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Location-based marketing essentials

Apr 24, 2018
Location-based marketing essentials

As the numbers of smartphone users continue to rise and the availability of 4G and free-access Wi-Fi become staples of public spaces, location-based marketing has quickly become popular with marketers. Allowing brands to connect with potential customers anywhere and everywhere, to influence decisions made in-store and send location-based notifications, the trend has allowed for more constant engagement and targeted conversions.

As technology enabling location-based marketing continues to develop and increase in sophistication, the opportunities for creating a nuanced, carefully-crafted campaign continue to grow. Here are a few tips for harnessing the power of location-based marketing for your next strategy move.

Partner with location apps for maximum exposure, at minimum cost

With so many technology trends demanding attention, marketers could be forgiven for their reluctance to buy in to every development that comes around. While of course location-based marketing can offer more opportunities for some brands than others, it could prove useful for a wider pool of organisations than currently tap in to it. For many, hesitation comes from a lack of finances or a skills gaps among your team members, but these problems can be sidestepped by partnering with location apps which could offer a platform on which to advertise. 

According to Econsultancy, ‘location-based advertising can be a powerful tool for businesses with storefronts and [recently] brick and mortar SMEs gained a potentially significant new location-based advertising tool’ – Waze. Econsultancy explained that Waze, a popular mapping app owned by Google, has just ‘announced the launch of Waze Local, a new offering that allows SMEs to advertise to drivers as they're on the go.’

Waze Local will offer three key features that are valuable for marketers:

- Branded Pins, which highlight an advertiser's storefront on a map.

- Promoted Search, in which advertisers can ensure their business appears at the top of Waze location search results.

- Zero-Speed Takeovers which act as ‘digital billboards’ that cover the top third of the Waze app's screen when drivers are stationary.

Factoring in user’s history and their proximity to the advertiser's location, the beta testing version of the feature proved highly valuable for many SMEs who previously couldn’t afford the high daily price tag needed to advertise on the platform. After conducting a study of those brands involved in the beta, Waze found that ‘1,400 businesses saw on average a 20% lift in navigations by advertising using Waze Local.’ If this can be converted into sales, the app could hold huge promise for marketers looking to buy-in to location-based marketing, without developing their own technology or spending large sums of money.

Understand your audiences’ movements

There is little doubt that the constant use of smartphones and our incessant connection to the internet has meant that, with almost certainty, tech companies and service providers know our location and movement habits. While this is a disconcerting idea for some, for others it has provided convenience and made their daily life easier, faster and more efficient.

This mapping of customer’s movement has also led to a mapping of their consumption habits, so a triangulation of all this data means that an organisation’s location-based marketing can be highly nuanced. For Marketing Land, this high level of data should be reflected in the timing and placement of your advert in order to maximise exposure and ensure a seamless experience for your customers.

Pointing to outdoor clothing company REI as an example, Marketing Land explains how the brand was able to use its customer data to determine “high propensity areas”, meaning ‘where REI customers and prospects (essentially lookalikes) were likely to be throughout the day.’ Using Digital Out Of Home (OOH), REI was able to ensure ‘placements and ad exposures move[d] during the day to reach the intended audience, based on location data and historical movement patterns.’

All this means that a group of potential customers can be targeted at one location in the morning and another location in the afternoon, thereby maximising the chances of engagement or action as a result of the ad placement. In our increasingly hectic and on-the-go lives, this differentiation could be the difference between making a conversion and not, so exploring ways in which your location-based marketing can be tailored to your audience’s movements in an endeavour worth undertaking to drive sales.

By mastering these location-based essentials, it is possible to build a strong foundation on which to build future mobile and OOH strategies. Staying on top of the latest technology developments and app features if a must if you’re going to get the most out of your strategy today and in the future.


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