Geofencing vs. Geoframing: The Difference Between

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing: a four-syllable marketing term tossed around in almost every media pitch. While geofencing is not new news, rethinking the efficacy of this geolocation tactic is. Let’s dig in.

Geofencing is the use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary enabling software to trigger a response when a smartphone enters or leaves a particular area. For advertisers, geofencing gives the ability to target mobile devices when they’re near a specific location.

However, geofencing can be limiting. 

  1. Geofencing requires a hard opt-in. A consumer has to raise their hand and agree to receive ads, i.e., downloading an app and agreeing to a brand’s terms of service.
  2. Geofencing utilizes cell tower service or GPS to define a certain area. While this tactic can prove effective for some campaigns, the triangulated area is often not as precise as needed.
  3. Broad fencing leads to wasted advertising impressions and dollars.

And so, 321 has integrated a greater targeting solution to help marketers outsmart the competition — not outspend it.


This is geoframing™.

In the digital space of geolocation technologies, it was time to think beyond the status quo. Instead of utilizing cell tower service, Geoframing focuses on the latitude and longitude of a specific location — down to the square meter. This gives a more granular and precise look at a geographical location, reducing the noise of individuals who are simply passing through a geoframe.

Through a “soft” opt-in process, Geoframing gathers data through the ad exchange. When an ad call is placed on your phone, you’ve opted-in to the advertising exchange via online browsing. Therefore, Geoframing doesn’t require someone to download a brand’s app or live in its CRM.


The power of historical data.

Whereas geofencing emphasizes real-time data, Geoframing gathers historic data of devices seen on-site within a specific time period. Track the data back six months and marketers can identify lapsed visitors for retargeting or retention-based remarketing — a useful model in a COVID-affected industry.

From this device data, marketers can filter accordingly. For a restaurant marketer, weed out devices noticed on-site 8 hours a day/4 days a week., i.e. employees. Hotel marketers can filter out the device IDs of vendors and deliveries. And so on and so forth. With Geoframing technology, the use cases are infinite.

Where geoframing takes marketing a step further.

Once device IDs are captured within an audience pool, Geoframing allows marketers to map the device back to a home’s physical and IP address — providing a 360-degree communication stream for hyper-targeted digital marketing and direct mail.


  • Requires someone to have location services turned on.
  • Requires the consumer to opt-in.
  • Utilizes cell towers to correlate a location.
  • Serve digital ads to only the devices that went into the specified area at that specified time.
  • Use in real-time.


  • Requires a person to search the internet and receive an ad placement.
  • Users have already opted-in via previous opt-in data.
  • Uses latitude-longitude data to target down to the square-meter level.
  • Household IP address can be collected and saved from the inventoried device ID’s once they travel back home.
  • Target the household IP address with digital display ads.
  • Target the device ID’s that were inventoried at past areas up to 6 months.

This is one-to-one marketing personalized. 

Connect with us to learn more about the use cases of Geoframing, and how it can be applied to your brand’s communications strategy.