Have You ‘Checked-In’ to Location-Based Marketing?

It’s all about location, location, location…thanks to smartphone location-based check-in social networks, customers are now telling us where they are.  Dare I say, it’s a marketer’s dream come true?   It’s no secret that we MarCom experts are constantly searching for new creative and effective ways to target and reach customers. Due to the growing amount of people ‘checking-in’ at locations, via social media, there are more opportunities for us to effectively accomplish this with location-based marketing. This is a relatively new marketing strategy that utilizes smartphone location-based check-in services like Facebook, Foursquare, Georillas, etc., to deliver special relevant content to customers or prospects in real time.   I recently stumbled across a webinar on location-based marketing titled: <em>How to Run Successful Campaigns with Foursquare and Facebook Places</em> delivered by Silverpop, a web-based solutions company. The webinar explained how more than 200 million people are now ‘checking-in’ to find out more information about the places they are visiting, ranging from retail locations to restaurants, local attractions and more.  As a result of this phenomenon, businesses have implemented location-based marketing strategies into their campaigns and are increasing their presence on various check-in social networks.    Through this new marketing tool, businesses have the opportunity to engage with customers as well as deliver specific targeted content. Once customers have checked-in to a business’ location via their smartphones, they can then digitally send that customer: special discount deals, product information, email list invitations and more, all while that customer is in their location. It also allows businesses to ask customers about their experience at the location as well as provide incentives for filling out a brief survey.   The webinar discusses the usefulness of location-based marketing for business-to-consumer related companies as well as business-to-business companies. There are also a number of ways in which companies without brick and mortar locations can utilize location-based marketing through special events such as parties, tradeshows, conferences, etc. The webinar explains how a number of businesses have discovered that leveraging check-ins aids in driving attendance.    As our clients are predominantly in the business-to-business sector, we are already generating ideas and strategies to implement location-based marketing into future campaigns.   Location-based marketing can be a powerful tool to enhance a business’ MarCom programs, not only through effective customer interaction but with the valuable analytics that it delivers as well. Of course, the usefulness of location-based marketing varies based on a client’s specific needs -strategies that work for some may not work for others.   In order to be successful, businesses should test the waters to find out what tactics work and the ones that do not. And as we always emphasize in this blog, companies should implement strategies that are inline with the goals of the marketing plan as well as tactics that are interesting to the customer.   Have you thought about implementing location-based marketing for your business?   <strong>Further reading on Location-Based Marketing</strong>   Webinar by Silverpop: <a href="http://www.silverpop.com/marketing-resources/webinars/april-silverpop-webinar.html">How to Run Successful Campaigns with Foursquare and Facebook Places</a> <a href="http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/location-based-marketing-tips/">26 Tips for Success With Location-Based Marketing</a> <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/location-based-advertising-and-marketing-2012-05-14">Location-Based Advertising and Marketing</a>