The possibilities of operating on a low marketing budget whilst expecting outstanding results from a marketing campaign may be on the rise. Recent statistics show 91% of adults have their mobiles within arms reach 24/7, 67% of web users access via a mobile device whilst 5.25 hours of a UK adult’s day is spent on a mobile device. If there has ever been a better time and place to reach out to an audience, this is it!

What is location based marketing?

Location based digital marketing is quickly gaining traction in the marketing world, as businesses make a conscious effort to reach out to their audience at the right place and time. The premise - connect the online virtual world to reality, providing the audience with personalised offerings of real value. Although previous research suggested consumers may be unwilling to opt-in to ‘geolocation technologies’ in fear of security, providing it is used unobtrusively, consumers are largely happy to provide their data.

This two-part blog will look at examples of emerging technologies show the real advantages of geolocation technology which we will discuss alongside a few location based marketing examples.

iBeacon

Created by technology giant Apple, iBeacon, is a small device with a low-energy Bluetooth transmitter allowing businesses to identify the location of a device to exchange data and information. With the ability to monitor purchases, shopping/spending history and location, this device is excellent for targeting a relevant audience. The iBeacon works like a real-life heat map, showing key areas of activity and consumer behaviour patterns. As a result, businesses are made aware of nearby smartphones in real-time, meaning vouchers, promotions and offers (both standardised and personalised) can be sent to opted-in users providing an enhanced customer experience with the brand. Personalised offers and ‘deals of the day’ are often more successful in encouraging the user to take action.

Virgin Atlantic have recently adopted iBeacon technology using beacons within Heathrow airport to connect to travellers with the app installed on their mobile device. Upon passing the Money Corp (a partner of Virgin Atlantic), push notifications are sent to local devices offering unique value to enhance their interaction with the brand. The probability of travelling abroad when in an airport is relatively high therefore nearby currency offers are likely to be well-received.

Virgin Atlantic have proven to be very open to new technology using location targeting to enhance overall experience of Upper Class travellers. When approaching the security channel, notifications are sent to a travellers device prompting their boarding pass to automatically open. By reducing the required input from the customer Virgin Atlantic are enhancing the user experience with the brand.

Customer engagement has always been key to Major League Baseball, as such iBeacon technology was a natural progression. Providing the device operates iOS 7 or higher and the ‘At the Ballpark’ app is installed, users can receive push notifications offering vouchers for tickets, food/drinks promotions and the opportunity to check-in amongst other on-screen notifications. This was an excellent addition to the customer engagement efforts connecting them to a relevant and interested audience who now see the company as adding value for them.

Biggest challenges

Mobile is the new black and in an attempt to target customers in their marketplace, a few changes are required to your marketing efforts. Having a mobile-friendly web presence, i.e. a responsive website, allows you to cater to your customers on the go. Offering the audience added value and something a competitor does not will ensure you stand out from the crowd. As location based marketing is relatively new, this can be a big investment for small businesses, but this technology will continue to become more affordable and accessible. Location based marketing means that your business can be where your customers are, connecting the virtual and physical user experience, and promoting greater interaction and engagement.

The next blog in this two-part series will focus on geofencing technology, another emerging location based marketing technology that looks set to change the way we target and engage with consumers.