Five Tips for Getting the Most Out of Location-based Marketing

January 9, 2014

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Thanks to the rise of the mobile consumer, location-based marketing has taken off as a way to target consumers when they are in a position to enter a store. With any marketing method, a company is likely to have varied success depending on how it uses the method to improve the customer experience. To ensure your location-based campaign is a success, remember these five tips:

1. Have a 360 Degree View

Brands have been using geofencing for several years now to send an offer to all who happen to walk within a certain area. The problem with this approach is most customers are unlikely to change their plans and walk into a store unless the offer is compelling enough, that is, a huge bargain or specifically tailored to them.

Since businesses can’t afford to continually heavily discount merchandise, they should instead seek to achieve a 360 degree view of the consumer through big data. Big data tools, such as Hadoop, allow business owners to capture and analyze multi-structured data, such as conversations on Twitter or click stream data. By using this kind of data, businesses can create a profile of a consumer, such as their age, gender and interests, to create a highly targeted offer when that person hits a geofence.

2. Be Responsive

Many businesses rely on check-ins on FourSquare or Facebook to get their location-based marketing data. However, it’s important to remember that these sites should be used as an opportunity to build a relationship with the customer, not just for sending offers and advertising. Notice the customers that check in regularly or write a good review of your product, and be sure to engage with them and thank them. Be sure to answer questions, as well. Customers want to know that they, not just their wallets, are important to you.

3. Be Convenient and Useful

To stand out from all of the other companies sending out messages and advertising, your business needs to provide real value to the consumer. This means going beyond advertising and offering an additional service, such as insider tips on landmarks to see around a city or information on the nearest subway station. Another method is to try to upsell the consumer when they are already inside the door, such as a discount for a hotel room upgrade. Sending an offer like that when the guest is already planning on staying with you feels like a nice gesture rather than an advertisement.

4. Use Rewards

One way to engage the customer in the marketing process is to offer a reward after a certain action is completed. This may be checking in, liking the company on Facebook or simply walking into one of the stores. For example, Shopkick, a mobile shopping app, works with retailers like Target to offer rewards via indoor positioning. Users win awards by entering a participating store or by scanning products in the store or making purchases. This way offers are only given to those who have shown interest in the company and who are most likely to act on it.

5. Augment the Customer Experience

Finally, take advantage of your mobile apps to augment the customer experience. Boston Children’s Hospital does this well with its MyWay app, which gives visitors turn-by-turn directions to help them find their way around the hospital’s huge campus. The app also helps visitors find restaurants, hotels and other services nearby.

As businesses employ these methods, remember that the two most important things to the consumer are that you are providing value and respecting their privacy. Opt-out options and strict privacy policies will help to allay concerns and build trust with the consumer as you implement your location-based campaign.


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