Location Based Targeting: How to remain on track

If location-based targeting is implemented correctly it could be hugely beneficial in fusing the online and offline experience.
By
Alex Radgman

June 18, 2018

Location-based targeting has established itself as the BNOC (Big Name on Campus) of the marketing world over the past few years with industry goliaths such as BMW, Coca Cola and Barneys New York; along with tech savvy start-ups such as LYFT and Tinder taking advantage of advancements in mobile technology to focus their marketing strategies on “exactly the right people, at exactly the right time”. Snapchat has recently developed its location-based marketing initiatives to allow advertisers to target users based on location type. They have also introduced their own user analytics tool, demonstrating the commercial demand to not only target consumers but to understand exactly what they’re doing, where they’re doing it and arguably most importantly, what they’re going to do next.

As consumer expectations continue to rise, brands must use advances in technology to connect, engage and ultimately sell to their current and prospective customers. Location-based targeting presents itself as an obvious addition to the marketing armoury of any brand looking to stay ahead.

Location-based targeting and Geo-fences work by creating a perimeter around a specific location on the map and triggering a response when the area is breached. A prime example of this would be the Regent Street App. This platform allows the user to build a profile and receive relevant offers and information from selected brands once they are in the specified geo-region around the Regent Street stores.

But what good is this? I hear you ask.
Consumers are constantly evolving and brands operating within the retail sector must work hard to keep up. What better way to keep up than to track your customers from the minute they turn the corner onto Regent Street, Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive and begin their quest to find the next “must have” item. Location-based targeting aims to increase brands top of mind status by removing the consumers need to make decisions, or at least giving them a helping hand into making the “right one”. Timberland recently increased its in-store footfall by 6% using location-based ads to target 18-34 year olds based on two factors: proximity and lifestyle. This granular level of information obtained by companies is making marketing campaigns more targeted than ever before, but amongst this sea of convenience and apparent shopping ease are consumers happy with this level of brand interaction?

In the midst of numerous data related scandals involving the likes of Facebook and Google, privacy remains one of the biggest concerns for consumers. There are also numerous other barriers that slow the adoption of this progressive yet potentially intrusive technology. Inaccuracy presents itself as a major hurdle, with people receiving unreliable and misinformed information that does not match in-store experience. The sheer amount of interaction can also be extremely off putting for users. Back in 2013 Apple reported that 7.4 trillion push notifications had been sent through its server… just imagine how many pings, buzzes and vibrations that is!? Annoying. With that being said, a recent study by Morar HPI found that 47% of retail shoppers (53% amongst millennials) feel it would be ‘awesome’ to receive real-time notifications through their mobiles based on proximity to a store, suggesting that there is a real appetite for this type of technology.

As the world fills with human beings in-turn it fills with mobile phones. We are becoming more and more connected through digital interaction and the lines between online and offline are blurring. If progressive methods such as location-based targeting are implemented correctly they could be hugely beneficial in fusing these lines and creating integrated experiences; not only increasing brand awareness, reputation and revenue, but ultimately bridging the gap between online and in-store presence.

Consumers want brand experience and touch-points to enhance their day-to-day; to be personal, convenient and relevant – conversely, they don’t want to be bombarded with an obvious sales pitch. In short, it is crucial for companies to give a seamless and enjoyable customer journey across all platforms – but how can this be achieved? The answer is simple, greater understanding of shopper behaviour, mindset and user experience. Here at Morar HPI we have worked alongside brands such as COTY, Costa and Westfield Shopping Centre to inform detailed insights into the customer journey, consumer language and shopper mindset; and inspired growth across a range of business areas and market sectors.

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