Look to the Future of Location-based Marketing
A few years ago the maximum that marketers and business owners could do to narrow down the set of their targeted audience was to target specific cities, or maybe move a step further and target specific pin codes.
However, with the massive growth in the number of smartphone users over the last few years, and the correspondingly increased scope for using technologies like GPS, the future of location-based marketing is now full of opportunities.
According to eMarketer, marketers are expected to be spending as much as 38.7 billion USD for location-based marketing by 2022.
Similarly, Factual reports that almost 9 in 10 surveyed marketers said location-based advertising and marketing resulted in higher sales for them, followed by growth in their customer base and higher customer engagement.
The statistics also look promising from the customer point of view: according to ThriveAnalytics, 70% of consumers are willing to share location info if they get value in return like deals coupons, loyalty points or other forms of rewards.
Let us look at a few reasons why location-based marketing is an integral part of the way marketing is going to evolve in the future, and a few ways you can use it to your advantage:
Sometimes, less is more
To understand the relevance of location based marketing it’s important to first understand that effective marketing that drives conversions is more of a quality than a quantity game.
Being able to target a thousand customers and achieving a hundred conversions is more attractive than targeting lakh customers and achieving ten thousand conversions despite the ratio being the same because you save up on resources and you find it easier to scale up your marketing efforts in the future with a proportionate increase in returns.
Bose, for example, instead of running generic broad campaigns used location-based marketing in an effective way.
It did so by identifying that the customers for their premium noise-cancellation headphones in India can be filtered down by their proximity to places frequented by people of a certain socio-economic class.
As a part of this marketing strategy, Bose targeted people in a 500m radius of airports, in the top 10 percentile of residential cities, and in the vicinity of five-star hotels.
These customers were then shown dynamic landing pages and banners based on their location, and the campaign proved its mettle by gaining Bose as many as 5000 clicks every day of its duration.
Better targeting, better results
Customers are constantly inundated with messages from brands that are neither useful nor relevant to them.
In addition to being completely ineffectual with regards to conversions, such useless communication can also harm the brand identity by building up its image as a spam-sender.
Location-based marketing delivers an obvious solution to this by serving a brand’s communication to the customers who are most likely to be interested in it.
As the available technology becomes more and more sophisticated, the scope keeps widening for delivering a personalized marketing experience that works out best for both the business and its customers.
Even businesses that do not have the required resources in terms of time, or human resources, or technology, are increasingly resorting to location-based marketing by working with industry leaders who have specialized experience in the field.
For example, to execute a localized campaign, Yard House provided Movable Ink with their restaurant API to access each location’s beer selection; they then determined the user’s nearest location.
Epsilon deployed the email campaign, automatically displaying the locations’ beer selection in real-time. The experience and expertise which went into executing the campaign paid more than its due by achieving a 32% YOY increase in click-through rates when compared to other beer-specific campaigns.
Furthermore, this campaign included additional targeting of guests with lapsed email interaction and it successfully re-engaged Yard House guests who otherwise would have completely fallen out of their active email audience.
The future looks promising
With marketers becoming increasingly comfortable with technologies like geofencing and iBeacon, the location based marketing future does indeed seem bright.
In layman terms, geofencing means drawing a digital parameter and enabling a software system to respond as soon as a mobile device enters or leaves this parameter.
Using geofencing marketers now have the ability to restrict (or focus) their marketing efforts to a very targeted location, for example, a competing business location.
For businesses that offer rewards to their customers for checking-in to a location, geofencing also offers the opportunity to enforce better security.
More sophisticated geofencing solutions even offer the possibility of targetting neighborhoods with house-specific granularity, thus opening up whole new avenues for personalized marketing.
Similarly, practical applications like iBeacon use Bluetooth technology for enabling applications to know the customers’ location on a micro-local scale and to then serve them hyper-contextual content based on their location.
Using location-based marketing in tandem with approaches like ‘day-parting’, i.e. time-sensitive marketing, also has a lot of potential.
A common example of this is various food-delivery apps serving customers with ads in the morning for restaurants near them which serve breakfast.
Depending on the specific needs and nature of your business you can design your overall marketing to include the aspects of location-based marketing which you think will achieve maximum impact for you.
Also, in a market saturated with competition, adopting an approach that increases the relevancy of your marketing efforts does indeed demand a fair consideration.
As the world steps into a new decade, make sure you stay on top of the game and are able to help your business successfully ride the wave of technology-oriented marketing.