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The 7 Essentials of Location-Based Marketing Location Based Marketing is just beginning to go mainstream. This article helps you understand and cash in on this revolutionary new marketing technique. Location based marketing (LBM) is an excellent way to reach out to shoppers and consumers who are on-the-go. What makes LBM so attractiveness is that it costs very little to launch and run, while retaining the potential to generate large revenues in a relatively short period of time. What exactly is location-based marketing? Location based marketing is an advertising technique that combines geo-tracking with mobile communications, and in many cases social media platforms like foursquare and Gowalla, to deliver highly customized content directly to prospects' cell phones. This is done in the hope of generating realtime conversions and developing brand loyalty and thus, LBM communications tend to be composed of attractive offers and discounts. However, this marketing strategy is limited to a localized area such as a mall or a street. If you have a store or a restaurant, LBM will allow you to actively solicit shoppers and passers-by via SMS, multimedia or mobile web applications. This marketing technique also tends to work best with foot traffic and as a result finds its primary outlet at malls, shopping centers and streets that play host to a large number of commercial establishments. Here are a few tips to help you create and capitalize on your very own LBM strategy -

1. Choose Your Platforms Foursquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla and SCVNGR are just some of the LBM platforms available to you. But which one do you launch on? The smart way to pick the perfect platform is to leverage your extant social media marketing campaign and find out which platform the majority of your clientele uses. You can do this by creating a poll or a survey on every social media marketing platform you employ. If you find that your results are inconclusive, there's nothing to do but experiment. If you have a multilocation business, trying using different combinations of platforms at each location and analyze the responses you receive. If you're in a single location, then foursquare or facebook places are likely to be your best bets.

2. Social Loyalty Incorporate customer loyalty programmes into your LBM networks. This will create an extra avenue for consumers to earn loyalty points and rewards. If you give users incentives to share info, it will also help you achieve greater penetration across social networks.

3. Put Yourself on the Map Make sure you put your business up on Google Places. Why? Google is the world's largest search engine and one in three queries are local in nature. A Google Places listing will be highly indexed on a SERP for your specific area. Also, get your business on every single location-based social network. You don't have to market yourself through all of them initially, but at least put up your contact details and basic information. A simple presence wouldn't hurt. Additionally, if you provide a delivery service, specific your coverage radius. This can go a long way in boosting sales and helping define who your target audience should be.

4. Dole out the Deals Deals and offers can quickly become boring and that is one of the biggest causes for 'check-in' declines. Try experimenting with different deal structures and offer-types while collecting data on redemption rates. If you find that a particular sort of deal is being redeemed a lot more than others, find a way to enhance it, while keeping your bottom line in mind.

5. Spruce up the Store A successful LBM campaign is going to drive a lot of traffic to your actual outlets, so if you've noticed any discrepancies between the outlet and the experience on offer, take care of them before you embark on your campaign. This is vital, because a bad reputation earned within a small area isn't easy to shake. You don't want customers skirting your store because they found it scruffy, especially after you explicitly asked them to drop in.

6. Employee Inclusion Keep your employees up-to-date on all the offers you put out there and make sure they're prepared to handle sudden surges in customer volume – you never know when that killer deal you offered will strike a chord in the consumer heart. Remember, your staff is on the ground and they interact directly with all your customers. Incorporating their opinions and feedback into your campaign could give you a remarkable edge over establishments that ignore their employees' suggestions.

7. Visual Reinforcement If you want to really capitalize on LBM, you can put up standees, posters and hang placards around your establishment to reinforce your LBM deals and offers and to remind people of the real-time incentives up for grabs if they share information virtually. If you own a restaurant or a bar, table tents are a great way to implement this, without sacrificing your ambience.

In Summary Keep collecting information that includes customer response rates, check-in, products purchased, hottest deals, etc. And use them to refine and retool your LBM campaign. Shoppers can be a fickle lot

and you're going to have to keep on your toes if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Quality data analysis combined with timing and attractive offers are what will help you make in big in the LBM game.


About The Author Linda Mentzer is a published author and senior marketing manager for an information management company that has helped sell thousands of software products on a global scale. With over 11 years of experience in electronic marketing techniques, Linda has authored articles for several leading business journals, worldwide.

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Location-Based Marketing  

Location Based Marketing is just beginning to go mainstream. This article helps you understand and cash in on this revolutionary new marketi...

Location-Based Marketing  

Location Based Marketing is just beginning to go mainstream. This article helps you understand and cash in on this revolutionary new marketi...