As the digital age evolves, many words and ideas emerge that leave most people scratching their heads. We could write a dictionary about all the cutting-edge lingo, but today we are going to break down the difference between “Geotargeting” and Geofencing”.
These two terms are commonly used interchangeably, however, this use is incorrect. While both have the prefix geo – meaning earth, ground, global, etc. – targeting and fencing have two distinct goals when it comes to capturing your target audience.
Geofencing is simply drawing a clearly defined area using a user’s IP address. Some may wonder, “What’s an IP address?” Think of it as a unique number assigned to your device so the internet knows where to send you emails, data, etc. A similar concept could be your IP address and your home address; both exclusive to you, both work within a network to help you receive information. With geofencing, you can set an ad to display on any device’s IP address that enters into the boundaries you have set for the area you are targeting. For example, local restaurants, schools, or businesses rely heavily on a local audience within a tight geographic area versus a national brand like Walmart that targets almost the entire world.
Geotargeting delivers ads to your market based on location plus qualitative data such as demographics, behaviors, interests, and a person’s location. This tactic is better when you have a specific audience in mind. With geotargeting, you can also A/B test your ads and see which perform the best and better develop your campaigns in the future.
You may ultimately still be wondering when to use one or the other. While geotargeting can apply a more personalized message that fits the user’s potential needs, geofencing can do a better job at pointing out opportunities for those who are moving through the target area that they may not otherwise see. We hope this simple break down will help you avoid future confusion surrounding these two common marketing terms!