Four Ways Location-Based Marketing Will Help Your Mobile Strategy
by Carl Sandquist
posted on 07-18-2016
It’s no secret that the vast majority of consumers are carrying mobile devices in some form. It’s also not a stretch to recognize that marketers have long clued-in to this fact, having adopted both aggressive and sometimes subtle mobile-marketing strategies to capitalize on this emerging cornucopia of opportunity.
However, there’s still one fundamental property, inherent to these smart little devices, that most digital marketers have not yet been able to harness for their sheer potential. The obvious nature of a mobile device is that it doesn’t simply stay at home — it rides along with the consumer every step of the journey toward becoming a future customer. So the question is not “Why should you harness location-based data in your mobile-marketing strategy?” If anything, the real question is:
If you have the means to access and utilize this information, then why on earth wouldn’t you?
Offers Sent While Consumers Shop
On the more local side of harnessing this powerful ability, allow me to set the stage. Let’s say, for instance, that you’re shopping for the perfect pair of jeans from your favorite jean store, and something interesting happens right as you make your way inside through a particular store entrance. Your smartphone receives a notification: a storewide offer for 10 percent off. Then, immediately after snagging the perfect jeans, you start making your way toward the kids’ section. Suddenly, another notification pops up — this time with a discount on kids’ T-shirts.
What I’ve just described here is the beauty of deploying indoor beacons within retail stores. Acting in concert with the store’s app, the shopper’s position on the floor is communicated to the app via strategically placed beacons. Therefore, the smartphone’s proximity to certain designated areas within the store can easily be determined. The combination of app and beacons is extremely powerful, which is why we’ll be seeing more than a million of them showing up in stores within the next four years.
Larger Area, Smarter Analytics
One particular drawback to using beacons and Wi-Fi-triangulation devices, however, is that they require extremely insightful analytics capabilities to drive sales. Otherwise, such a method would do little more than annoy customers with invasive notifications for products they were never interested in from the start, which is a major factor that Adobe Analytics takes into consideration.
Another issue is that selling a product from within the store is only half the battle. If we’re going to take advantage of all that which is mobile in a smartphone, then GPS is the next step. GPS will offer your strategy not only the means to pinpoint locations down to about 10 meters, but also several additional pros:
- GPS provides coverage from NYC to the middle of the Mojave.
- Implementation is usually cost-effective, fast, and low-friction.
- These systems do not require the installation of additional in-store devices.
Diverse Options From the Sky
Another phenomenal benefit of GPS — above and beyond the fact that its primary hardware is already orbiting high above the planet at 8,700 mph — is that it provides you with the ability to drop a pin and draw a circle around it. This capability is known as geo-fencing, which can further empower your location-based mobile ground game in a few interesting ways.
Through your ability to also track GPS signals from your consumers’ smartphones on the surface, geo-fencing enables your app to know when these signals are crossing into (and out of) that predetermined circle surrounding your point-of-interest (POI).
Once that boundary marker has been triggered, you can capture the consumer’s attention via contextually relevant messaging. Spot-on push and in-app messaging are great ways to motivate your customers to start thinking about your company — as they just so happened to cross within 300 meters of the location. Throw in a coupon code, and you’ve just covered a lot of ground between you and the sale.
The beauty of using location-based marketing is about more than just the ability to connect with customers as they cross geo-fences, as it can also teach us something significant about the customers.
If we can actively locate a given app user on the map, while also remembering where they’ve been, location-based technology can enable us to draw some rather intuitive assumptions about the customer’s buying behaviors — and it opens the door to some very interesting possibilities for digital-marketing developers in the future.
Conclusion: An Orbital Strategy to the Mobile Consumer
If there were one truly beautiful part about adopting location-based marketing in a mobile strategy, it would have to be how location technologies and mobile devices complement one another. In which case, it’s not just marketers who win this game, but also their customers who reap the rewards of convenience and value — simply because their smartphones are aware of their surroundings.
At least by 2016 standards, this is the most effective way for just about every one of your company’s mobile device-carrying customers to find themselves, literally, in the right place at the right time.
Topics: Digital Transformation
Products: Experience Manager