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In this post I take a look at the opportunity location marketing presents, provide some ideas on the types of campaigns you can send and show just how easy it I to get started.
A recent report by Deloitte showed that mobile influenced 5.1% of in store sales in the US, accounting for $159bn in forecasted sales for the whole of 2012, way over the $12bn forecast for mCommerce.
Radio Shack has noted that Foursquare users spend 350% more in store than non-users and a pet food brand in the US saw a 14% uplift in sales after using Foursquare to promote free dog food for every unique check-in.
Additionally there are 200 million people sharing location on Facebook, Foursquare is adding 1 million users a month and the recent report by Jiwire shows that 62% of us are willing to share our location.
So the potential for location marketing is huge and as you can started for free, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t get involved.
In a nutshell, it is sending a communication to an individual based on a check-in, via a location-based sharing app (e.g. Foursquare or Facebook Places) on a smartphone. When a consumer visits a restaurant or a store, they’ll open Foursquare or Facebook Places, which then locates where they are based on the GPS on their phone, then they select the venue where they are located and share that with their social network. This is a “check-in.”
In addition to providing users a unique social outlet, checking-in offers customers with several notable benefits:
For marketers location based marketing offers a unique touch point with customers, as well as a range of other benefits:
All of this means that marketers now have an effective method to send highly relevant campaigns, based on immediate consumer actions (and we know how critical timing can be). These campaigns can also be influenced by your offline channels as you can incentivise check-ins through promotions in your physical store.
A check-in can be used to trigger an email to the individual checking-in, providing the marketer the opportunity to send more sophisticated campaigns such as: loyalty programs, sweepstakes and proximity offers.
Is the person checking-in to a location near your store? If so then send them a limited offer and entice them into your retail outlet.
Do you have a customer that’s checked in to your physical store locations but never visited your e-commerce store? Send that person an email inviting them to visit your online store. Or, send your frequent online shoppers an email promoting your check-in loyalty program.
These types of campaigns require that you utilise a location based marketing platform, such as Silverpop’s PlacePunch, that can make use of the Foursquare API to deliver these communications that drive store and event visits, conversions and revenue. Note that moving beyond the basics to send these types of sophisticated campaigns, means that you will have to dip into your marketing budget.
Location-based loyalty programs reward customers for signing up and frequently checking in to your location using Foursquare and Facebook. For businesses, location-based loyalty programs are an easy way to reward your best customers and turn them into even stronger brand advocates. They also provide valuable data on your most frequent visitors that you can use to more strongly engage them. And like other location-based marketing programs, they boost store traffic.
You might offer users a reward at sign-up e.g. “10% off next purchase” or “Free latte” and then deliver additional awards at various intervals. Tanger Outlets offers discounts at the third and fifth check-ins, along with chances to win prize and saw thousands of new check-ins as a result.
Competitions & Sweepstakes
You can run flash offers such as “First 10 people here for dinner get a free appetiser or dessert!” using the free tools in Foursquare.
However integrating with a location based marketing platform allows you to award “surprise” or “instant win” prizes based on check-in frequency and other behavioural factors. Promotions can be buy-one get- one free, exclusive deals based on previous purchase history, instant win (or not) a competition entry or any other promotion that fits into your overall promotions strategy. Dunkin’ Donuts’ location based sweepstakes combined a grand prize giveaway with daily prizes to keep participant interest high, resulting in a huge uptick in check-ins and store revenue.
This is probably the most talked about feature of location marketing as it allows marketers to pull new customers into a specific store/restaurant/event/ location and lure customers away from the competition in the process.
These are special offers delivered to customers when they check-in at nearby locations. As a marketer you set up a virtual radius around a location and when someone checks-in within that radius, an offer is sent via email that can only be redeemed within your nearby store, so helping drive footfall.
For example, you could automatically email a special offer to someone whenever they check-in within a 1 mile of any of your stores. Many regional restaurants in the US do this and have seen redemption rates between 5% and 15%.
So proximity offers are an excellent way to increase foot traffic to your stores. But even if users don’t take you up on your offer (this time), you’ll have built valuable brand awareness that might lead to a future visit.
As you’ll appreciate location marketing can drive up the awareness of your venue amongst millions of consumers, help pull in customers from competitors, increase in-store footfall, increase buyer loyalty and increase revenue.
Location Marketing is permission based, the Foursquare and Facebook apps are defined as Ad Networks and as the features raised under “What is Location Marketing?” are all delivered through the network, then the consumers registration to Foursquare or Facebook Places is permission enough.
This also applies to the benefits to marketers shown immediately under “How Do I Utilise the Check-In?”, however when taking location marketing a step further and integrating with email, then active consent (opt-in) is required. This is normally requested during the sign-up (on your website) to receive offers based on check-in, the competition/sweepstake entry form or as part of an email preference centre.
It’s easy and free with both Foursquare and Facebook; first claim your venue, either via the mobile app, the Foursquare website or by adding a location to Facebook Places. Both require that you verify you are the location owner.
From there, you can set-up specials on Foursquare, create lists add tips and set-up your auto reply Tweets or you can monitor customer check-ins, tips and comments and the Foursquare reports and use these to help define the types of campaigns you should send.
Do most customers check-in only once, is there a hard-core set of customers who check-in multiple times per day, are they mostly women between 18 & 35? All this information is available and is invaluable in helping marketers decide exactly what campaigns to run and what offers to include.
Foursquare analytics enables marketers to see:
With Facebook, once you claim a venue, a profile page is created and you’re free to post updates, offers and other content as you would to any Facebook page. Note that the page is venue specific and so allows you to create some very tailored promotions.
That’s all you have to do to be ready to take advantage of location marketing and without spending a penny out of your marketing budget!
Whilst it’s easy and free to get started with location marketing, success will come by combining a number of factors:
As most location marketing initiatives fail through lack in execution and poorly trained staff; addressing each of these points will enable you to be sure you’re fully prepared from both a logistical as well as technical standpoint.
To recap, Location Marketing has the potential to become a significant revenue generator for your business. Delivered as part of your overall promotions strategy, it has the ability to drive the awareness of your venue, increase footfall, customer loyalty and most of all revenue.
Good luck in your Location Marketing endeavours!
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