Is geofencing right for your business?


As digital marketers, we are always looking for the next best thing. Our clients are too! But just because something is the “next” thing doesn’t always mean it’s the “best” thing for your business. That’s why it’s important to be strategic about which types of digital marketing tactics and channels are used to grow your business.

For those who are new to the world of digital, it may be hard to navigate all the different types of digital marketing tactics, so we thought we’d start off with one that we’ve received quite a few questions about lately: Geofencing.


Geofencing is a location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, RFID (radio-frequency identification), Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geofence.


To make use of geofencing, an administrator or developer must first establish a virtual boundary around a specified location in GPS or RFID-enabled software. To do so, the “fence” must be specified using APIs (application programming interface) when developing the mobile app. This virtual geofence will then trigger a response when an authorized device enters or exits that area, as specified by the administrator or developer. A geofence is most commonly defined within the code of a mobile application, especially since users need to opt-in to location services for the geofence to work.


  • An app/software

  • A “Fence” built into the app/software

    • Specified using APIs (application programming interface) when
      developing the mobile app

  • Users of the app must opt-in to locations services



  • Collect location insights about user’s offline behaviors for audience segmentation, personalization, retargeting, competitive intelligence, and online-to-offline
    (O2O) attribution.

  • Send location-relevant content to mobile users based on their current or recently-visited location, to drive their engagement with the app.



Geofencing can be used in many different ways. Here are some examples of how marketers in various industries already get creative with geofencing:

  • Retail: Sending promotional messages as shoppers pass by a store to drive visits.

  • Automotive: Retargeting users that have visited a car dealership (yours or competitor’s).

  • Coupons: Proving the ROI of coupons using location data to track store visits
    initiated by coupons.

  • Airline: Upselling flyers with fast-track services as they walk in the airport.

  • Mobile payments: Reminding users of places where they can pay as they visit them.

  • Hospitality: Capturing feedback shortly after visitors step out of the hotel.

  • Travel: Enriching user profiles with traveling history to supercharge future targeting.

  • Dining reviews: Suggesting a list of popular dishes to a guest who visits a
    particular restaurant.

  • Coffee chain: Giving discounts to returning customers to build loyalty.

  • Online store: Geo-conquesting competitors locations with deals to lure customers away.



As with everything, geofencing may not fit every company’s mobile marketing strategy. If a marketer can relate themselves to one of the examples below, it’s most likely a fit.

  • My company has brick-and-mortar locations, such as retailers, food & beverage chains, airports, airlines.

  • My company has a strong connection to brick-and-mortar locations, such navigation platforms, travel guides, online retailers with offline competitors.


  • Uber uses geofencing at LAX almost as a defensive measure. That's because private hire cars from networks like Uber aren't licensed to pick up passengers at this airport (apart from the app's luxury service, which is commercially licensed and insured). Therefore, Uber uses a geofence outside of the pickup area, where drivers can wait for fares. When someone walks into Uber's geofence, they will get a notification that says "Welcome to San Francisco. Would you like us to pick you up? There are currently three cars near the airport."

  • A retailer might draw a geofence around its outlets to trigger mobile alerts for customers who have downloaded the retailer’s mobile app. In these cases, a geofence that is managed by the retailer is programmed into the app, and users can opt to decline location access for the app. When a customer walks into the geofence, they will receive notifications informing them of certain promotions happening that day.

  • Taco Bell’s app is a crucial tool in their geofencing marketing plan. Its mobile ordering feature entices users to download it. With the app in place, hungry customers can order from their phones and then simply go pick up their food – no wait. After customers have downloaded the app, the restaurant utilizes geofencing as a way of targeting people under 30 years old with push notifications whenever they are in the vicinity of a Taco Bell. A quick reminder that they can order food from their phone and pick it up two miles down the road was a great way to appeal to the “Want it Now” generation.

  • Starbucks often uses geofencing to remind customers of new drinks and promotions. Anyone who has downloaded the app and opted-in the location services can be targeted through geofencing. The customer just has to walk into the geofenced area, and they will receive a notification from Starbucks on their phone enticing them to stop in for a coffee.





As Media Buyer, Jordan works with all things media to negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime on behalf of clients. Prior to Elisco, Jordan worked for Renda Broadcasting - WISH 99.7 FM as an Account Executive, where she managed advertiser accounts and sold radio. She is a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg with a B.A. in Communication and Visual and Performing Arts, with concentrations in Media Studies and Theatre. 


