How Geofencing is Used for Market Research Surveys

How Geofencing is Used for Market Research Surveys

What is Geofencing?

Geo-fencing is the ability to create an imaginary or virtual boundary which surrounds a location. Geo-fences can be created through GPS location devices or other location-based service (LBS) software such as radio frequency identification (RFID). The geo-fence or perimeter can be represented by a radius from a location or point, drive time from a location or point, census blocks, or through custom-designed areas.

How is Geofencing used?

Applications of this geo-fencing and lat-long targeting extend beyond market research. Geo-fencing is used for law enforcement, device tracking, and digital marketing. Retail locations like Target and Walmart are using geo-fencing to send coupons to customers who enter the geo-fence that have downloaded the store app on their smart phone. This ensures coupons are sent at times when customers are near a store and as a result, may be most vulnerable to marketing. Digital marketing agencies can also target audiences while they visit a large event or festival.

How is Geofencing used in market research?

For example, market research panel companies such as uSamp ask panel participants to download the uSamp app. Then using geo-fencing, uSamp can send the customer a text, email, or alert to their phone to ask them to participate in a survey while in its client's store. This ensures the data is collected in-the-moment which ensures reliability and accuracy.

There are lots of benefits to conducting research with a respondent while 'in-environment'. While it isn't as bold as Campbell's Soup Company entering the kitchens of customers to conduct ethnography (observational) research, geo-fencing still feels a bit intrusive to some. The panel survey invite can also be timed to be sent after the participant leaves the store or geo-fence to ensure the shopping trip is complete before asking the participant to provide feedback on his or her experience.

Why is geo-fencing popular?

Geo-fencing is a new application and growing trend in the mobile market research landscape. Due to declining response rates using other methodologies, researchers are being forced to discover new ways to collect data. In this case, geo-fencing may be a newer methodology in market research but is arguably better, because it offers the ability to survey respondents in their true shopping environment. Data collected through this fashion will be more realistic and forthcoming than asking customers to remember their Target or Walmart shopping experience last Tuesday when they are called to take a telephone survey or participate in a follow-up online survey.

Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our company offers a wide-range of online surveys and phone surveys to fit your project needs. Contact us at or at 315-303-2040.

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