So you'd like to get to consumers when they're close to your brick-and-mortar store (or your virtual front door)? Well, you don't need to hire a flyer-passer anymore.
If business owners are "interested in actually driving demand and real foot traffic through physical locations, then geo-targeted mobile advertising is the best option," Walt Doyle, CEO of Where Boston, told MobileMarketer.com. "We are seeing more and more brands interested in geo-targeted mobile ad campaigns"
So, let's take a look at geo-targeting within the sphere of mobile advertising and five ways you can use this technology to boost sales.
Running the Numbers
Reaching the right customer with the right product at just the right time is a key sales moment for just about any business, large or small. It's crucial to the way that deals get done. Often it's the secret to why successful sellers close.
Text messages combined with a mobile-friendly site seems to be a winning combo so far for businesses working the mobile Web.
According to mobiThinking, 7.8 trillion text messages were sent in 2011. That's expected to climb as high as some 10 trillion texts in 2012. And around the world, in places that mobiThinking has logged consumer responses, the most effective form of advertising was opt-in texting. The numbers speak for themselves:
- 40 percent of users in areas polled said they were most likely to respond to text-message advertising.
- By one survey, taken in 2011, 49 percent of the people who respond to a mobile ad make a purchase.
Geo-Targeting: Five Key Moves
Maybe you want your customers' devices to receive a special offer, or maybe you want to provide them new incentives when they're at the register or sitting at your tables.
Here are some tactics for putting geo-targeting campaigns to work:
1. On-site enticements. One trick is to provide your shoppers a pleasant surprise as they enter your store. Signing up for a service like ShopKick allows you to cut them a coupon the minute they step into your location. Boost sales by creating a geo-located deal when people are actually in a place to spend.
2. Time-sensitive offers. Geo-targeting isn't always about location alone. Meaning, while it is always about location, you can also elevate the concept of time within the pitch. Make a discount good for just one hour during lunchtime and measure what returns you get based on the timeframe allowed. You can use geo-targeted mobile ad technology to open a window to a better understanding of what and when your customers buy.
3. Bonuses for spreading the word. In the world of advertising, buzz equals commerce and word-of-mouth is often king. Try building in quick-hit coupons that are sent to customers who check in at your business via apps such as Yelp or Foursquare. Encouraging engagement through discount-rewards means more people are aware of your business.
4. Reward loyalty. Sales get a boost from repeat customers. Send discounts to customers who rack up check-ins and reward them for striving to become "mayor" or "duke" of your place by giving them a reward when they reach a repeat-visit milestone.
5. Contextualize the ads. Snowing in Boston? Geo-targeted mobile ads can take into account details such as local weather. They can provide context-specific ideas to customers. For example, the Westin Hotels and Resorts did this with a campaign that let customers in snowy zones wipe away some "slush" on their mobile screens, revealing sunny vacation offers.
Geo-targeting is not just about boosting sales by getting to customers in the moment, it's about increasing revenue by getting to them with the perfect offer in ideal circumstances.
James O'Brien blogs for numerous clients on topics including film, social media, writing, technology, marketing, business and design. He is a correspondent for Boston University's Research Magazine and for The Commons a journal covering higher-education. He has written extensively as a news correspondent for The Boston Globe. James blogs via Contently.com.