Geo-fencing and other musings from IBS & KBIS | Bolin Marketing
March 6, 2019

Geo-fencing and other musings from IBS & KBIS

Whipping around IBS & KBIS for three days, I spent time talking with more than two dozen building materials brands about their marketing strategies and outlook for the future. Aside from the thought that I’d like to burn down my house and start over with all the cool, new technology out there, I gathered a couple of other key take-aways from these shows. It’s no secret that there’s a lot of disruption going on, and it’s causing a bit of paralysis as building materials marketers struggle with how best to move forward in an industry that has been slow to embrace the digital transformation.

How and where do you reach new customers?  How do you “humanize” your brand and be relevant to a new generation of millennial home buyers? How do you strengthen your digital footprint to stand out with search-savvy homeowners who will go online to exhaustively research you and your competitors before making a buying decision or even talking with a contractor?

All good questions. But not good reasons to wallow in indecision. It may help to remember that the fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed—even as the communication channels do. You still need to give people a reason to choose you over anyone else. It’s just that its now more important than ever to expand your story through digital mediums, instead of just the familiar print and tradeshow avenues.

Geo-fencing is one example of a new digital dynamic you can leverage to reach the people you want to influence.

Without getting too technical, geo-fencing is a form of internet marketing that enables you to figuratively “fence in” a very specific audience and deliver ad content to them (via your website or smart ads) based on their location.

Think about these use cases:

  • BOOST TRADESHOW TRAFFIC: Geo-fence industry conferences or tradeshows to drive attendees to your booth and communicate with them after the show.
  • REACH COMPETITORS’ CUSTOMERS: Geo-fence people visiting your competitors and serve up ads that give them a reason to switch to your brand.
  • TARGET TOP PROSPECTS: Geo-fence business locations, distributors or OEMs you know to be working with a competitor and position your company as a viable alternative.

You can customize a geo-fence with great precision. Beyond the obvious—region, state, city, metro code, zip code, organization, IP address, ISP—you can go so far as drilling down to a unique store aisle. Home Depot, for example, has their aisle locations on google maps, which means you could geo-fence just the doors and windows aisle and serve ads to only the smartphones that have been down that aisle. You can even map mobile devices back to users’ desktops and serve them ads there, too.

If you are interested in exploring more engaging ways to connect with prospects and need some guidance. We’re here. Contact Jack with the Bolin Building Materials marketing team at

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