Location Based Marketing Trends
Location Based Marketing: Where are we headed in 2012?
With Foursquare Day approaching on April 16th, I thought it might be appropriate to take a closer look at the trends in Location Based Marketing (LBM) and why it’s a space that all marketers should pay attention to.
2011 saw major acquisitions and partnerships in the LBM world that were too big to be ignored. Facebook acquired Gowalla, Groupon acquired Whrrl, Ebay bought WHERE and Foursquare, the leading stand-alone location app, partnered with American Express. Presently, there are about 14 million Foursquare users, and that number is predicted to reach 50 million by the end of 2012. So what has allowed Foursquare to have staying power while other check-in apps have had to change shape? Deals and mobility. In speaking with colleagues and friends, they all said the same thing: they utilize Foursquare to help them decide where to go when they are already out, because it offers them insight on where friends are, as well as where they can use a coupon or discount. This is crucial with more and more consumers adopting mobile technology and using it as a primary information resource. As we discussed in a previous blog, that is why mobile-optimized websites have become vital to retaining consumers on the go.
But while special offers are clearly driving additional growth for location apps, some would argue the basic check-in is becoming passé. Evidence of this is the shift from location check-ins being a standalone and more towards them being a feature of a bigger set. For example, until recently Facebook users had the ability to “check in” through a separate section of Facebook, but now they have incorporated location to be feature of the status section. The same holds true for Path, Instagram and Twitter.
So what are the other location based apps and what are the opportunities for marketers? One brand that has embraced Location Based Marketing through social media is Marc Jacobs. For Fashion Week 2010, Marc Jacobs and Foursquare created the “Fashion Victim” badge, which allowed Fashion Week attendees (and others) to “check-in” at any Marc by Marc Jacobs stores in New York and around the country to unlock the badge. Four people who unlocked the badge in New York were randomly chosen to receive tickets to the Marc Jacobs show. The partnership provided both Marc Jacobs and Foursquare with word of mouth marketing.
Another company that is moving above and beyond daily deals with LBM is Boloco, a chain of 16 Boston-based burrito restaurants. The biggest challenge for sites offering daily deals is that typically businesses are able to attract a rush of deal-seekers for the duration of the offer but rarely see repeat customers as a result. In Boloco’s campaign, they wanted to reward frequent visitors and also encourage repeat visits. While an initial offer through SCVNGR might offer the customer $10 of burritos for $5, they would then get the option to ‘level up’ on their next visit, and get a better offer – say $30 of burritos for $10. This is a great way of encouraging customer loyalty through the use of location based marketing.
As locations become more commonly integrated into social media, and more consumers are adopting mobile technology, companies have the opportunity to be more targeted in their marketing efforts. This is especially valuable to brick-and-mortar retail locations looking to increase customer interaction and brand loyalty. As technology and tactics evolve, many companies who may have already looked into LBM are re-visiting the concept. Is there a way your company could benefit from Location Based Marketing?
Meagan Southmayd is an Account Coordinator at Griffin York & Krause.