The potential for localized and location-based marketing is high – especially with estimates of retail sales from “beacon-triggered messages”, which grew from $4.1 billion to $44.4 billion between 2015 and 2016, according to Statista. Coupled with 77 percent of U.S. citizens having a smartphone, based on a November 2016 Pew Research Center survey, the ability to reach consumers is the best it's ever been[P1] . With technology and smartphones making sales ripe, how can businesses make the most of localized and location-based marketing to reach consumers and business clients?
Maximize a Localized Consumer Experience
With a mobile website, there’s no one-size-fits-all design. However, there are some common elements that provide better functionality when viewed on a mobile device. These include the ability to press a phone number for assisted dialing or an email address right on the screen to email the business instantly. Other elements include fewer but larger buttons to search the website, navigate between pages, and for easy access to the address, operating hours and social networking sites connected to the business.
Creating a mobile optimized website is the first step to help locals and travelers find nearby businesses. While location-based marketing certainly includes targeting nearby customers as a first priority, it needn’t be limited to potential customers within a defined area. When anyone is looking on the internet for a business in a particular city or town, it is found by a search query for a product or service. For example, a targeted keyword phrase might be "Tampa coffee shop" or "art galleries near L'Enfant Plaza."
Another way to localize a marketing campaign is to work with one’s location, along with calendar or seasonal events in conjunction with keywords. This can either take the form of marketing campaigns that take advantage of well-known events, such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans. You can target mobile users seeking Mardi Gras information with keyword optimization for, say, festive clothing or regional foods. It can also work with weather events, such as unusually warm spells during Midwest winters. This type of weather event could be leveraged to target customers for fans in the case of heat spells.
Put the Consumer in Control
One way for retailers to take advantage of location-based marketing, especially in a store or a defined area near a retail or business establishment, is to let the consumer control his options. Whether using an app, a push notification or text messages, it’s a good idea to ask the user for permission to receive notifications in order to gain his trust. This puts the customer in control of how many messages he’ll receive and when, making them more effective.
Another way to better connect with customers through location-based marketing is to create a fast and convenient experience. Using an app, a brick-and-mortar retailer can ask if the customer would like to place an order and pay for it before he visits the store. All that's left is to pick up the item in the store or through curbside delivery, if it's available with the merchant.
Remember, localized and location-based marketing technology can be used effectively to target and increase sales with both local and out-of-town consumers.
[P1] Sources for statistics: