With the advent of mobile devices and other location based services, directing consumers to nearby physical locations is becoming more and more sophisticated. Location based services or LSB, as they are commonly referred to as, is an age old concept that has been around since the arrival of first business phone books or yellow pages. However, the technology used is rather new and this factor has changed the face of location-based marketing. This form of marketing calls for various business tactics – from advertising on local papers, radio stations, channels and billboard advertising to using location detection services like GPS and triangulation technology.
Location-based marketing can be used for various purposes, such as:
Yu can use LSB for displaying local ads, directing visitor to a specific location.
For delivering discounts, coupons and promotional messages to the mobile phone of the customers.
Retailers often use location-base services to offer customer incentives for specific location.
LSB can also deliver detailed information of a product when the customer is standing in front of it.
Based on your physical location, this service can provide details about meet-up, event and social opportunities.
LSB also makes it easy to find a location.
You can share location-based information in social network platforms with LSB.
In general, there are four types of location-based marketing tricks, allowing businesses to deliver promotional messages relevant to a specific location.
The first and the most common tactics is detecting your customers’ location. These days, most of the mobile devices come with GPS or triangulation technology. This allows to send them location-based promotional messages and coupons to direct them to a nearby business location. Similarly, you can use this technology to detect a more general location of your customers when they log on to local Internet connection using laptops or computers.
You can now send instant messages with discount coupon codes to your customers based on their current physical location, thanks to the GPS or triangulation technology. However, you will need your customers email addresses and mobile numbers to take advantage of this technology. Also, your customers should opt-in for such location-based services.
Another practice of location-based marketing involves requesting your customers address, city, state, zip code, and other location information when they visit or sign up with your website. You may even gather such information when they interact with a search engine. One of the simplest ways is to ask them to select their location from a drop-down list or a map. You may even ask the zip code of your customer to display available offers, contact information and maps of nearest location. Most of the deal sites use this location-based marketing practice to display local deals.
The third location-based marketing trick is quite common and almost all businesses with online presence use this tactics to optimize their site for local searches. When a potential customer use location-dependent search terms, you can infer their location. For example, if a potential customer is using a search term like “Beauty Services in Brooklyn”, you can easily infer their location information and use it for your advantage. You may also use the customer database to inter their location information. This again, is commonly used in daily deals sites where the visitors need to provide their location information the first time they visit the site; the website will show location-relevant deals on their every repeat visit.
Location-based marketing is also used to invite interaction. Yu need to place interactive messages at some points-of-interest and enable the interaction with Bluetooth, scanable barcodes and specific keywords. Retails store customers often use this service through their mobile phones. All they need to do is text the keyword listed on a particular product or display and they will receive a mobile website link, showing the current local incentives on the featured product.
All these location-based marketing tricks are used to deliver relevant and valuable marketing messages to your customers. However, the type of such marketing tactics that may work for you will depend upon your business strategy as well as on customers’ purchase behaviors. Also, remember, proximity is not always a purchase intent indication. You need to differentiate between impulsive shoppers and people who are only researching to deliver a call-to-action message to impulsive shoppers and product detail message to researching shoppers.
Invasive location-based marketing practice needs a permission-based strategy. This is where you need to encourage your customers to sign up for opt-in services so that they can receive location-based promotional messages. This way, you won’t be annoying the customers when they are passively in the vicinity of any buying opportunity. Also, try to include opt-in messaging services even if you are responding to a customer-initiated activity.
Location-based marketing is gradually becoming one of the top trends, due to its potential to improve the communication and ways of advertisements for small businesses. Thus, allowing them to stay in competition within the local market. Even Forrester Research published in one of their recent studies that 42 percent of total retail sales (in-store sales) was influenced by online research and websites in 2009. And the number is likely to reach 53 percent of total retail sales by 2014. This study shows the huge potential for local businesses to drive more number of customers to their physical locations.
Infographic: Geosocial and Location-Based User Adoption – Infographics
Source – MarketingTechBlog