When you’re a kid on a family road trip, watching for the approaching billboard signs provides joyful entertainment, and builds anticipation for potential adventures once you reach your destination. Only five miles until McDonald’s, can we stop there for lunch? Oh, there are tigers at the zoo. Look, they have a water park. And frequently, on the other side of the highway there are a few signs saying “come back soon.”
These roadside billboards serve as a great example of location-based marketing — they reach anyone who passes that specific location. One thing those billboards don’t provide is data. How many people who saw the sign actually visited the location?
Today’s technology, paired with consumers’ dependence on smartphones, have brought location-based marketing to new levels.
What is location-based marketing?
Location-based marketing allows you to get a digital snapshot of every person who passes through a specific location, either in real time or in a recent time period that has already passed. The physical location you target can vary based on your goals. It could be your store. It could be a competitor’s store. It could be the event center down the street.
But regardless of the targeted marketing campaigns you deliver to the individuals who visit those locations, the data you receive on customer behavior is a gold mine for marketers in itself — the data can help you fine-tune your buyer personas. Based on that data, your business can deliver ads on the websites and apps that your potential customers are visiting on their smartphones.
Let’s break it down.
Who is targeted in location-based marketing?
Location-based marketing targets anyone with a smartphone with location services enabled on various apps. Marketers currently can’t track the minority of customers who don’t use smartphones. And the smartphone users who turn off location services can also fly under the radar. Location-based marketing allows you to follow the digital breadcrumbs into the where and when of your customers’ habits, and to connect with customers by sending the right message at the right time.
How does location-based marketing work?
Geofencing technology builds a virtual fence around a designated geographic area. You set the specific location or locations, and you set the date range from a single day, series of days or longer lookback. Using the lookback data, you could:
- target customers who visited your store in the last three months to share news of a new product launch.
- target customers who visited other downtown restaurants during dinner hours to promote your own dinner menu or dinner specials.
Using real-time geofencing, you could:
- Target anyone attending a community concert to remind them you have a late-night happy hour.
Is location-based marketing right for you?
Today’s marketing strategy is all about the data — the more data available to you, the better you can refine your marketing strategy. Location-based marketing follows customers’ footprints to help you find your target audience. And location-based marketing shares that tracking information with you to give you a deeper insight into customer demographics (age, income, ZIP code, etc.) and behaviors (device viewing habits).
Our knowledgeable Swift Local Solutions marketing professionals can guide you through a location-based marketing initiative. Contact us to learn more.