Polygon Targeting vs Geofencing – Where They Meet and Where They Diverge

Advertisers are always experimenting with new techniques and methods to reach their target audiences. Favorably, they can today benefit from location-based targeting, which has, in fact, created quite a stir. According to a study, the location-based advertising market will grow at a 17.4% CAGR up until 2027. 

Much of this growth can be attributed to the increasing availability and relevance of customer data, proliferating internet penetration, social media platforms becoming more pervasive, the growing number of GPS-enabled devices, etc. The idea of location-based targeting bodes well to ensure that advertisements are directed to the right audience at the right time. 

However, understanding how to effectively put location-based advertising into practice requires a thorough comprehension of geofencing and polygon targeting.

Polygon Targeting and Geofencing – A Primer

Geofencing is a popular location-based marketing technique in which the target area is denoted by a circle or a rectangle, basically a defined shape. When a customer enters this fence, they receive push notifications or emails/messages showing time-bound offers and schemes. This real-time marketing technique works only when a target enters the predefined invisible fence. 

The fundamental idea in geofencing is to build a network around a specific area, most likely where the store is located, thus providing momentum to a possible purchase. This technique is also used to track data and understand the type of traffic to improve marketing strategies.

Polygon targeting, on the other hand, focuses on a specific pre-decided target area. Any shape with at least three sides and a straight vertex is considered a polygon. Based on that, polygon targeting makes a bit more sense for location-based marketing because it covers specific landmarks and areas defined with sharp points. So, if a marketer wants to cover two busy streets, polygon targeting makes it easier by selecting hotspots with a perfect polygon based on demand and outcome required.

Also Read: How Geo-Targeting Can Add Muscle To Your Digital Advertising

All types of location-based marketing are carried out after obtaining the user’s permission granted to either the phone or a specific application. A code integrated into these applications then tracks user data and location, which helps in running the entire marketing loop.

How Are These Two Similar?

Mobile Integration

Assume a grocery store chain launches its mobile application after a successful offline venture. The application, once installed, asks for various permissions from the user, such as location permission. A code interacts with these devices, triggering the process of push notifications whenever a person enters the specified area via either geofencing or polygon targeting. 

The only difference in the whole process is the area defined or the longitude and latitude fed to the code based on the requirement.

Location-Based Marketing

Both methods are based on the same principle, which is real-time location-based marketing. Marketers specify the radius in which they want to target their audience. These decisions are based on the location of stores and the high-traffic areas. The tracking mechanism begins as soon as the application user enters these designated areas. Based on this, the appropriate push notifications are sent, enticing users to check out the offers in the nearby physical store.

How Are These Two Different?

Setting the Area

The areas designated by these two techniques differ greatly. As previously stated, geofencing is more of a radius-based targeting because the area defined is circular. The pin location is determined by the center location (for example, the store location), and the radius is then adjusted. This radius can be reduced or increased based on the need, time of offer, hotspots, and so on. One disadvantage is that everyone who enters the radius may not be the intended audience.

When it comes to polygon targeting, the desired shape is determined by landmarks, hotspots, and audience segmentation. For example, if a marketer wants to target only three points rather than the entire mall, this type of location-based marketing makes it simple. This increases the chances of cracking sales because the target audience is expected to enter the desired segment.

What Should Brands Prefer?

When it comes to advertising, every brand may have different requirements and goals. But there are some important distinctions to make so that the preferences are always distinct and clear. For example, if a brand wants to target only the food court inside a mall, polygon targeting makes a lot more sense. Choosing a smaller area can assist in reaching the right audience as soon as they enter the virtual net.

However, if a restaurant wants to attract a larger audience in the local market to try their Friday special, specific touchpoints may not be required. In such cases, geofencing may be the most effective way to attract all types of visitors within a specific radius.

So, a location-based marketing technique can be chosen based on the type of campaign that a brand is running.
At Aroscop, we help brands like yours navigate the complexities of location-based targeting. Contact us to learn more.