Geofencing Marketing

(TACT)   According to research, it's expected that the global geofencing market will increase to roughly $2.387 million by 2023 (in just four years!).  

Right now, the report reveals, that North America, specifically the US and Canada, have the biggest global geofencing market. Increasing popularity and adoption of business intel being some of the reasons why.  

What we know is geofencing marketing is not going away. When it comes to political campaigns, with the advent and popularity of social (tracking) platforms like Facebook, it'll probably only increase. Read on to find what role geofencing marketing plays in political campaigns!

 Geofencing: The Online Version of Talking to Community Members

As stated by B2C, geofencing marketing (which you can learn more about) is ads that target people based on a specific location. That could be a radius around a business or a specific city, among others.

(The LA Times mentions some campaigns even target positive ads to audiences who only like positive messages. And negative ads to audiences who respond to negative messages.)  

It's like local marketing to a T; it's like the online version of talking to people in the community. (That doesn't mean face-to-face communication as a marketing strategy is out the door.)

 Geofencing Marketing in Politics: What Is Geofencing? 

Geofencing is a great tool for campaigns to use because it can target users at a micro level.

This is one of the biggest pros for campaigns that have a specific demographic in mind:

It doesn't make sense for candidates who're running for a position representing a specific district to target all voters in that state. Their name will only be on the ballot for people registered to vote in that district. The same goes for candidates who are running campaigns at the local level. 

Geofence marketing allows campaigns to select their target audience with ease. Facebook Business states that all users have to do is select the radius, age, and gender, and image, text, and call-to-action for the ad. 

Budget, of course, determines how long the ad runs and how many times it shows up. Ad-Buyers cannot specifically choose actual people—however, the LA Times (same article) mentions it's easy for companies to connect private internet activity pulled by third-party data trackers with the user's IP address and social profile(s). Which brings up...  

How Far is Too Far? 

It's not just this easy identity match; campaigns don't always geofence to targeted voters directly. According to Politico, Luke Mullins reported on a consultant who targeted ads to the school an influencer's child attended.

 They claimed that when the family sat down at the dinner table, the topic would come up and the child would be able to add to it. While this example shows the lengths geofencing can go, it also brings up the question, how far is too far?

 Two Steps Ahead

Geofencing marketing is also used in campaigns to get policy passed. In 2016, (reported by Our Data Our Selves) incumbent Lisa Murkowski was running for reelection for senator for Alaska

 She wanted to build a road through a nature refuge in Alaska used for medical emergencies. Initially, the Department of Interior wasn't for this. 

It's suspected that she targeted ads not just at voters but the Interior about support for this road. Long story short, she was not just voted in, but the Department of Interior agreed to the road. 

The Takeaway

Geofencing is used to attract voters, pass policy, and even lobby to people in office, as is the case with Roger Dow (President and CEO of US Travel Association) who targeted ads on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube about foreign travel benefits to President Trump and his top aides. 

 There's some grey like voters' privacy and limiting location. As the LA Times states (same article), voters can lie about their private information on popular social media platforms many ads draw from (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), use incognito mode or private browsing when online, and ask campaign canvassers what information they want and how it will be used. 

(Do the same for anyone else who asks for your info.) Also, opt for "disallow" when a site asks to use your specific location.

 On the other hand, geofencing can be beneficial as people see those shoes they never would have known existed, that business, or, yes, even that candidate. Have any comments or questions about geofencing marketing?

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