When it comes to customer retention and engagement, advertisers and business owners are increasingly focusing on location marketing. Highlighting what’s around prospective customers allows businesses to present real-time content that is extremely relevant.
The rise of location marketing corresponds with consumer behaviour, as one-third of all mobile searches are now local and local search is growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall.
Location-based marketing is an approach that changes depending on where potential clients are located. Instead of addressing customers as one mass entity, this type of messaging marketing speaks to the particular social, cultural, and personal traits of customers by making inferences about their habits and preferences based on their location and activity. Technological advances have enabled companies to know much more about their clients’ location, which then allows them to target customers based on where they go, measure how digital ads lead foot traffic into stores, and even connect the consumer journey from ad exposure to purchase data.
For consumers, local marketing allows an effortless journey as they move between channels and devices, receiving tailored, personalized messages from businesses near them. With brands seeing up to a 20% increase in conversion when adding location to their ad data, location-based marketing is useful for capturing an end user’s attention and turning them into a customer.
From straightforward local advertising to more complex location detection through GPS and triangulation technology, location-based marketing can be used to:
- Display a coupon or message to a mobile device
- Present local ads to a user visiting a website from a certain location
- Provide detailed product information when someone is standing in front of the product
- Make it simple to find nearby things such as restaurants, stores, or ATMs
- Administrate events, meetups, and social opportunities based on geo-targeting
- Share location-based information with others on a social platform
- Award incentives for location-based activities such as checking in on Facebook
Geo-targeting refers to detecting a user’s location and presenting them with messages based on that location. These communications could be in the form of ads, emails, or push notifications, and are usually based on IP addresses. Geo-targeted messages are usually delivered through text message or push notifications, or might pop up when you open a particular app or social media site. The biggest advantage of geo-targeting is that it enhances personalization.
Geo-targeted content can be joined with data about consumer’s preferences and activity to really focus on specific people, and also exclude people that you don’t want to target.
Geo-fencing refers to the use of a virtual “fence” – a designated area that a marketer creates. Where geo-target enables you to include or exclude certain users in the target area, geo-fencing enables you to capture all customers who move into a certain area. The goal of creating a geo-fence is to target communications using GPS technology in a given zone. For example, retailers who want to draw in shoppers as they pass by their store might use geo-fenced ads within a 1 mile radius of the store.
Beacons are tiny physical objects that can be placed in stores. Beacons detect consumers’ devices as they move into their range. Unlike geo-fences, beacons themselves don’t send actual content.
Beacons are often known as BLEs, for Bluetooth Low Energy. The low-energy component refers to the batteries in the beacon that last for a very long time. The Bluetooth component means that beacons can function well for marketing even in areas with no accessible WIFI or irregular cell service. Bluetooth technology is cost-efficient and easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone but requires the users to have Bluetooth turned on. Beacons work like little stationary computers that react when a device moves near it, which triggers a ping that then works to communicate with that device.
Beacon technology is highly specific, down to the point where it can tell when customers in the retail space go upstairs or downstairs or enter a certain aisle. Bluetooth technology is less costly than GPS and Wi-Fi. However, while Bluetooth makes beacons praiseworthy, many people turn off their Bluetooth when they’re out and about.
All of the available location-based marketing strategies provide brands with opportunities to serve highly localized, highly relevant messages to potential customers based on where they are right now. Location-based advertising allows businesses to advertise, communicate, and stay competitive in their local communities.