Location-based marketing has received great impetus from new technologies such as beacons, Geo-maps, GPS, sensors, etc. Marketers worldwide are picking on this trend in a wild frenzy and even technology developers are perpetrating its uses with equal enthusiasm. The data generated via this location marking devices and technologies is being interpreted and put to a multitude of use to minutely peek into user preferences and ascertain their demands. Its impact can already be felt in the way offers are being designed and customers are being sent bespoke offers and notifications based on their preferences.
Hyperlocalizing in a global market
When a multinational company formerly entered a new market, a detailed study had to be made on the local culture and preferences to design marketing strategies. With location-based marketing, marketers can hyperlocalize marketing strategies and create marketing plans that are highly centralized to the customers’ preferences within their Geo-location. Foursquare and Gowalla offer database with a list of more than 55 million places around the world and serves as the location layer on apps such as Instagram is much sought by major businesses. It has a list of venue names and addresses that are used to mark check-ins. Based on this data, offers can be customized and targets can be identified. The basis of this database might appear elementary on the face of it, but its applications are wide-ranging as it gives deep insights to information that very few can be privy to.
Predominant use of Location-Based Marketing
Many new applications of location-based marketing are being contrived as technology is evolving, currently; there are some predominant areas where the technology is being used.
- Omni-channel retailing
At the annual shareholders meeting, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon stated that retailers must stop viewing digital and physical retail as two separate things, as both are modes for the customer to shop. Irrespective of what channel they opt for, the customer is shopping from the brand. Access to user location enables retailers to give a uniform experience across the different channels, be it in stores, on their mobile devices, at homes, or pick-up point.
- Location-based profiling
Mobile companies are using location-based profiling to create offers and lucrative deals on roaming facilities for users. Geo-fencing is used to trigger alerts when the device leaves a pre-defined location. The technology is not yet fully perfected as customers often complain of repeated calls with roaming offers that are sometimes irrelevant or outdated. This may be a cue for better documenting and data utilization amongst the company’s sales team.
- Programmatic Media campaign
Integration of maps in applications, tools for identifying target people shopping in the vicinity using real-time data and sending messages that will get quick reactions are all examples of location-specific campaigning. Programmatic media campaigns use network sensors for sending personalized messages to individual customers or targets.
- Online-to-offline marketing
97% of the sales happens offline and online data helps in creating offers that are customized to target individual customers. Data captured on the store through loyalty programs, credit card swipes, and at checkout counters enables marketers to study the preferences in real-time and respond quickly for instant conversion.
Geo-data Use and Misuse
The high level of customization to give a personalized experience to individual customers comes to price- privacy. It is predicted that in future personal data will become a leading currency online and as internet users become aware of the value of their personal data, they will be willing to offer it to the highest bidder. Privacy issues are already recognized by technology service providers, Google’s Penalty Checker and Panda updates weed out plagiarized or promotional data. The latest Marshmallow update gives users greater control on what terms and conditions they will agree to.
It is already a norm for websites and web applications to inquire whether the user would like to share their location data. A news report by New York Times warns consumers about the potential dangers of Geo tagging, especially since the details of the user’s residence and the locations they frequent becomes visible.
From the marketer’s perspective, privacy issues may come as a hindrance, as greater transparency means greater regulations. However, as the choice will lie in the hands of the customers, they will more likely be willing to share their location data if they find it convenient or essential.
About the Author:
Vaishnavi Agrawal loves pursuing excellence through writing and have a passion for technology. She has successfully managed and run personal technology magazines and websites. She currently writes for intellipaat.com, a global training company that provides e-learning and professional certification training. She is based out of Bangalore and has an experience of 5 years in the field of content writing and blogging. Her work has been published on various sites related to Big Data Online Training, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, IT, SAP, Project Management and more.
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