6 Winning Strategies for Location-based Marketing
What's location-based marketing?📌🛍
Before exploring the magic world of location-based marketing, and illustrating to you some of its winning strategies and benefits, I’d like to talk a little bit about geolocation. First of all, it’s useful to understand what geolocation is, and how it can be exploited because it’s at the core of location-based marketing. Basically, geolocation is a digital technology that tracks devices’ location, collecting location data through various tools like IP address, GPS, and Bluetooth. I guess you already know that geolocation is at the basis of navigation apps, but it’s also used for other purposes like marketing campaigns, where it’s gaining a lot of popularity.
Location-based marketing: an overview
Here we are with location-based marketing! Also called geolocation marketing, it refers to those marketing strategies based on tracking devices’ location, and collecting users’ location data with the purpose of reaching them with customized messages. Leveraging geolocation gives marketers a chance to segment their user base * and target it with engaging push notifications and in-app messages, leading to enhanced user experience, as well as increased retention and conversion rates.
Exploiting users' location is the key to your business success
I hope you’re not still wondering why users’ location is so important!
I’ll make it simple. By finding out where users are at a specific time of the day and what they’re doing, companies can try to engage them with special offers, discount codes, gift cards, and the like to prompt them to enter their stores, take part in fantastic events, pay for their services, buy their products, and so on. Push notifications are a really effective communication channel for these purposes. Here you’ll find lots of examples for many different situations!
As, nowadays, people are constantly on the go with their mobile phone always at hand, you should exploit their ever-changing position and combine it with users’ interests, past behavior, and needs to create personalized messages that grab users’ attention, meet their needs, and solve their problems.
Do you want to know a secret? Location-based marketing is able to reach users at the right time and with the right offer. What are you waiting for? Read on if you want to know more about the specific marketing strategies you can implement to boost sales!
6 successful location-based marketing strategies 🎉💰
Are you ready to discover location-based marketing’s full potential? It’s so powerful because marketers can send messages based on user devices’ location, adopting different strategies. Now, we’ll explore together 6 successful location-based marketing strategies through which you can target users with customized content.
Geo-targeting means reaching users and potential customers with personalized messages after having created user segments based on their location data. Geo-targeting is useful because it allows marketers to segment users based not only on their devices’ location, but also on users’ particular interests, past behavior, needs, and demographic data. This way, you’ll target specific user segments, matching the specific features you’ve selected, so your messages will be more likely to grab users’ attention and engage them.
Geo-targeting is a technology that collects location data through IP addresses. As this tool isn’t so accurate, it’s not suitable to reach specific city areas or neighborhoods. Indeed, geo-targeting achieves better results when it’s exploited to target larger areas like cities or countries.
Geo-targeting: an example
Did you know that one of the most popular social media tracks users’ location to send them ads? Indeed, Facebook has been leveraging geo-targeting to send users customized ads, promoting companies, restaurants, shops, or any other kind of business located in users’ town or country.
2. Geo-fencing 🗺📌
We could consider geo-fencing as the more modern version, a sort of evolution, of geo-targeting. Even though people may end up with mixing up these words, they do make reference to two different technologies with distinct features that can be exploited for different purposes. Indeed, geo-fencing identifies users’ location through their devices’ GPS and is more precise compared to geo-targeting, which uses IP addresses.
Geo-fencing is used to segment and target all those users who are located within a given geo-fence (a defined virtual space), which may be a rather small area like a neighborhood or even a specific street. Plus, this technology enables marketers to track users’ location while they’re moving around the city, giving them a chance to send personalized messages to potential customers, prompting them to enter a store, a restaurant, and the like. Geo-fencing is rarely used to reach users within an entire city because it’d be less effective.
Geo-fencing: an example
Wanna know how you could use geo-fencing in practice? You could send push notifications including special offers, discounts, or freebies to entice people to come in your shop. You could even use geo-fencing to promote events that’ll be hosted near some users. I recommend you target users who pass near your shop (or whatever your business is) or are located within a radius of 30 km around it. For example, Sephora has been leveraging geo-fencing to reach users through push notifications, spurring them to enter its shop when passing by. This way, Sephora has enhanced user engagement with its app, and increased the likelihood that people buy its products.
Can’t begin? Read this article to exploit push notifications’ power!
3. Geo-conquesting 😈🤑
Unlike geo-fencing that targets users when they’re near your store, geo-conquesting targets users who are located near your competitors’ stores. You can basically create geo-fences around your competitors’ location, so that users receive your push notifications with special discounts when they pass by your competitors. This way, users will be prompted to change their minds and drop into your store. Interesting, uh?
Geo-conquesting: an example
Dunkin’ Donuts adopted this “unfair” marketing practice to steal customers from Starbucks through discounts. They decided to reach those users who liked Dunkin’ Donuts, but bought Starbucks’ products because they passed near its shops while commuting. Offering customers a little discount code was an effective strategy to encourage them to choose Dunkin’ Donuts instead.
