Location based advertising and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy

Location based advertising, is set to be huge. If used correctly it can enable marketers to target their audience in a whole new way. So what is it? Simply put, it is when marketers communicate with their consumers or potential consumers, messages that are based around the consumers whereabouts. Because so many of us are on social apps these days which share our location data, this presents an opportunity for advertisers to personalise their messages to people based on their current location and in real time. A very simplified version of this form of marketing, is for example when a consumer is browsing on their phone on say the B&Q app for garden sheds and B&Q access the consumer’s location which they then use to alert the consumer via a message that their local branch is nearby and that these particular garden sheds they were just browsing are in stock.


You might wonder if consumers would really go for this form of marketing. Won’t they deem it too intrusive? Too akin to the big brother state and a further example of privacy measures being breeched in the name of capitalism? Actually, no. In recent years, consumers have become far more relaxed about their data being shared than ever before, especially if said data is used to make their lives easier. Arguably, that’s exactly what location-based advertising does. Who wouldn’t want a careful reminder of where to obtain the products they are searching for online via a pop-up on an app. Consumers are busy people and shopping can be hectic and long, anything that shortens the process and allows consumers to obtain their items as quickly as possible is appreciated.


The great thing about location based advertising, is how personal it is. You don’t have to waste your time sending out aimless adverts in the hope that some-one will listen and engage. Instead you can identify the needs of your consumers based on what they are browsing for online and offer a convenient way for them to purchase that item by pointing them in the direction of their nearest store, which has that item stocked. When you have access to a persons location you can communicate with them in the slang and style of speech that is akin to that particular part of the world that they are from. Consumers appreciate this and will start to build a rapport with you.


You can also push up to date offers at your target audience, which research shows encourages sales in a big way. Imagine you are searching for a product on your phone via an official app and you get a message from that brand to say that the nearest branch to you has 40% off on that particular item you are searching for.  Chances are, you would strike while the irons hot and buy that item there and then.


Targeting is another tool at your disposal here. The one thing people hate about ads is that they are rarely ever targeted in a way that appeals directly to them.  Through location based ads, you know exactly where a person is, what they are searching for and you can steer them towards their nearest checkout quickly. Better ad targeting means less time and money wasted on sending your message to the wrong people.


Let’s take a look at some creative examples of location based advertising:


US music group BlueBrain has produced a ‘location aware music album,’ the music changes to suit the landmarks and locales the app user walks past as they cruise the streets of cities such as New York and London. The company benefits as the artists on their rostra get exposure via their location related songs and the users stay entertained and engaged.


Coca Cola uses effective location-aware marketing, by alerting it’s app users in certain global cities of where nearby vending machines which stock their favourite cans are. This is another example of personalisation.


In Brazil, Nivea offer a bluetooth proximity beacon embedded in magazine ads, designed to be cut out and worn as bracelets on the wrists of children. The wrist bands are connected to an app on the child’s parents phone, which gets an alert when the child walks out of a pre-defined zone that the bracelet has been set to detect. This is great PR for Nivea, who are able to put themselves forward as a brand who cares for not just your skin but for the safety of your child in public places.


Location-based ads are fantastic, if you want to target your consumers directly and in a personal way. They afford you the opportunity to make life easier for your consumers. You can lead them to stores and tell them about offers that are as physically close to them as you can allow. With the right investments in technology you could utilise this approach and sell your sales sky rocket.