museum geofencingGeofencing is a valuable tool that should be part of the promotional strategy at all museums. Geofencing allows you to advertise specifically to people within a specific geographic area through cell phones. Most cell phones track a user’s geographic location through GPS, cell tower location, and wifi. You can use this technology to send messages directly to people that are close to your museum or other relevant geographic areas. There are several ways to do this that should be discussed in a longer format. Still, I’m going to specifically speak about the functionality when using Google Adwords because I use it for all of my campaigns.

There are multiple benefits to geofencing. First, it is a great way to ‘nudge market.’ At any time, especially during your peak months, there are people within ten miles of your museum that are discussing what they are going to do that day. These are high-value potential visitors for two reasons. First, they are currently making decisions on the entertainment products they are going to consume that day. Second, they are close by, so travel is not a barrier to visiting your museum. The combination of these two characteristics makes this a high potential conversion prospect group that you may be able to steer toward your museum with a simple, compelling message.

Your geofence does not need to be the geographic zone where your museum is located. I like to do campaigns around areas where people are thinking about what they are going to do that day. This is especially effective over the weekends. For example, I frequently run geofences within ten miles of the museum, within range of a local popular coffee shop, and within range of the busiest hotels in the community. These geofences will hit several audiences when they are deciding what to do that day.

In cities in which there are several destination tourist attractions, I have seen a lot of success from putting a geofence around each tourist attraction as tourists will frequently have time to visit multiple attractions. For example, if the Art Institute of Chicago is near my museum, I will put a geofence over their museum so visitors inside will get messages about my museum.

Geofencing should be one part of a multi-tier promotional strategy, but it absolutely should play a key role in the museum’s peak months.

Article by Frank Bennett, originally published at

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