Location-Based Mobile Marketing Helps You Build Relationships with Customers
Location-based marketing (LBM) has quickly emerged as one of the best forms of marketing in the world. LBM uses global positioning technology, usually linked with a smartphone, tablet, or car’s navigation system, to track where your customers are at and then offer them relevant promotions, information, etc. when they are near your store or business location. GPS is also used in widely popular programs like Foursquare, Instagram, and Scvngr.
LBM helps you target customers at the most opportune time. When customers are near your store, a friendly reminder and offer for discount is often enough to get them to come and visit your establishment.
You can also target customers based on their assumed needs given their location. For example, if you see some of your customers are at the beach, you can offer them a chance to swing by your shop for half-off ice cream cones. This helps you build relationships with customers and to specifically target their needs.
How Does LBM Work?
Perhaps the most common and one of the most effective methods is so-called geo-fencing. This method works by alerting someone who is near your store via their smartphone. Usually the alert will also contain a promotion or coupon code. This catches the customer at the right time and offers them a compelling incentive to come in and make a purchase. If you are lucky you should be able to snag them on an impulse buy.
For example, let’s assume someone is walking through the downtown of a local city, trying to decide where to have lunch. The person doesn’t have anything particular in mind and so is just casually walking down the street, checking out restaurants. Suddenly they receive a text on their phone for an offer of 15% off at Jumbo’s Eatery. This coupon ends up swaying the customer and sends them to the store.
If you want to take advantage of geo-fencing you will have to either custom create an app or see if there is an app that serves your nearby area. For example, if your store is located in a shopping mall, there is a chance that the shopping mall has its own geo-fencing program you can enroll into. And remember, if you create an app you will have to attract users and to do that you will have to promote your promotions!
Don’t Be A Spammer
Always, always, always ask for permission before sending someone GPS based advertisements. People will get annoyed if you send emails or texts without permission, but they could easily get creeped out if you start tracking their locations without permission. Also, make sure that you never lose, sell, or swap a customer’s information. For one, you can get in a lot of legal trouble. Two, if customers find out you will certainly lose business.
The best method is to offer compelling promotions that customers simply cannot resist. Then you let them opt into the program and start sending them promotions. For example, if you own a restaurant you can let customers now that the 25th person who enters your “geo fence” every Wednesday will receive a free meal.
Signing Up With the Big Boys
While one option is to create your own geo-fence, another option is to sign up with a company that tracks GPS information and sends customers the appropriate promotions and coupons. One popular example is Groupon, which will send people special offers based on their location. Another great example is Google Offers, which uses Google maps to give customers special promotions based on their location.
Building Relationships With Customers
So is offering promotions the only thing you can do with LBM? Not at all! Another great thing to use LBM for is building relationships. If you want to build relationships, send customers useful information instead of offers and promotions.
For example, if you are the member of a city council in a tourist town you could create a LBM program that visitors can download to their phone and then receive historical information, pointers, and other valuable info. This adds value without necessarily focusing on the sale. Of course, you could also work with local businesses to roll promotions into the platform, but that isn’t always necessary.