The idea of location-based marketing is not new, but it is becoming an increasingly popular campaign strategy for brands to attract both new and loyal customers. As the use of mobile devices continue to rise and advancing technology is at all-time high, location-based marketing has become easier and more effective than ever before.
It is essential for brands to understand the different types of location-based marketing tactics, to be able to utilize them in the best and most fitting ways for their brand.
What is Location-Based Marketing?
Also referred to as geomarketing, it is any form of marketing that incorporates location intelligence to improve the odds of specific ads reaching the right consumers at the right time. As we said before, this is not a new concept, but today’s geomarketing activities are much more advanced than traditional strategies. Marketers now have the ability to engage with people when they actually need your products or services, instead of just sending out ads and hoping you can convince someone they need it or that they will keep you in mind for when they do at a later time. The idea is that it will increase your overall return on investment.
Types of Location-Based Marketing:
This refers to serving advertisements or content to consumers based on their real-time location. It uses global positioning or radio frequency identification to define the geographic boundary. Once the virtual barrier is established, the marketer can set up triggers, sending out texts, email alerts, or push notifications when a mobile device enters or exits the area.
Geofencing is a way to engage consumers based on a hyper-local location, triggering immediate sales and helping to understand the consumer mindset. There are a number of tools and technologies brands can use to set the parameters and automatically send notifications, ads, content, etc. The most prominent companies providing these capabilities are Facebook and Google. Snapchat also provides location-specific geofilters that brands can utilize to promote events or raise awareness. There are also a number of push notification providers that provide these tools as well.
Geotargeting is serving advertising and content to audiences that have visited specified locations in the past. Marketers geotarget through mobile devices because they’re always present and location gives valuable insight on the users’ environment and mindsets. Ultimately making it easier to deliver more relevant content, and hopefully increasing likelihood of sales. The central idea of geotargeting is that understanding consumers real-time or past locations, enables marketers to get as close as possible to deliver the right messages at the right time.
The goal of geo-conquesting is to attract customers away from competitors using location-based ads. These ads can be served to customers who are currently visiting the competition, or have visited them in the past. The idea behind the practice is that a consumer who is or has been at the competitor’s business is already in the market for a particular product. A competitor that can serve a compelling ad that’s close by has a good chance at attracting that business.
For example, Burger King ran a campaign using geo-conquesting tactics by offering one cent whoppers to those that had their app open when visiting a McDonald’s. To use geo-conquesting successfully, brands must be sure to have accurate location-data, but companies in the field continue to boost geo-data quality. Making the tactic easier and easier to utilize.
Similar to geofencing, this tactic uses technology such as beacons, near-field communication, or augmented reality to trigger ads, alerts, or content to smartphones, but only when they are a few feet from a specific location. This is increasingly used as a fast and easy way to make payments. Smartphones can detect close by credit card terminals, and if your card is linked to your phone, you can make a payment without digging for your wallet. Beverage companies are also starting to take advantage of this tactic with new augmented reality apps, such as Living Wine Labels. Users can scan wine labels with their phone, which then turns the label into an animated display while educating them on that particular wine.
Location-based marketing offers a variety of opportunities that can be utilized by all types of businesses because it’s very low cost, sometimes even free. Everytime you create a page for your business on a location-based service, you’re getting free advertising. The more advanced forms of location-based marketing are still very affordable, but are highly targeted, meaning you’re getting the most out of your ad dollar.
You get to better connect with loyal customers, while attracting new ones. You can allow past customers to leave reviews, getting better insight of their preferences. With check-ins you can also reward frequent customers with discounts, deals, or special offers. It also gives you a tangible way to identify who your most loyal customers are. This can show potential business that you really do value your customers, while keeping the existing ones happy. Some companies also use the tactic of offering specials to first time customers, or first time check-ins. Once you have their attention, you can hopefully turn them into repeat customers by showing them all you have to offer.
This also gives you the opportunity to convert impulses into sales and increase business during slow periods. For example, it’s raining and you sell umbrellas. You can send out ads offering deals on umbrellas to those in your geolocation, hopefully catching someone that needs one. You can also send out deals to those in the area during times of the day you don’t normally get very much business. Let’s say you’re a coffee shop near a university and you don’t get many customers from 1-4 pm. You now send texts to students within 2 miles of your business offering $1 off coffee during that time. Even though you’re offering a discount, you’re still getting more sales than before, and maybe generating loyal customers for the future.
Some consumers worry about privacy when it comes to GPS or location tracking. A critical step in utilizing location-based marketing is understanding how these audiences are created and how to ensure consumers that their privacy is protected. The data should always be aggregated and anonymized, preventing individual tracking. This is a common practice because there is no incentive to gain from building a campaign around an individual person. It’s best practice to not build audiences off of any sensitive locations, such as anything related to healthcare. Most, if not all, location-based marketing services follow and adhere to the codes of conduct from various industry groups. Marketers generally prefer to reach as many people as possible within their target market. As long as users are aware that they are opting-in to share their location, and that they can opt-out if they chose, there are generally no issues.
Location-based marketing offers unique opportunities and benefits that traditional marketing tactics cannot. Though any successful campaign will rely on multiple strategies and tactics to reach success. While data is extremely critical, content quality is equally, if not more important.
If you’re struggling to generate visibility, reach, or business in general, we can help. At Onimod Global we are experts in digital synergy, creating cross-channel digital marketing campaigns driven by machine learning analytics and human intelligence. Together ensuring your brand meets the consumer when and where they need them. Learn more about what we do here, or contact us today here.