Beacons are small technological devices that collect location data via Bluetooth. As they can be installed inside shops, they help owners provide customers with an enhanced user experience by sending them personalized messages based on their specific location in the shop.
Beacons are particularly suitable for use inside shops, where phone signal is poor, because they work on Bluetooth connection. However, as they’re precisely based on Bluetooth connection, they can only send messages to users who have their Bluetooth turned on. And this is a big disadvantage for shop owners because not everyone will be engaged with custom messages, including for example a special offer, a discount, a gift card, etc.
In a nutshell, if users have their Bluetooth turned off, you’ll have fewer opportunities to prompt them to buy from you. Another drawback is that installing beacons outside your shop, i.e. in a public area, may cause trouble because you need to find the right place, and in turn, they need maintenance work and to be constantly checked to make sure they’re working well.
Beacons: an example
Macy’s managed to adopt a really successful location-based marketing strategy exploiting beacons. Indeed, the department store chain installed beacons in all its points of sale throughout the USA, providing an enhanced shopping experience by promoting discounts and special offers to customers based on their movements inside the stores. Plus, Macy’s was also able to overcome the problem of switched off Bluetooth connection by prompting people to turn it on as they entered the store and download the app to enjoy promotions and special offers. Macy’s also recorded a tutorial video to show customers how the beacons’ technology works. Through this strategy, the store chain fostered customer engagement and sales rates.
And what if you sent users a personalized in-app message while they’re walking around your shop? I guess this article may help you with this!
5. Geolocation for weather-based marketing 🏖 🏔
Weather represents a key factor in marketing and also location-based marketing, which can exploit weather conditions and seasonal changes to promote suitable products to potential customers. As the weather and the environment we live in influence our needs and wants, companies have learnt how to leverage these factors to send users customized messages. For example, when winter is coming, you’ll likely see and/or receive warm clothes ads and promotions, special deals for a weekend in the mountains, discounts on hot chocolate, and the like. I bet that you won’t get this kind of promotional messages in summer! Otherwise, it’d be a really bad marketing strategy.
Geolocation for weather-based marketing: an example
In 2013, Pantene used geolocation for weather-based marketing to counter the problem of decreasing sales and shrinking market share. They built a partnership with a weather forecast channel and ran an ad campaign aiming at improving hair quality in relation to weather conditions. For example, Pantene created ad-hoc ads together with special offers to be displayed on websites that forecasted hot or humid weather. They also gave directions to customers to the nearest shop based on their location.
6. Geolocation for future customer behavior 👦👧
Location-based marketing is extremely useful because it serves a twofold purpose:
- people’s current location can be leveraged to send them personalized messages based on their location and interests;
- by keeping track of people’s historical location data, behavior, and actions, marketers can more efficiently reach users with customized messages. This way, companies are also able to predict users’ future actions and send them messages at the right time.
It’s actually possible to integrate this twofold purpose into a single comprehensive strategy, which is the result of the combination of users’ location with data on their changing behavior, needs, and wants that are acquired over time. Companies need to take all these factors into account to segment their audience and target them with suitable messages and promotions.
Location-based marketing = a revolutionizing strategy
Today we’re increasingly strengthening the link with our mobile devices, which help us perform several multiple activities. We always bring them with us everywhere and at any time. That’s also why companies have been exploiting their crucial role in their marketing strategies. Indeed, mobile phones allow marketers to send push notifications, in-app messages, and e-mails to users and also display ads on WebPages and apps in order to further engage users and convert them into customers. Location-based marketing gives companies a chance to streamline their strategy, target people with even more personalized messages, and offer an enhanced user experience.
The secret is to reach people when they’re on the move, sending them targeted messages based also on their specific location, and trying to entice them with interesting content and special offers. However, be careful and avoid bothering users with useless and generic messages that neglect users’ behavior, interests, and location. You should create outstanding and relevant messages as well as find the right balance in order to not annoy users. Your goal is exactly the opposite! Remember that you should focus on providing people with a unique and enhanced user and shopping experience.
The role of user segmentation in location-based marketing
User segmentation is another important thing you should bear in mind. Indeed, your location-based marketing will be more likely to be successful if it’s combined with user segmentation and precise data on users’ life cycle stage, behavior, and interests. Read this article if you want to know more about user’s life cycle! Let’s take the case of a department store that has a really wide range of products including, for example, clothing, make-up, accessories, houseware, and gardening tools. This store chain app could send push notifications to users based on their location to spur them to enter the shop. The messages should be tailored to each user’s specific needs, interests, and past shopping behavior. Push notifications can be really powerful when they include deep links leading customers to conversion points like their shopping cart or a product page.
In the end, I’d like to give you another tip: prompt users to enable location data tracking in order to get more precise information on their location, which is necessary for geo-fencing for example. I suggest you send an in-app message to users illustrating them the benefits of opting in location service for their app experience. After this message, the standard system prompt could be displayed. This is a great strategy to spur users to enable location service!