The “it” thing in marketing: Geolocation

Amar Thomas | Updated on August 21, 2014 Published on August 21, 2014

On the mark Mobile devices can use geolocation to consumers’ and marketers’ advantage with timely information NUCLEARTIST/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

In the era of customer centricity marketing has no better place to start with this than consumers themselves

Picture this: You are driving on the highway and suddenly, out of sheer bad luck, your car begins to run on reserve fuel You need a fuel station.

The catch is you do not know which exit to take to reach to the nearest fuel station. Ever wondered how easy it could be to get out of such a sticky situation using something as basic as your mobile phone? Amazing, right?

There can be nothing more convenient than mobile devices to give you information at the right time and the right place through geolocation. At present, GPS is the most common way for geolocation to be tracked. It is built into many devices, including your smartphone.

Drive more engagement

In the era of customer-centricity marketing has no better place to start with this than consumers themselves. They are the centre of the digital marketing universe. The importance of targeting consumers at the right time and right place cannot be discounted. As technology evolves, marketers need to ensure that they are in sync with consumer’s changing demands. Geo-targeting is now a sustainable marketing practice proven to drive more engagement.

“Mobile location awareness and geo-targeting appeals to retailers in many ways, especially because of the technology’s help in driving consumer engagement and delivering personalised offers and content based on a customer’s proximity to an in-store location,” elaborates Rimma Kats in an article in online magazine mobilecommercedaily.

According to the Pew Institute: “Seventy-four per cent of adult smartphone owners, ages 18 and older, say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.” It is here that brands and retailers stand a chance to engage with consumers based on their location and drive in-store traffic and thereby, sales.

Leveraging the technology

Today, smartphones and mobile technologies have redefined the way we interact, entertain or consume. The proliferation of smartphones and instant access and social media buzz have all changed the way consumers access information, look for opportunities or even interact with brands.

In this age of hyperconnectivity, hyperlocalisation has become a key means for brands to communicate with consumers on a real time basis, reaching out not just at the point of purchase but intuitively when the consumer is in the vicinity for quick conversion. For instance, if a consumer is in close proximity of their stores, brands can leverage that to push ongoing offers or limited period offers that consumers otherwise would not be aware of.

Push notification through geolocation is a great awareness initiative when a brand is giving away a limited period offer.

Geolocation marketing can become a very effective tool in shopping malls where there is a huge amount of brand clutter due to the presence of various bands in one location.

Retailers are harnessing this trend to zero in instantly on deals, surprise goodies and such.

While mall crawling or window shopping, consumers hurtle from one store to another in search of good deals and discounts. Retailers need to understand the potential of attracting consumers to their stores and influencing purchase decisions. If a consumer comes across a message on his phone about a “two-days offer”, he will be encouraged to visit a store and explore the offer.

After a certain point, brands can look forward to gain loyalty from customers. Shoppers will look forward to receiving offers from bands.

Geolocation marketing is still in the nascent stages in India and brands have so far only started the journey toward effective geolocation marketing. Where it will all end up still remains to be seen.

As retailers understand the importance of geolocation marketing, some key parameters of privacy and spamming need to be monitored to be able to leverage this in the best possible manner.

As the channel gains precedence, marketers need to plan and implement a solid location-based mobile marketing strategy. If they don’t, the risk to lose consumers and market share become a reality, especially to mobile-savvy competitors.

Published on August 21, 2014
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