Location Based Marketing (LBM): Where Are Your Customers? - Part 1

By Guest Blogger Michael Harrison

With the use of mobile devices, like smart phones and tablets, increasing dramatically in recent years, a study from comScore indicates that Internet access using mobi has grown to 60% of our time on line – an increase of 31% in just the past 12 months.

Consumers are no longer tethered to a desktop, or even an office. Chances are, many of your customers are on the move, driving, strolling the city sidewalks, and looking for a place to get lunch, or a nice boutique to browse.

Location based marketing (LBM) has grown increasingly important to business growth, but what is it and how does your business use LBM?

The Mobile Marketing Association defines LBM as “any application, service, or campaign that incorporates the use of geographic location to deliver or enhance marketing message/service.” In other words, LBM delivers a message or incentive to prospects who are geographically close to the location of your business.” They’re in your neighbourhood. Pull them in!

Consumers looking for a nice place for lunch, or a department store that carries a favourite brand are using mobile devices to find a business that meets their immediate needs, from an emergency roadside auto repair to a hotel for the night.

Location based marketing doesn’t wait for prospects to find you. It proactively reaches out to consumers who conduct Internet searches using smart phones, PDAs, and tablets. Facebook, all by itself, accounts for 24% of all mobile activity, with the FB app accounting for an 18% share of consumers’ Internet access.

And the experts are confident that this trend will continue. Fewer people use laptops or desktops to access social media. The direction of future online marketing is clearly the use of mobi, and if your business isn’t pushing geo-specific incentives, you’re not making the best use of Internet marketing or location based marketing.

Time to rethink where your marketing and promotion dollars are spent.

So, more and more businesses are turning to mobile marketing because that’s where customers are. They aren’t tethered to a desktop. They may not even carry laptops. But they do carry mobile smart phones and tablets to access the Internet and locate a store, shop, restaurant or other business to meet their needs NOW!

How will LBM be used in the future? Well, for one thing, more and more online ordering will be conducted using mobile devices. Example? The coffee giant, Starbucks, is launching a nationwide app in the US that enables coffee lovers to (1) locate the closest barista, (2) place an order, (3) pay for the order, and (4) pick up their java when they arrive at the nearest Starbucks.

No more waiting in line. Your latte grande is ready when you reach the store.

Closer to home “Hey You” does more or less the same thing but it’s not limited to one brand of shop. You can check the menu of nearby outlets, order and have your coffee or burger waiting on the counter when you arrive.

Restaurants are posting daily specials using mobi. Log in, check the specials, review the menu, place an order, and pick it up. Or better still, have it delivered. Life just got a whole lot easier.

This article continues in our next post

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