5ft & 4.5in



With an average height of 5’ 4.5”, shoes on, Elisco is Pittsburgh’s shortest agency. Admittedly I’m the shortest of us all, so it’s only fair that I take on the topic of agency size. It’s an important factor in the advertising industry from both client & employee perspectives. Should a small agency boast their numbers or downplay them? At Elisco, we know where we stand: about 2” below the national average & 7 people strong.

Short jokes aside, Elisco’s Creative Café is a PA certified small business. It’s something we take pride in & use to our advantage on a daily basis. Actually, our café atmosphere couldn’t exist without it. By definition café’s are small in a cozy & inviting way. It’s an environment that fosters shared ideas. The lines between departments are grayer, the faces friendlier, & the desks closer. Because of this setup, our favorite campaigns are born when the media buyer sits in on a creative meeting or an account executive pitches in on copy. From the employee side, the collaborative process is rewarding. Our input is valuable for every project & we’re encouraged to be well rounded in our fields. The outcome? Clients get the best.

Another pro of choosing the little guys is you’re always working with their A team. You never have to wonder if your project is getting tossed to the B, C, or even D teams…because they don’t exist. Every job gets the attention it deserves from each one of us. Our size allows senior members of the agency to be involved & up to date with all clients.

Pointing out the positives of our “piccola agenzia” is a must. John Caruso, our new business giant of 5’ 9”,  would say it’s particularly true with potential clients. “Are you big enough to handle our account?” is a question he faces frequently. Even if they don’t say it, they’re thinking it. Better to address it & prove that we measure up.



Laura is a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.S. in Graphic Design. While at Cal, she led the campus’ vanguard student-run design firm Studio 224. Laura is a member of Pittsburgh’s AIGA chapter.


Shallow water,
but deep thought.

John Caruso is in charge of our agency’s business development. A lifelong outdoorsman, cook, winemaker, gardener, as well as an overall nice guy, John brings a unique approach to our business development.  Part of our agency’s strategy as a Creative Café is to bring together like-minded creative people who share a passion for life. In this blog post, John will share some of his correlations between his love for the outdoors and how it applies and benefits the agency's business development.



You recently returned from a trip to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska on a fly fishing trip. What got you into
fly fishing?

I have been fishing as long as I can remember. My grandfather and father both were avid outdoorsmen. So as a tag along with them I was exposed at a young age to an affordable and easily accessible activity in fishing. I didn’t start fly fishing until about 2006 when I was 18. A group of my friends and me went on a trip to Erie, PA to fish for steelhead, a large strain of trout that is stocked in The Great Lakes. Over the two days, we observed and talked with multiple more successful anglers who were fly fishing instead of the traditional spinning rod setup. After that, all of us realized that we had the wrong gear, and dove in head first to the world of fly fishing with the hopes of emulating their success.


Is it difficult to learn? What would you tell someone who is interested in starting?

Yes, it is certainly more difficult and daunting to start. I think it is very similar to starting a new sales job, especially in a new industry. You definitely don’t know everything, so the best approach that I have found was to just jump in and start. Pick up a rod and some gear, read, ask people questions, there are always other people looking to help and share in your success. The most important of all is listening. Listen to those people who have been doing it, and apply it. Before you know it, you are getting results and adding your own tweaks and lessons. Also, don’t forget that you are never done learning. Two of my friends ended up guiding at lodges in Alaska, they are still learning and applying new techniques.


A lot of people ask you if fishing is boring,
what do you tell them?

It’s fishing, not catching. Just like sales, the excitement for me is usually in the pursuit. The journey of learning, and figuring it out is the most fun. Obviously, at a young age, you want to just catch fish and it is more about the number of the fish you catch. As you get older and more mature, it is definitely more about the technique. At first, I only bought flies from shops and friends who tied them. Now I bought the materials to tie my own because the thought of creating something and then seeing the success of it is so much more rewarding. The biggest investment in fishing is time, you spend hours preparing and sometimes casting unsuccessfully, but in that time you learn, and also get a moment to think without distraction, which is very attractive to me.


Explain fly fishing to us as someone who
works in advertising.

