If you're still playing catch up when it comes to geofencing, it's time to start taking this technology seriously. Especially when it comes to marketing. In fact, according to a report by Global Market Insights, the global geofencing market is expected to reach over $1.7 billion by 2024. Pretty big business, indeed. So, what's driving the growth in geofencing marketing and how can you leverage this  technology for your business?

With the rise in mobile usage and growing confidence in mcommerce (mobile purchases are set to make up 27 percent of all ecommerce transactions by the end of this year), Americans are basically glued to their smartphones. The average consumer spends around five hours a day looking at theirs. So, it's no wonder that marketers of all stripes are scrambling to find ways of getting their messages mobile.

But with a crowded app market and consumers reluctant to try new apps, you have to offer something pretty special to catch their attention. With high profile store closures, including Toys 'R' Us, it's no secret that retail has been lagging behind in the ecommerce race. Geofencing marketing can help redress the balance and entice consumers back into brick and mortar stores.

Improved GPS Accuracy

GPS services are a default feature in the majority of smartphones. What used to be just an easier way of navigating yourself around the city is turning into a marketer's dream. They can use geofencing to tap into mobile devices and determine the physical location of potential and previous customers, and when they're in the proximity of a store. That means that they can also come up with ingenious ways of luring them in.

One of the most interesting geofencing advancements this year is its improved accuracy.

Not so long ago, geofencing was accurate to the nearest 100-200 meters, which made it hard to tell if a customer entered your store or an establishment nearby. Thanks to improved GPS technology, now you can zero-in on what store entrance they came in and out of. Not only does this ensure that you don't send your customers off to the competition, but it allows for highly targeted marketing, driven to specific business (and in-store) locations.

Improvements in geofencing come with an added bit of good news, too; some 66 percent of Gen-Z prefer the in-store shopping experience. But it has to pack a powerful punch.

Personalized Marketing Experience

71 percent of consumers prefer a personalized marketing experience, and geofencing marketing allows you to do exactly that. You can target offers and generate customer coupons, or money off products according to taste and past purchases. You can also increase engagement and size of basket by highlighting certain products in the store.

Home Depot offers a "store mode," in their mobile app that dramatically facilitates the shopping experience for customers. They display product locations and help their consumers navigate their way through the stores. And Target has a similar feature that also offers customers discounts in real time at checkout.

Stepping It Up Another Level

Hand in hand with improvements in geofencing comes the growing popularity of AR. In fact, mobile AR may become the primary driver of a $108 billion VR/AR market by 2021. And the two go together like carrots and peas. Just cast your mind back to the success of Pokemon Go, where fully grown adults were bumping into each other trying to catch the latest characters. Now, think about the implications of that for your business. You can turn shopping into a game and reward customers with points and prizes, while increasing engagement and time spent in store.

It's not only retail either. Entrepreneurs in all areas can come up with interesting ways of using geofencing and AR at events or for their services company. Combining proximity marketing with AR allows marketers to wow their customers, particularly the younger ones who thrive on visuals. Just imagine being told you can see a lifelike model of a brand new car and take a virtual test drive if you only walk over a block.

Geofencing marketing in promotion and advertising is set to grow massively over the next few years, as businesses see the positive impact on their bottom lines. While it's logical that the retail market should demonstrate the fastest growth in their attempt to regain advantage over ecommerce, many areas can benefit as well. Locate your customers, track your competitors, craft creative campaigns with AR and gaming, and ensure maximum turn out for events.