Location-based marketing is expected to trend upward this year, and as technology makes it increasingly easier to pinpoint the location of potential customers the possibilities for digital marketing continue to grow.
Location-based technology, driven by the increase in smartphone use and the availability of mobile payments, has opened up a new slew of opportunities for digital marketers hoping to attract new customers. As marketers, it?s important to understand why our customers use location-based apps and services, and to identify ways that we can effectively reach them in ways that improve the customer experience.
Location-based services and apps are growing in popularity and therefore also in number. Identify the platforms that are being used in your community, how they are being used and by whom. Some apps may have proven to be incredibly popular in one city, but may not be used in yours.
After you have an idea of what platforms your potential customers are using, brainstorm ways that your business can utilize the technology to engage with your customers. Remember that customers expect something in return?digital badges, coupons, helpful information, or the chance to win prizes. There does not always have to be a sale or monetary value attached, but your promotion should offer some sort of reward for best results and continued engagement.
Businesses, especially those in smaller markets, may be tasked with educating their customers about the benefits of using location-based services. Make sure that all staff and management understand how your company is using location-based services, and that they are able to explain to customers how it works.
It is also essential to ensure that all frontline employees know what the current offers are and how they are to be redeemed at the checkout. This is a crucial but often overlooked step. Make it as easy as possible to redeem offers or prizes?if it is a hassle the customer probably won?t bother using the app again for your business.
The most effective location-based services all have one thing in common?they appeal to the competitive nature in all of us and encourage repeat use. Location-based apps that include multiple levels or benchmarks that are required before a reward is granted encourages repetitive use and can drive traffic to your physical business.
The idea is the same as customer loyalty cards. Use a local coffee stand as an example?they may offer a punch card for a free coffee after 11 cups, or maybe they will sell a branded refillable coffee mug that earns the user 20 percent off their coffee. These same principles can be applied to digital location-based promotions. Offer rewards or discounts for checking-in or posting about your business. Make it fun and worthwhile and participation will follow.
Local businesses can create cross-promotion campaigns with neighboring businesses using location-based marketing, and this can be a great way to gain new customers while promoting shopping locally. Consider working with non-competing businesses in your area and offer partner deals to your customers?those who shop at your store can get a discount at the neighboring store and vice versa.
Partnering with other businesses can promote the use of location-based services in your area, and it can help draw visitors to your storefront and other area businesses. It?s a win-win for everyone involved.
Location-based marketing is relatively new but can be highly effective when targeting the right audience. It may take some time to educate both your employees and customers about using location-based services, but the results and brand exposure than can result will offset the investment. Location-based marketing is very inexpensive but also very trackable. Use the results to continue to improve, making adjustments along the way.