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Geo-Fencing vs Geo-Targeting:

Know the Difference


Geo-fencing and Geo-targeting are both designed to target specific audiences which is why they are oftentimes confused but they are not the same thing and understanding these differences is very important.


Geo-Fencing technology creates a virtual barrier around a real-world location.

Utilizing desktop's, tablet's, and smartphone's global positioning system (GPS) or Internet Protocol (IP) address geo-fencing delivers advertisements to the area where you have drawn a virtual barrier.  This allows a business to automatically deliver an ad to someone when they enter your geo-fenced area. This however, does not allow push notifications or text messages to the device instead it delivers your advertisement when a web browser or app is opened on a device. Geo-fenced areas can be as large as an entire state or as small as a single retail location.


Geo-Targeting delivers ads based on demographics, behaviors, interests as well as where the individual is geographically located.  This is partially why the two terms get confused but the reality is when using the two technologies together, geo-targeting based on location becomes redundant and is usual only available for a much larger area like an entire state but not a single retail location when using geo-targeting.


Here is an example...

You place a geo-fence around the local supermarket.  If Aubrey pulls up in the parking lot and opens her facebook app she will see your ad.  Anyone else within the radius of your geo-fence will also see your ad if they open a web browser or app.  If you add in geo-targeting with the geo-fencing and you choose to only send your ad the demographic of women then Aubrey will still receive your ad but Brandon, four parking spots down, will not.


Geo-fencing and Geo-targeting can be used individually but are oftentimes used in conjunction with one another to reach a more targeted audience and save money on your advertising spend.


If you are interested in learning more about how geo-fencing and geo-targeting can help market your business please contact Brandi at (502) 550-5765 or