Location based (or geo-located) marketing is getting a huge amount of buzz at the minute, as Twitter apps connect location tweets to its service, Foursquare is credited with Domino’s Pizza’s UK success and smartphone users get ready for augmented reality to guide their leisure time.
And then there’s Facebook’s continued assault on world domination with its new Places app.
All good stuff. And yet…
For the most part, we’re still being safe and boring when it comes to how we, as marketers, use these geo-location services such as Foursquare and Gowalla to drive traffic and sales to our clients and own business.
And there are some great opportunities to set yourself apart.
One of the cool things about Foursquare is the ability to offer specials to folks who check in at your place. Yet even this is being underused, and generally stops at offering mayorships.
Why not tie it into other social media platforms you use?
For example, let’s say you have a Facebook page for your brand. When you set up a reward for your Foursquare users, why not show the message, “Thanks for checking in! Why not friend us on Facebook too, and download your exclusive code for Facebook-only offers?”
Not only does this strengthen the relationship with you, you’re offering a great call-to-action to grow your Facebook page while giving your customer even easier ways to make a purchase with you.
Check out any of the offers that businesses using Foursquare promote, and it’s usually rewarding the mayor of that location only.
Great for the mayor, but let’s face it, that can be gamed – I can check in at the coffee house across the street from my office without even entering the premises, so no sale there!
So why not offer a Happy Hour promo instead? An alert goes out to your followers, something along the likes of, “Hey guys, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. today, all purchases are 2-for-1 on everything up to $50 when you stop by and check in.”
Not only are you opening up the offer to everyone, you’re offering it with urgency – something that’s hugely effective at getting buy-in from customers.
Cross Promotion Retailing
When we shop, we don’t always go for the cheapest offer. More often than not, we go for the one that best suits our needs. That could mean mix-and-match purchasing – we get jeans from one store, a top from another, and shoes somewhere else.
So why aren’t we offering that more often via geo-location marketing?
For example, let’s say I go to the movies to see the new Batman movie. Obviously I check in there and maybe even write a note to say what I’m there to watch.
Now, imagine if that movie theatre was partnering with the local comic book store or chicken wings diner. As soon as I come out of the theatre, there’s a Foursquare alert from the comic book store that tells me I can get 10% off all Batman purchases that day.
Or if I go to the wings place, I can get 2-for-1 on special Bat wings (not real bats, obviously!) for that day only. Or good for a limited time from the update – say, 72 hours.
Again, it’s tying into something I already like so I’m more than likely to check it out. And if I like Batman, there’s a pretty good chance I’m going to like comic books, too.
Like I said at the start, there are a ton of options available for smart marketers to use when it comes to geo-location.
All they need to do is find them. Do that and they might just find more customers, too.
This post first appeared on Spin Sucks, the business blog of Arment Dietrich, a non-traditional marketing agency headed up by Gini Dietrich. Spin Sucks looks to dismantle industry buzz and hype with thought-provoking insights and discussions.