What’s Wrong With Geofences? UberMedia Has An Answer

Geofences tend to be too general, too 'one-size fits all,' says UberMedia's Michael Hayes.

Geofences are fine for alerting customers near a store to an opening, offer, or a sale, but when it comes to providing brands with actionable analytics and precise targeting at specific consumer intents, the process can be limited.

Mobile behavioral insights platform UberMedia believes it has built a better version of the traditional geofence technology with Optimal GeoSpace, a patent-pending mobile location technology that “dynamically renders a customized virtual fence around individual retail shopping areas.”

The Right Time And Place

The promise is that retail marketers who use Optimal GeoSpace will be able to “fully capitalize on the actual footprint of a customer to their location (or a competitor’s location).”

In addition to focusing on specific places, Optimal GeoSpace also takes mindset marketing into account by analyzing areas at different times of the day, says Michael Hayes, UberMedia’s CRO and CMO.

In Hayes’ view, typical geofences tend to present a general “one size fits all” quality to marketers. A circle drawn about a businesses area that go beyond a business’s actual physical boundaries “often misrepresent or overextend the parameters of specific shopping areas, sometimes by as much as several miles,” UberMedia notes.

That blanket approach to an indeterminate area raises the likelihood that an advertiser is serving ads to consumers who may not even be that close to a brand’s destination.

With Optimal GeoSpace, UberMedia says it can create a “flexible fence tailored to each unique location based on specific shopping patterns using UberMedia’s analysis of billions of high-quality location data points over a period of time as set by the advertiser.”

The technology works by analyzing mobile data points with a real-time algorithm. From there, Optimal GeoSpace accounts for real-world behavior and location patterns that have accrued over time or within a period of interest, such as Black Friday or holiday shopping. Lastly, it can also identify a retailer’s most optimal trade area so they can aim ad delivery and targeting more accurately and effectively.

UberMedia McDonald DaypartingPlus, the level of insight around a specific business can provide greater context that allows for clearer comparisons among the same store brand across multiple locations, or conversely, between competing establishments in a given part of town.

“Imagine you’re a brand manager for a national retail chain having to manually customize 2,000 locations with traditional geo-fencing technology,” Hayes says. “To be the most effective, each location needs its own settings since every market presents different consumer challenges, which is why Optimal GeoSpace technology, combined with our expansive mobile data, takes the headache out of this process.

“Our technology can identify specific optimal shopping parameters and can update and dynamically set a flexible fence at scale to create an accurate picture of the customer’s actual journey to a specific location, freeing up the time to focus on other campaign elements,” Hayes added.

The Real Estate Realization

Optimal GeoSpace grew out of the UberMedia Retail division, which analyzes the potential business value of specific real estate locations for businesses and also tells existing establishments how to make the most of their local and location-based advertising.

Thousand Oaks Auto MallThe product follows last year’s introduction of UberMedia’s Location Visit Optimization tool, a targeting program designed to improve mobile ad relevancy and performance by analyzing consumers’ in-store visits.

“The realization for Optimal GeoSpace came when we were working with the Uber Retail side,” Hayes says. “We were seeking to define what retailers call trade areas based on mobile behavior. Then, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to serve ads to use it as a targeting scheme?’ In other words, it makes sense to serve ads based on a brand’s optimal shopping or trade area. A traditional geofence won’t do it. But creating a distinct area around activity, mindset, dayparting, and intelligence does.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.