When was the last time you were in a public place and didn’t see someone with their smartphone– texting, accessing a mobile app, playing games or browsing the internet? As mobile devices have eclipsed PC sales, consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to search for and buy anything, anytime, anywhere. This shift has presented exciting opportunities for businesses and brands to tap into the power of location-based marketing, using customers’ real-world location to reach them when it is most relevant.
Location-based marketing defined
Location-based marketing is a marketing strategy that changes depending on where potential customers are located. Location-based marketing can help you run promotions for your business that can get customers and prospects in the door. Additionally, you can keep local consumers updated on special offers, deals, etc.
The most popular location-based marketing platforms are geo-targeting, geo-fencing and beacons.
Geo-fencing: Geo-fencing is a virtual fence around a specific geographic area. Establishing a geo-fence and connecting it to a smartphone or tablet via your business’s mobile app lets you know when a customer has entered into or left the defined geo-fenced area. This information, for most businesses, is used to trigger a push notification to the customer.
Geo-targeting: This is the practice of customizing an ad for a product or service to a specific market based on the geographical location of potential buyers. Every state, country, city or area in the world can constitute a niche market for certain products and services.
Beacons: A beacon is a new technology designed to drive customer loyalty and in-store sales. Beaconsare mounted throughout a location and work via Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE). Once a beacon is set up, mobile devices with your app and a notification program that has been opted into will pick up the Bluetooth LE signal when in their vicinity and a push notification can be sent directly to the device with a message. More often than not, one beacon is required for every 5000 square feet of force space.
How to maximize your location-based marketing
Location-based marketing opens the door for new opportunities today, especially when done right. If it is done wrong, your consumers will surely not love you. Customers want a smooth journey as they move between devices and channels. They want personalization; and they want an experience that improves their day-to-day life. Here are the few ways your business or brand can maximize the returns from your location-based marketing:
Do not be creepy; be cool
Customer privacy is a major concern when it comes to location-based advertising or targeting, which oftentimes make businesses unwilling to make use of these tactics. When done right, however, and with the permission of the customer, geo-marketing can provide meaningful connections to customers in the mobile moments that matter most.
What is the solution to this problem? Give consumers control. As a retailer, you can allow customers to opt-in to push notifications. Let them choose how and where to receive notifications or messages. Be mindful of how frequently you send push notifications to your customers. Bombarding them with too many notifications or invading their privacy is a wrong way to go about this type of marketing technique. At the end of the day, it will likely result in turning existing and potential customers off your business.
The more you learn about the desires of your customers and how they would like to use the location-based technology to enhance their shopping experience, the better your business will be able to offer content that drives loyalty and trust. Make the content timely and appropriate to your customers’ location.
Location-based mobile apps
After the overwhelming success of business websites, now it is the time to pay attention to something more innovative to market your business – mobile apps. Since the world is going mobile, you do not want to be left behind, right? When you launch a mobile app for your brand, it conveys that your business is a tech-savvy. It also shows you know how to harness technology.
Android or iOS mobile apps can provide a plethora of opportunities for retailers and customers alike. Location-based mobile apps can help shoppers find a lot of deals in their local areas.
Update your blog with location-specific information
Your blog is an important part of your business because it contains the content that changes regularly. Search engines like Google sees these changes in your blog and boosts you higher in search engine results. To really maximize your blog, however, it is of utmost importance to include location-based content that will reach your customers when they search for your products/services.
To succeed in location-based marketing, retailers should use location to deliver value to their customers. Location-based engagement refers to as any action a business takes to interact or connect with customer based on their specific location. By delivering value, you will be able to engage with consumers in exciting new ways and win their loyalty every time they shop.
Rewarding task completion
Mobile apps enable businesses to expand loyalty and recognition schemes by rewarding task completion – not just purchasing. You can encourage customers to check-in to your store in return for loyalty points or gifts. In addition, encourage customer to post reviews, especially if they are loyal to your store. According to research, customers trust other customers’ feedback.
Do not forget to include a call to action
One of the main keys to location-based marketing is to ask for the sale. A solid call to action will encourage your potential buyers to make a purchase or contact you. So do not leave it out.
While many business owners may still be trying to figure out how location-based marketing fits into their marketing models, those that tap into this new and evolving marketing strategy will gain a competitive advantage, especially when it comes to their in-store success. Campaigns delivered through mobile apps and based on customers’ location add relevancy to real-time communication for an exceptionally powerful combination.