So you run a small business, with a physical location. Maybe you’re a retailer – fashion, jewellery, florist or sports store. The question is: what is location based marketing and how can it work for you?
The answer lies in what it can do for your customers. Location Based Advertising (LBA) is the process of tailoring marketing to specific customers – not just groups, but individuals. You can customize marketing based on customers’ geographical location and how they behave. If you know your customers’ interests and habits, you can target them with advertising they actually want to see and are relevant to their geographical location.
The value to the customer is simple: be shown something they want in a place they can easily get it. This powerful personalized advertising can drive footfall to your store, and bridges the gap between the physical and online.
Going Beyond Facebook and Google Ads
LBA bridges the gap between the physical location and online. Your business may have PPC ads on Facebook or Google. These can be effective – but only for those sat at home browsing online. What about people passing your store, or who are in the vicinity? LBA allows people to use their smartphones and see targeted ads for stuff they want, that is available exactly where they are.
Jemima is shopping in the mall. She sits down to drink a coffee and checks her phone. She sees an ad for a jewelry store, right in the same mall. What’s more, they have a sale on with 20% off. Jemima loves jewelry and will be sure to check it out. This ad appeals directly to her interests, and is exactly the kind of advertising she wants to see. The ad has informed her about the store that she didn’t know about, and the discount has encouraged her to visit.
It 12 pm and Gary is getting hungry. He is on vacation and is unfamiliar with the local area. He wants a decent meal but doesn’t know where. An ad pops up on his phone for a Japanese restaurant just 1 block away. The ad services know he likes Japanese food which is why he is receiving this ad. Gary finds somewhere he really wants to eat thanks to the ad, delivering value to both advertiser and user.
As you can see, Location Based Advertising is extremely useful because it is highly personalized to the user’s specific interests and is delivered at the right time. But what approaches are open to your business?
This is where ad services identify people within a defined area and delivered ads for businesses in that area. A fashion store, for example, can target people within a predetermined radius who are more likely to visit.
This requires customers to download an app to their smartphone. Once customers enter a certain radius of the store, they receive an alert with a customized message. It could be about discounts, new product ranges or a sale. The challenge is to encourage adoption of the app, but once achieved it is a powerful marketing tool.
Apple’s Beacon is a feature on iPhones that receives data from Bluetooth transmitters, called Beacons. These beacons can be set up in retail stores and transmit specific information to users about products, sales and more. Once inside the store, the Beacon can transmit specific information about a product, any discounts and even take payment. Multiple beacons can be set up at multiple locations within the store, allowing for highly targeted advertising and a unique customer journey.
This is similar to geo-targeting but instead of searching for individuals based on location, the ads search for people who have visited sites of your competitors. Let’s say you are chiropractor and you have a competing business across town. This approach would send an ad for your business when somebody who has visited the competitor site comes into your radius.