the best geofencing use case we’ve ever seen

A digital marketing strategy that relies on geo-fencing that actually works!

We’ll just come out and say it; we have strong feelings about geofencing. (Who has strong feelings about geofencing, you ask? Digital nerds like us, that’s who.) Those feelings come from the term becoming a misused buzzword in conversations about “new” and “high-tech” digital strategies. Geofencing can be a highly effective strategy under the right circumstances, and a complete miss when those stars don’t align. For a more in depth explanation, check out our past post To geo-fence or not to geo-fence? That is the question.

Due to the confusion about when and how geofencing makes sense, we wanted to spotlight a client who got it really, really right. In the interest of protecting their strategy from competitors, we’ll call them Client X and have obscured the details of their situation just a bit. (😎 Mysterious, we know.)


Client X had the goal of registering more students to sign up for their specialized program. In recent years, interest in that programming had dropped off nationwide and they were receiving significantly fewer sign-ups than they previously saw. They cited that most prospects aren’t aware it requires fewer prerequisites and less time than similar professional programs, while still paying a comparable and quite lucrative salary upon completion.

When asked for particulars about their ideal customer, they had great clarity. Not only was Client X able to share many of the details we need, like geography, age, etc., they were able to get extremely specific about a couple of important parameters. Their target audience was required to take a class to enter their program, and that class was also a requirement of similar, competing programs.


Client X educated us that while the class was required for a variety programs, their program required less stringent academic performance than some others. It was also highly likely these prospects had already accumulated most if not all of the other education and experience necessary to continue in Client X’s program. These factors would be highly attractive to many of their prospects, with the only real barrier to entry being they didn’t know about them.

In the first year, Client X identified a dozen locations where this prerequisite was offered. We knew that just by being present in that required course, those individuals met the criteria to enter the program. We ran a geofencing campaign narrowly targeting the physical buildings where this prerequisite took place, reaching people who were actively taking it. The following year we expanded the campaign to most other locations across the state and larger region that offered that same prerequisite. 


In full transparency, it must be stated that we know the results here are likely impacted by multiple factors and we can’t directly tie the jump to the campaigns alone. However, these results are an accurate representation of the increase and we know digital played a strong role.

  1. Anecdotally, in the first year one of our clients had a daughter who attended that very prerequisite in a competing program and reported seeing the ad! While we know ads are being served, it was especially compelling to hear a first person story directly from our client sharing about its effectiveness.
  2. Between the first year and the second, Client X received a marked uptick in email notifications from prospects expressing interest. The overall results from year one were encouraging enough that they were able to double their campaign budget between year one and year two.
  3. After two years of running this strategy, the client reports an enrollment increase of more than 23% enrollment applications from year one to year two. 


Most digital campaigns use targeting parameters such as age, topics of interest, and something specific they know about that prospect, such as being a student. This is fairly targeted with the potential for really promising results. However, there’s still a level of (necessary and respected) anonymity, meaning it’s possible that some of those ads are reaching people who don’t quite fit the targeting criteria.

In the case of Client X’s geofencing campaign, we were able to take all of that targeting information AND serve ads to them while at a particular location. Anonymity was preserved, while getting as close to utilizing first party data as possible.

Use cases such as this one are few and far between, but when available they allow you to know you’re really reaching the right people. While we can’t see the future, we predict as more third party website cookies go away we’ll see an increase in people looking to emulate targeting opportunities like this one.

Go forth. Go digital.