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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022 12:53

Capture the Keys Uses Geofencing to Find Customers in the Right Place at the Right Time

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Owner Thomas Zoebelein created Capture the Keys at Stratosphere Studio in Bel Air, MD, to help auto body shops to find viable leads through geofencing. Owner Thomas Zoebelein created Capture the Keys at Stratosphere Studio in Bel Air, MD, to help auto body shops to find viable leads through geofencing.

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Thomas Zoebelein, owner of Stratosphere Studio in Bel Air, MD, creates marketing concepts for auto body shops well-known for pushing the envelope.

His latest product is Capture the Keys, a software product that can target and pinpoint potential customers who have physically visited competing shops. It’s totally legal and ethical, and has been highly effective in gathering viable leads for Zoebelein’s shop customers since he unveiled it in 2020.

 

Stratosphere Studio has evolved with the collision repair industry since it opened its doors in 2011.

 

“Back then, we were doing primarily digital marketing for body shops---websites, blog content, email marketing and some consumer advertising, and it worked very well for a while," Zoebelein said. "We found out about geofencing back when it was new, and thought, wow, this is the perfect thing for body shops because you can actually target people that are walking into a facility. I realized that geofencing was the solution, as long as it’s used strategically employed the right way."

 

The biggest question is how to find that customer immediately after they get into an accident.

 

“Collision repair marketing is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle,” Zoebelein said. “You have to know when the lightning is going to strike in order to be able to put your lid on the jar, right? So, with geofencing we know if somebody's walking into a competitor's location and they’re not a vendor or an employee, they're in the market.”

 

I could write 5,000 words to describe how geofencing works, but Zoebelein can do it in less than 60.

 

“In short, geofencing enables a user to capture any device’s ID's and Mobile Ad ID's (MAIDs) for any device that enters a fenced zone," he said. "Then we can serve ads into the app’s websites and social media feeds of that device. You can also track that back to the activity that the device does after it has been served an ad, such as counting it as a walk-in.”  

 

Once Zoebelein saw the potential benefits for using geofencing, he began telling his shop customers about it in 2019---but without luck, at least initially.

 

“It fell on deaf ears at first,” he said. “Nobody was really ready to jump in on the technology at that time. So then when COVID happened, people were starting to hear a little bit about geofencing for shops. One of my shop customers called me and said...


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