Align Your Location-Based Marketing Goals to a Platform

Each location–based service (LBS) platform has its strengths and weaknesses, and understanding the LBS platforms allows you to pick the right one for a campaign or tailor your marketing campaign around a platform.

Here are some possible goals for a campaign:

  • You want to build brand awareness.

    Your goal is to make people aware of what your business does, what your brand stands for, what products you sell, and how and when to engage you. Facebook Places, Yelp, and foursquare have the largest audiences. Gowalla and SCVNGR have great ways to template the experience via trips and treks. WHERE taps into an advertising network. These can all help build awareness in different ways.

  • You want advocacy.

    People trust other people more than they trust the ad purchased by the company who made the product, bought the time, and created the TV spot, banner ad, or clutter buster.

    Think of Amazon. It mastered the art of the review. Social media and location-based platforms create the same kinds of advocacy and allow people to spread the love.

    For examples, Foodspotting allows cross-posting to Facebook, foursquare, flickr, and Twitter. foursquare and Gowalla are the best for building advocacy due to their tips and highlights features.

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  • You want to acquire customers.

    Offers that bring new customers into the store provide short-term gains for your business at potentially smaller profit margins, but they can also build short-term advocacy, awareness, and hopefully convince customers to return.

    Location-based marketing allows you to cast a smaller net to catch the people who will take advantage of your offer. SCVNGR, foursquare, Facebook Places, Loopt, WHERE, and Yelp all have different types of offers that you can use to get people in the door.

    The Sports Authority ran a foursquare promotion on Black Friday to get more customers into the store. If a customer checked in and cross-posted to Twitter, the customer entered a drawing to win a $500 gift card. Because the end goal was to draw more customers, the winner had to be present to win. The Sports Authority also had a very good special for the mayor: a $10 coupon to use with any purchase.

  • You want to seed loyalty.

    Location-based services can play a significant role in loyalty initiatives. If you look at the root of loyalty, a brand becomes something that customers connect to on a level where they want to repeat the experience, tell friends and family about its virtues, and purchase and repurchase the product.

    Check-ins, specials, pictures, badges, pins, and so on give people more ways to interact with and spread the message of your brand.

    foursquare is the leader in loyalty. There are a number of platforms that plug into foursquare to leverage the data to give rewards. American Express has a program that allows a customer to attach a card to a foursquare account. foursquare also has loyalty programs with Tasti D-Lite and Vons that give coupons and rewards.

  • You want to find out more about your audience.

    Learning more about your customers and prospects may be the best reason to participate in the LBS movement. Knowing where your customers go and when they go there can help you tailor campaigns to change their behavior.

    Gowalla is the most open of the applications. You can get public check-in information for most venues just by having a Gowalla account. This information is personally identifiable, and you can map it directly back to a Gowalla account.

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