Collect Location-based Customer Information for Your Loyalty Program

Check-in data from your location-based services (LBS) gives you a very good picture of where people go, but you can get so much more data when you combine check-ins with a loyalty program.

Location and place are pieces of data that fuel activity streams. An activity stream is a list of activities performed by a user, usually listed in order of recency. Activity streams typically serve a single purpose and provide structure around that purpose. Here are some examples of activity streams and platforms that enable them:

  • Taking pictures: Platforms like Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram do a great job of capturing life in photos. They also offer you a way to show the inside of your business, pictures of your staff, and general goings-on in your business.

  • Streams of consciousness: Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are great at capturing whatever is at top of mind. You get access to things like a person’s friends, the brands they talk about, the ones they like and do not like, product ideas, interests, and professional ideas.

  • Product exploration: An application called Stickybits racks a user scanning product barcodes and the content the user creates for those bar codes. You can see what products people are passionate enough to check in to and what they think about the product.

  • Checking into books, movies, and TV shoes: GetGlue and Miso (sometimes called Go Miso) keep track of the books that someone has read. Knowing the kinds of books a person reads, TV shows they watch, and games they play tell you a lot about their media preferences and allow you to target people based on those preferences.

    GetGlue lets you check in to shows, music, books, movies, games, thoughts, and wine.
    GetGlue lets you check in to shows, music, books, movies, games, thoughts, and wine.
  • Drinking beer: Apps like Untappd track what beer someone is drinking and where he’s enjoying the beer. Untappd is even integrated with foursquare so there’s just one check-in for the location and the beer, not two separate ones.

  • Eating: The Foodspotting app lets someone take pictures of food at places they eat and share them. It helps you get user-generated exposure. Knowing a person’s food choices and where they are eating gives you a sense of not only where they eat and what they eat (vegan, carnivore, omnivore) but whether they have a culinary sense of adventure.

  • Shopping carts: Using applications powered by Modiv and Aislebuyer let customers in your store scan barcodes with their phones, thereby building a shopping cart, and then buy the items without ever going near a cash register.

  • Purchases: Apps like Blippy and Swipely ask for access to e-commerce accounts like Amazon, iTunes, and eBay. It scans e-mail for receipts and, if the user allows, records the transactions on credit cards. This gives you a sense of the size of a person’s wallet, their purchase preferences, and frequency outside of your business.

    These applications represent advanced uses of location-based marketing. Following from check-in to the purchase is highly desirable, but still fairly difficult.

Most importantly, access to activity streams and location data gives you the data to create a profile based on personal preferences, profession, and competitive and loyal behavior.

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