We are guessing that you are most likely reading this on your mobile phone. That is because we know how much we rely on phones these days – from setting the alarm to checking your bank account balance. Marketers are in knowledge of that fact as well, and that is why they’ve pulled non-stop punches on <ADV> text messages, Facebook mobile ads, Instagram ads, Snapchat ads, mobile game ads, and now location-based ads. We’ve seen plenty of those mobile ads from before, but what is the latter – location-based advertising/marketing?
WHAT IT IS
Location-based marketing is a marketing strategy that uses the GPS to locate mobile devices at a location, thereby alerting the device’s owner about an offering from a nearby business. For example, you own a bakery at ION Orchard, and you need to get some human traffic going for the day, so you decided to launch a one-for-one promotion. The best way to get news of your promotion out is to identify shoppers in the Orchard area, send them a text or notification and tell them that…
That way, you can save on catching a wide net of audiences and filtering them out later on due to distance; it is easier to get someone at Orchard to buy your toast than someone at Jurong.
Aside to using GPS, some companies also employ the location-based marketing technique using Bluetooth (explained later in the article) for a different kind of in-store experience.
HOW TO USE
It does look like a good marketing method to use, right? But where do you start? For starters, businesses can send text messages to notify shoppers at a particular location of their latest offerings. This is similar to you receiving an <ADV> text message, except, the sender is in proximity (creepy).
Tapping on existing apps is another way to go about it. Businesses at 313 Somerset are displayed on the existing Tring 313 app – a free app for Apple and Android users – with exclusive offers and promotions uploaded every so often. Shoppers who have downloaded the app will receive notifications when they are within walking distance from the shop’s location. It will be a shopping frenzy when you shop-hop around stores with discounts!
WeChat users can also create a business account, chat up users who are around the vicinity and let them in on your business’s latest, hottest deals. Businesses can also send followers greetings on special occasions, and even create an online shop!
For example, Zalora Singapore has tapped on WeChat to create an in-app online store so that WeChat avid users can stay connected with their favourite shopping site. Users can browse through the various fashion pieces on the app and add those that they cannot say no to into the cart. Zalora is also able to notify users on the latest trend and discounts via the app. An added feature for using WeChat is that Zalora can locate consumers who are in the vicinity of their brick-and-mortar store, and entice them to visit by sending a message to notify of the latest not-to-be-missed trends.
If you are interested in enhancing shoppers’ in-store experiences instead of just engaging them with messages, try iBeacon – the Bluetooth broadcaster. iBeacon uses Bluetooth technology to send pieces of information to beacon devices that will allow its Beecon app to determine how close (or far) a phone is from each of the devices. The app then will alert its users of existing offers, or even open doors and so on.
One example of how Beecon is used in-store is when is when a zoo visitor receives a notification/image/video of say a monkey when he/she is near the enclosure.
There are other location-based marketing avenues such as Snapchat, Periscope, and more. Regardless of the channel that you choose to use, do ensure that your business’s address and contact details are stated clearly and updated on your website and Google for more accurate location pinpointing. It is also an added advantage that you explore the possibilities of having a mobile wallet so that tech savvy consumers can have a seamless shopping experience.