5 Things You Need to Know About Location Based Marketing

Thanks to smartphones and a host of location based technologies, there's a good chance someone can pinpoint your location, give or take a few feet. For Asif Khan, that's not only a good thing: It's the key to virtually endless possibilities for retailers, advertisers, digital marketers and a host of related businesses.

Location Based Marketing 101

Khan is the founder and president of the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) in Toronto, Ontario. CMSWire asked him to share the five things he thinks every digital marketer should know about location technology.

1) Location based marketing is the intersection of people, places and media:

By this, we mean it is important for digital marketers to know where their target customers are located. But location is most meaningful in relation to other events, people and things. Once marketers know the location of their customers, they should ask what media happens to be near them in that particular place. In other words, it's not just about mobile. Billboards, TV, radio … any media can be location based if we understand who is near it right now."

2) To put location in context, learn to listen:

Many businesses rely on check-ins via Foursquare or Facebook to get their location based marketing data. However, it’s important to understand more than just check-ins. Many new tools are emerging to track the full location based conversation around your property. Solutions like VenueLabs (a provider of location based monitoring, measurement, and engagement solutions) and Expion (a social software company) provide the ability to listen to the social/location conversation by combining sentiment data from Twitter and other services with the location data."

3) Mobile only marketing campaigns are not enough:

Running mobile-only location campaigns can generate poor results. The reality is that most mobile platforms just don’t provide enough reach and frequency. To solve this, we recommend that digital marketers look at their wider media plan and seek ways to add mobile location service on top of traditional media to make it more measurable and effective. Think about the ability to use mobile to determine who is standing in front of your print billboard or how to change the content on a digital screen to reflect passers-by."

4) Personalize the experience:

Many companies offer discounts when people are around a given location. But there should be a better focus around customer service and unique engagements. Your most loyal or frequent customers should not get the same deal as a one-time visitor. There is a unique opportunity for digital marketers to blend location data with customer purchase history data to create better customer experiences."

5) Get creative — and consider location based options beyond coupons:

Too often we look at location based marketing as just about coupons, offers and check-ins. Digital marketers should consider the opportunity to simply build brand affinity. Perhaps you can deliver art or music in response to a check-in at a particular location. Get creative. Think about what you have to offer that won't erode your margins, but will still be something the customer wants and will associate with a positive customer experience. Content is still king!"

Title image provided by Asif Khan.