More SMBs to Employ Geofencing and Hyperlocal Marketing

Last month, BIA/​Kelsey reported that average small and medium-​sized businesses (SMBs) use 5.8 marketing formats and show a willingness to experiment with new digital channels.   The research company also notes that SMBs have been hesitant to bookstoretry out location-​market marketing, also known as geofencing. Their new analysis explains this hesitation and points out what might be necessary before geofencing takes off in the SMB market.

General industry research suggests that the biggest adopters of geofencing to date have been large retailers. Michael Boland, senior analyst and VP of content at BIA/​Kelsey, suggests that SMBs will eventually incorporate geofencing into their marketing tactics, especially as a way to compete with larger businesses that are using the technique in the local market. One of the problems for SMBs is the time challenge they face in trying to roll out a new format. Some industry experts note that when SMBs do make a geofencing buy, it’s usually incorporated as part of a mobile campaign that includes cost-​per-​click or cost-​per-​call. Most analysts believe the market potential for SMBs and geofencing is huge. Currently, about 50% of Verve Mobile’s geofencing services sales stem from SMBs while the rest are from national brands.

Industry operators say they still face a challenge in getting marketers to think outside the box. Until now, even SMBs have focused on reach, but with tactics like geofencing, the strategy is all about personalized and hyperlocal contact.  SMBs may be more open to tryin geo-​fencing now that Verve Mobile reports show that reaching consumers this way can improve the likelihood of attracting new business by 3.1 times.

If you’re working with SMBs have you had any success convincing them to use this format?

[Sources: Local Search and Listings Across Directories. IAB​.net. April 2013. Web. 23 Jul. 2013;  Duprey, Patrick. Directories Eye Marketing Services Space. Netnewscheck​.com. 16 Jul. 2013. Web. 23 Jul. 2013; Duprey, Patrick. Geofencing Still Slow to Catch on with SMBs. Netnewscheck​.com. 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 19 Aug. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.