It is the first 75 degree spring day, the sun is shining and bouncing off the water like a prism. The water is ice cold from a mountain spring, the sun is just warm enough to make you uncomfortable in a long-sleeved shirt. All you can hear are birds chirping and the low noise of the water bouncing by over the riffle. You cast continuously with your favorite fly as you reel in trout after trout. You think about the fantastic sandwich and kettle chips back in cooler in the car nestled in next to the Coors Light, but if you leave to go and get it, you might lose your spot. Now doesn’t that make you want to go fishing haha?   


What would you say is the biggest connection between fly fishing and business development?

I think the biggest thing in both is to stay curious and to stay passionate about what it is you are doing. Fly fishing isn’t for the faint of heart. If you are going to do it, give it your best effort. You have to be willing to do the work, the preparation, and make changes on the fly, sorry for the pun. There is so much in agency business development that is relatable. You have to prepare accordingly, you have to make multiple casts and calls that are unsuccessful, and you have to catch and handle the smaller fish in hopes that eventually it will help you catch a big one. My favorite comparison to fly fishing is that you have to bend over and flip over the rock to see what bait you need, the answer is often right there at your feet, but you have to be willing to bend over and get your hands dirty to get the answer.


I know you have caught a lot of fish from what you told me, do you ever get discouraged after a
bad day of fishing?

Absolutely! Some days are good and some days are less eventful. Some days you land a lot of fish or a big fish, and some days they get away. Just like advertising, you definitely pitch a lot, and that means you often lose those pitches. I think the education in both experiences is frustrating, but it is a constant reminder to learn from the mistake or loss and move forward to making the next cast.


What is your favorite part of fishing?

My favorite part by far is the time spent with friends and loved ones doing something you enjoy. I think this translates so much into your professional life. If you are going to spend a large amount of time and commitment doing something, make sure you are doing it with people you enjoy and share the same passions with. Some of my favorite times are memorable experiences with the people instead of the actual success.


What else would you like to say to anyone interested in fly fishing or working with the agency?

If you want to learn more just let me know. I’ll be more than happy to talk with you, take you fishing, or get you a creative campaign. I might even share my Coors Light. Tight lines, and thanks for reading.



John heads up business development at Elisco. His primary focus is to build awareness about the agency’s unique capabilities among prospective clients, in addition to developing and maintaining relationships with current and past clients. Prior to joining Elisco, he established and fostered supply chain management relationships at PLS Logistics. John graduated from La Roche College with a B.S. in Marketing and Business Management.


Three Essential Elements in Healthcare Planning


In marketing, and specifically healthcare marketing, it’s remarkably easy to get caught in the weeds of executing a marketing plan, and eventually lose sight of who you are talking to. In order to establish manageable objectives with clear cut expected results for a campaign, we’ve found it’s helpful in the initial phases of planning to anchor the marketing strategy around three essential elements.


1.  Identify primary and secondary audiences

Most healthcare marketing campaigns target multiple groups of different audiences. This may be because there are numerous groups of end users and they need to cast a wide net (for example: a marketing campaign advertising an urgent care facility may target a lower income urban millennial man at the same time as targeting a high income middle aged suburban woman). Alternatively, there may be various groups of decision makers for the product or service, but with only one end user (a nursing facility may target the aging senior, the aging senior’s adult caregiving children, and referral sources such as hospital case managers and discharge planners).

The primary audience could be quite small (example: individuals with diabetes ages 65-70 in one specific zip code), or it might be quite large (example: all healthcare consumers in Pennsylvania).

Whatever the case, it’s important to define these separate audiences, as well as identify which audiences take priority over others for the campaign. It may be impossible to communicate to everyone you wish to reach, so, by establishing a clear group of top prospects, it will likely be easier and more manageable to create a successful campaign.


2.  Develop messages for each specific audience

It can be difficult to craft overall messaging that works for all audiences, and it’s downright impractical to think that one message can cover all your bases. It’s important to decipher which audiences are looking for which messages, and then create a portion of the campaign centered around that messaging.

In the example of the nursing facility, a hospital case manager (referral source) may be looking for a center that has a quick turnaround with admittance, while the caregiver/adult child is looking for a center that is close to their home. The aging senior may just be looking for a nursing facility that has friendly people, social interaction, and good food. Each of these messages is very distinct, and could stand on its own for a full campaign. If possible, separate creative executions should be developed to communicate these values to the multiple audiences.


