed have access to your phones microphones as their is an option to turn their access to it off in the settings of the phone app. What exactly they use it for is at the end of the day is only truly known to them.

facebook
Who’s the real product?

Another company that may be very familiar with the sound of my voice is Samsung through the smart TV sitting on my coffee table. As part of the most recent reports by Wikileaks released this week apparently any conversation that I’ve now had around my coffee table can be recorded and sent off to a third party across the internet. In addition to this members of the CIA and its affiliates have the ability to fake turning off my Samsung TV and have the microphone still operational listening in to my own and anyone elses everyday conversations.

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Always listening

In 2015 Samsung was initially caught doing similar activities for data collection which led to the first scandal surrounding the company. Their response was to release a statement telling consumers that they need to be weary about disclosing personal information around their smart TV’s because they would be constantly taking voice data. After the initial privacy concerns surrounding this announcement and consumer outrage things died down for a while until the allegations made this week have put them in hot water again. Now call me stupid but I’m not sure owning a TV means the CIA and any “third party” is welcome to my coffee room conversations thanks Samsung? Apparently a lot of people agree with me as the company now faces a number of law suits in America alone and who knows maybe one or two from down under as well in the future.

Well there you have it Facebook listening from your pocket and Samsung listening from your home. Are they going too far? Is privacy being needlessly invaded for the reason of marketing data? Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by and Ill see you around the blog!

 

Some Interesting Links:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/3/11854860/facebook-smartphone-listening-eavesdrop-microphone-denial

https://www.law360.com/articles/900998/samsung-hit-with-privacy-class-action-over-smart-tvs