The Evolution of Geo-Fencing

​Maire Kushner
Marketing Insights e-newsletter
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Key Takeaways
  • Geo-fencing refers to the virtual perimeter created around a business that allows it to track, using GPS-enabled smartphones, precisely when an individual is found within the business’s previously formulated boundaries. 

  • Now the geo-fencing market is expected to reach $300 million by 2017 and expand beyond the confines of traditional location-based applications.

  • The opportunity to reach an existing or even a potential customer within a short distance of your service or product location gives an entirely new meaning to ‘target market.’​

 

​Geo-fencing refers to the virtual perimeter created around a business that allows it to track, using GPS-enabled smartphones, precisely when an individual is found within the business’s previously formulated boundaries. From the early days of geographic or geospatial information systems, or GIS, businesses have been using some combination of software, hardware, firmware and even satellites to collect data on the locations of individuals and their various possessions. Originally developed as a method to substantiate cartographer’s postulations on the maps they had created, GIS has morphed over the past couple of decades into a foundational tool for commercial, industrial and environmental endeavors. And now, according to the Computer Business Review, the geo-fencing market is expected to reach $300 million by 2017 and expand beyond the confines of traditional location-based applications. 

With the addition of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, integrated GPS systems have been able to identify, monitor, manage, track and locate property or individuals. When Wi-Fi networks became ubiquitous, the marriage of RFID and GPS bestowed upon machines the ability to communicate with each other—M2M (machine-to-machine)—without the necessity of human oversight. As a result, solar-powered parking meters, ‘smart meters’ employed by utilities and many more equally sophisticated and complex devices all contributed to the innovation of The Internet of Things. 

From a technology evolution standpoint and referred to by many names, including LBS (location-based services) and NFC (near-field communications), inanimate objects now have the ability to communicate with each other. From a practical perspective, the opportunity to reach an existing or even a potential customer within a short distance of your service or product location gives an entirely new meaning to ‘target market.’ Although it may be resonant of Big Brother, today’s marketers have access unlike ever before—an entirely new way to generate sales from a physical location. 


Author Bio:

 
​Maire Kushner
​Maire Kushner is a 25-year veteran of the technology and marketing research industries, having held executive positions in various companies from start-ups to the Fortune 500. Contact her at maire.kushner@gmail.com.
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