When it comes to marketing with digital means, the game is all about devices. People nowadays carry multiple devices or use multiple devices throughout the day. Smartphones, tablets, and personal computers, each one of them is just another outlet for marketing.

Some of the most commonly used terms in the world of digital marketing are geo-fencing and geo-targeting. While both these terms have their own distinct meanings, they are often confused for another, with people using them interchangeably. In order to see the distinction between them, we will have to see just what they mean exactly.

What is Geo-Fencing?

Geo-fencing is a digital marketing technique that utilizes a virtual fence to seclude an area and prime it for marketing. What actually happens in geo-fencing is that the IP addresses of people inside a certain area combine to create something that is akin to a virtual barrier. This barrier is propped up around an area and primes all the devices inside that specific area for advertisements. Hence, once the fence has been set up, all of the computers, tablets, and mobile phones inside it will get ads that are designed specifically for that area.

A good example of this is Snapchat. Snapchat offers location filters for public places, universities, and neighborhoods too. It uses the concept of geo-fencing to enforce an IP fence around the area and offer filters related to that place’s identity in the application. While this is not an example of advertising, a lot of advertising is done using similar methods.

What is Geo-Targeting?

The similarities between geo-targeting and geo-fencing include the establishment of a certain radius for advertisements. However, unlike geo-fencing, where every single device inside an area is primed for receiving ads, geo-targeting is more specific towards advertising to certain demographics or people. Rather than each and every device, only the devices of a certain group or demographic are prime to receive ads on their devices. Hence, it’s a marketing strategy that involves targeted ads rather than ads for everyone.

Examples of this are ads that are specifically suited to the kind of demographic you belong in. Rather than just being simple advertisements, they contain certain keywords that make them fit especially for you and your needs. This kind of targeted marketing is used by many different advertising agencies over a large spread of area and in small secluded areas too.

Both geo-fencing and geo-targeting have their own specific uses that are there to be explored by advertisers. The benefits of the former is that you can ring each device in an area for a new offer or deal, while the latter allows you to target a specific demographic alone. Whether used alone or in conjunction, they have a major role to play in marketing.