Location based marketing changes the game for local businesses

mobile-phoneLocation based marketing is one of the most promising mobile marketing trends in 2014 for local businesses. Experts on Mashable and Entrepreneur say that it is an exciting, new way for small businesses to get more people through the doors of their shops.

Location based marketing is seen as one of the new, promising marketing trends in 2014 for local businesses. Experts on MashableEntrepreneur and 60-second marketer say that this has been a growing new possibility for businesses to increase their revenue and get more people through the doors of their shops.

Location based marketing delivers targeted marketing messages to customers in particular locations through mobile devices such as smartphones. The business owner can customize marketing messages based on a prospect’s location and preferences.

According to Entrepreneur local businesses can use four different ways to do this. One way would be to use location based services such as foursquare and yelp that that provide information to users based on their location. Another way to use location-based marketing would be through near-field communication. It is a technology that allows two devices that are in close proximity to exchange information.
Bluetooth marketing allows data transfer over short distances. Local businesses can also use location-based advertising which uses tools such as GPS and geo-fencing to locate prospects and send them messages.

Companies such as Subway have used location-based marketing successfully by setting up campaigns. Subway once launched a campaign called “You are here” to reach targeted users within close proximity to a Subway station. Users were told to optin and once they had done so they received MMS messages alerting them that they would receive special discounts as they walked by a Subway station.

According to Entrepreneur, the pizza chain Domino’s also used such a campaign to improve customer loyalty and drive repeat sales. They created an app which customers could download. Then they had to type in their information and could order a pizza. Once customers had done this they were likely to keep ordering from Domino’s and no other pizza place as they had already entered their information in the app.

An outdoor clothing and gear supplier REI used ShopAlerts LBA to engage consumers with time and location-targeted messages. When these customers who had already opted-in were near a REI location, they received SMS messages with special discounts. This helped REI to make more sales as well as increase customer loyalty. A survey proved that the method had worked as 65% said they made a purchase because of ShopAlerts.

Location-based marketing is becoming increasingly powerful as 74% of smartphone owners use location-based services according to Balihoo.
Michael Alf, Director of TotalU Pty Ltd advises Local businesses to start early with new technology like this so they get ahead of their competitors who might not be using mobile marketing and location-based marketing yet.

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Originally published on: DirectionsMag.com

Follow Gregg Zban on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/GreggZban

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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