To put it simply – location based marketing is the art of transferring consumers shared location into revenue.
Location based marketing is very effective tool, that we all most probably use every day without even thinking about it.. But we’ll get to that later.
There are many different form of location-based marketing:
- Location-based services (LBS): mobile apps such as foursquare and HotList that provide information or entertainment to users based on their location.
- Near-field communications (NFC): technology that allows two devices that are in close proximity — between two and 20 centimeters — to exchange information.
- Location-based advertising (LBA): uses tools such as GPS and geo-fencing to locate potential prospects and send them messages.
Out of the apps, Foursquare and Hotlist seems to be the most popular. Both these apps can be linked to Facebook, which is always nice! (It’ll make Facebook a bit more interesting for all of your stalkers.)
Foursquare offers users a fun way to explore their local area. The application works through a phone download. Users add the application to their phones then take it with them as they go out and do things.
HotList is another tool that can help users stay on top of where their friends have been, are and will be going. The application works by integrating Google Maps so users can get a visual on where others are. The user can see where their friends have been and discover places that they like to go. This allows the user to try new places and seek out new local attractions.
If you haven’t heard of these apps, I suggest you give them a go, you never know they might actually help you find something new.
The simplest form of LBM is going to have to be google maps. I think everyone has had that moment when you’re in an area you don’t know so well, and you are starving. The first thing you do is – Whip out the good old smart phone and type a key word like “food” or “Restaurant” into google maps. I’d suggest that all businesses register themselves on google maps, as it is honestly the first thing most of us will turn too.
Near Field Communications is one that has only recently come to the surface, due to the fact that it hasn’t been built into all smart phones (yet). I’m pretty sure all Londoners have will know how it works, as the oyster card uses exactly the same principle. For example you could have a NFC spot on the outside of a shop and hold your phone up to it, and then all the information about the shop will pop up. You could potentially even do the same with products. I think this type of technology will still take anther year before it is actually used nationally. People always seem to be a little bit hesitant with new technology, especially something like this.
Location based advertising isn’t that big in the UK, but it works on the principle that – Say you are close to a fast food reasturant, and they are have an offer – You’ll receive a message on you phone with a voucher, which would obviously entice you to go there and eat a nice discounted meal.
I think in the next year or so this type of marketing will become the way forward. Most of us will have swanky smart phones that can do supposedly everything under the sun, and we are all on them constantly. So if a business wants to target the consumer, they should target them on smart phones, as we never go without them (Well at least I don’t).