Are geofenced promotions pointless during lockdown?

Nov 20, 2020
Henry Bewicke
Promotions Advisor
Min to read

Digital promotions are constantly evolving as a result of improvements in technology. Smartphones, mobile internet, and technologies like GPS, have come a really long way in the past 10 years.

This has allowed brands to become much more creative with the kinds of digital promotions they offer.

There’s one promotional tool - geofencing - that is especially useful for creating location-based promotions. We’ll take a look at some real and hypothetical ways brands can use geofencing in their promotions during lockdown.

How does geofencing work?

While geofencing can be used to create complex promotions, it’s actually quite a simple concept at heart.

Geofencing uses GPS to verify the location of devices against custom geographic boundaries. Software systems can then use this information to create various effects.

geofenced promotions

With regards to promotions, geofencing allows you to set up location-specific deals when customers are inside or outside the geofence boundary.

Are geofenced promotions still relevant in lockdown?

This year’s lockdowns have had a major impact on our general mobility. For example, Italy saw an almost 50% decrease in physical activity at the peak of its lockdown.

But geofencing has still been used to great effect to create relevant promotions, even with movement restrictions.

Take WeShare for example. Volswagen’s Berlin-based electric car sharing brand used Talon.One’s geofencing capabilities to run an interesting summer campaign.

In order to get customers out of their homes and back into WeShare cars, WeShare set up a promotion offering customers three hours of free parking.

The only stipulation was that they had to park their cars in specific areas around Berlin’s popular swimming lakes.

WeShare summer geofence promotion

The promotion was a resounding success and a good proof of concept for WeShare, who started using Talon.One at the start of the year.

How else could you use geofencing for lockdown promotions?

There are many other ways to use geofencing in interesting, engaging lockdown promotions.

Sticking to lockdown regulations should, of course, always be the top priority. But geofencing can actually help with that too.

For example, geofences could be used in a promotion to encourage customers to stay at home/in their own neighbourhood or city. If a customer stays within their local geofence for a certain period of time, you could offer them a 30% discount.

You could also tie the geofence to your customer loyalty program and give customers 20 loyalty points for every day they stay at home.

Not only does this encourage customers to do their bit in the fight against the virus, it also encourages them to spend with your brand.

But staying inside for long periods of time is also bad for our health. So you could use geofences to encourage your customers to get out of the house instead.

You could set up geofences in some of your city’s large parks or green spaces and offer customers loyalty points or coupons if they spend a certain amount of time there each week.

A more adventurous use case

The only real limit to the many ways geofencing and other techniques can be used in promotions is creativity. The examples above are both pretty simple. But you could also try something more complex.

For example, it’s common for businesses to offer their employees discounts with other brands as part of their employee benefits package.

Geofences could be used to encourage these employees to stay at home rather than work at the office.

Setting up a geofence around the employer’s office and adding an effect to give employees a 20€ coupon if they don’t enter the geofence for two weeks (i.e. don’t go into the office) could be a good way to incentivize working from home.

In a more theoretical use case, geofences could even be used to encourage individuals to self-quarantine in their own homes following a positive coronavirus test.

In conclusion

As you can see from the examples above, just because we’re still dealing with lockdowns, doesn’t mean geofencing can’t be used to good effect in promotions.

All the promotions we’ve mentioned can be built and run in the Promotion Engine. If you’d like to find out more about the huge range of use cases it supports, check out our Content Library or book your own tailored demo.

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