Top 3 Best Practices for Effective Location-Based Marketing Campaigns

Nearly 90 percent of customers who search for a local business via their mobile device will visit or call that business within 24 hours. With 40 percent of mobile searches having a local intent, it’s easy to see why location marketing is something you’ll want to consider embracing as part of your overall marketing and engagement strategy.

When on mobile devices, most people spend their time in mobile apps, presenting another potential source of engagement. The location technology available today also presents many opportunities for marketers looking to boost their return on investment. By adhering some of the best practices like the ones discussed here, businesses can increase their possibilities of enjoying effective and successful location-based marketing campaigns.

To deliver proximity or location-based marketing campaigns, you need a platform. You’ll find a complete list of location marketing software providers here. A lot of them offer a trial version.

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1) Target the right customers: Who they are, How they behave, and Where they go

Targeting campaigns is really important due to it allows you to interact with the right customers in that special micro-moment based on who they are, how they behave, and where they go. The location should be somewhere where an intended customer is likely to be ready to take some type of action, or at least be open to a suggestion to do so. Businesses can get a better idea of where campaigns should be used by understanding their customers’ behaviors and considering things such as:

  • How much time customers spend in a certain place or zone
  • Identifying frequent visitors Vs new visitors
  • Tagging users that visited your competitor location to bring them back
  • Understanding audience flow patterns between indoor areas to discover customer journey in real-time.

One of the best practices to adhere to for any mobile marketing campaign is how often messages are delivered since there’s a fine-line with marketing for most brands between offering something potentially useful and being viewed as annoying.  So, in order to avoid that, you should use Capping Rules.

It enables you to establish target, schedule, frequency, and limits to your location-based campaigns. For example:

  • Schedule: It enables you to set up your campaigns by days and by hour intervals
  • Target: It allows you to segment your audience based on demographics, language, visit duration, purchase history, and other attributes.
  • Frequency: It enables you to set up the maximum number of times an individual user sees your campaigns
  • Impressions limit: It allows you to control the maximum number of impressions you will allow an individual user to have per day.

People may not care so much about a great deal on a party pizza combo on Monday. Campaigns should be based on times of the day, location and behavior, when people are likely to be engaged for what’s being offered.

Location technology includes the use of beacons, geofencing and Wi-Fi based technology that can be used to send out mobile communications when a customer is in a particular place or zone. The key to a successful location-based marketing campaign is to use moderation and avoid the temptation to overwhelm customers.

As far as how location-based messages are delivered, it’s not always necessary (or practical) for businesses to have their own mobile apps to send out offers or promote their products or services. One solution is to use third party apps already on customers’ smartphones. For indeed, Energizer successfully used third party apps to promote its eco-friendly batteries by pushing content that included discount coupons.

Because of Apple’s restrictions of push notifications, however, they weren’t able to effectively deliver their content to the right audience. So, Energizer used Apple Wallet instead, an app that allows users to store coupons or to offer store-specific content. They were also able to track users’ locations to send additional messages.

2) Engage your customers with relevant content

To truly engage your users and build meaningful relationships with them, you need to provide relevant content at the right time at the right place.

The first thing to figure out is what is being offered. While the “what” can be special offers, flash sales, purchase reminders, etc. Mobile campaigns can also be effective when simply alerting people in the area of relevant products, services, events, or venues they may be interested in.

Make mobile an integral part of the customer experience using three different tactics:

  • Remote push notifications – Sending remotely to the user’s device at scheduled moments.
  • Hyper-local proximity notifications – Using beacons or an existing Wi-Fi network, you will be able to trigger location-based content when a customer enters, leaves or stay a certain period of time in an indoor location.
  • Geo-behavioral proximity notifications – Setting up a virtual fence to send customers geo-targeted campaigns when they enter, leave or stay a certain period of time an outdoor location.

You can find more location marketing creativities examples here.

Not every product or service is going to be something that can be promoted effectively with a location-based campaign, so gathering information about the behavior of existing customers is crucial. For instance, if a business is getting a lot of mobile app activity among its users, location-based campaigns will likely be effective.

3) Measure and collect customer data

One of the best practices for any marketing campaign is to analyze the impact of your mobile marketing campaigns.

Fortunately, location technology makes it easy to determine how well campaigns are going with real-time data. The stats available can show what kind of engagement is being seen from efforts to reach out to mobile customers and allow businesses to make well-informed decisions about which campaigns are working and which ones aren’t worth the effort.

In-venue devices, for instance, can measure store activity and provide a better understanding of customer behaviors and preferences. With beacons or Wi-Fi based technology, in-store behavior data can be tracked to allow for better re-targeting. Keeping track of campaign data allows businesses to:

  • Measure Reached Users, Opens and Conversion Rates for your campaigns over a specified time period
  • See what locations, days of week, and hours of day perform best
  • Go beyond campaign opens to see who is engaging with your campaigns and what actions your users take
  • Effectively use offline behavior data to determine the most efficient way to use mobile technology for engagement efforts
  • Test different location-based marketing campaigns with limited engagement and use results to determine which one will likely be effective on a larger scale

Location marketing can be a smart investment for businesses today that are looking to connect with on-the-go consumers. Whether it involves notifying people of local events, encouraging visits to stores in local shopping malls, presenting local day trip opportunities, or even reaching out to people within a community by building on existing smart city technology, location-based marketing techniques and tactics can be easily adopted by many different businesses and sectors.

Mobile location marketing is not a passing fad. By incorporating the best practices like those mentioned here when planning location-based marketing campaigns, businesses can harness the power of location technology to digitally influence customers and meet their specific marketing objectives.