3.  Use the appropriate media tactics to communicate each message

It is critical to connect the messaging you have with the people who are looking for it and want to learn more. You can’t communicate everything to everyone. Once the audiences have been identified and proper messaging has been developed, each audience needs to be served the content through a medium they are familiar with and actively use.

With the nursing facility, the caregiver/adult child will be more likely to see brand related material on social media or through Google Adwords while searching for solutions for their aging parent. The hospital case manager may consume messaging while viewing a brand sponsored eblast from a trusted resource. The aging senior might be more likely to see a TV spot during the 5 pm network news or read a print ad in the newspaper.

By mapping out these three elements before planning for a campaign, agency and client are more clearly able to establish specific objectives and expected results. Once the campaign is implemented, the campaign success can be measured by referring back to these components of the plan.


Anna Radder, Vice President

At Elisco, Anna leads the account and media team, in addition to handling key agency operations. She has worked with healthcare companies including Bayer Healthcare, Senior LIFE, Community LIFE, LIFE Pittsburgh, HealPros, Solevo Wellness, Medrad, medSage, Ohio Valley Hospital, Kane Regional Centers, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Lewistown Hospital, and others. Before joining Elisco, she worked at Energy BBDO in Chicago and GO Media Co. in Phoenix. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. in Communication Arts.


4 Reasons PR is Essential When Launching a New Medical Company or Product.


When launching a new medical company or product, PR is a cost-effective, powerful promotion tool. Effective PR will not only get your company or product seen and heard, but will inspire conversation; get people interested, invested, and active with your company.

A strategic PR plan will ensure that your company generates the awareness necessary for success. The PR plan will outline objectives, goals, message, tactics, audience, budget and timeline, and will produce measurable results.

Here are 4 ways PR can help launch a new medical company or product:


1.  Establish brand identity

By offering a story, you can lead the narrative about who you are, why you are here, and what purpose you serve, rather than letting the public fill in the blanks. You can position yourself the way you want to be seen, and avoid risking media portray your company in an undesirable light. You start the conversation and address possible questions before anyone has to ask.

2.  Position you as the expert

Establish a spokesperson for your company to talk with media to offer quotes and provide information. The media will then turn to your company as a trusted resource for information. You will become experts - leaders in your industry. Because consumers can be skeptical of paid advertising, your story told through trusted intermediaries will be more credible. In addition to quotes, offer other forms of expert content including video and photography.

3.  Raise awareness and increase engagement

With effective PR, people will know your company exists. When searching for information, most consumers turn to the internet. The more your company is featured online in news articles, blog posts, social media, etc., the higher your business will appear in Google search results.

A variety of content including video, infographics and photography, will increase interest and engagement, including post-sharing. 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it, and 1 in 4 consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video (source: Additionally, 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others, according to Invodo.

4.  Hiring invested, qualified employees

It is important to also market your company as an employer. Sharing news of recent hires, exceptional staff stories and accomplishments, and promoting a great company culture will attract employees who want to be a part of your team. With a positive brand image, people will want to work for you and will seek you out, meaning less time needed for job posting and expensive recruitment tactics. 


Industry Example: PR to launch new medical marijuana dispensary, Solevo Wellness™

Based on a new law called Act 16, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016, medical marijuana is protected for registered patients and their physicians. For PA medical marijuana dispensaries, developing brand image and generating awareness, while promoting the benefits of medical marijuana is very important. Because medical marijuana is new in PA, public knowledge is limited and often skewed towards stigmas. A strong brand identity, PR and community education is crucial for company success.  


Solevo Wellness is a Pittsburgh based medical marijuana dispensary opening in January 2018. It is expected to be the first dispensary opening in the greater Pittsburgh region. Elisco developed the Solevo name, logo, brand identity, sales materials, and promotional video. Through educational and hiring events, paired with media pitching, press releases and social media promotion, the Solevo Wellness brand is gaining attention. The agency continues to work with Solevo to promote their first dispensary opening in January 2018 in Pittsburgh, as well as future dispensaries in Butler County, PA and Washington County, PA.




Melanie works with a variety of clients including Solevo Wellness, Community LIFE and LIFE Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Pitt with a B.A. in Media and Professional Communication, with concentrations in Corporate/Community Relations and Digital Media.