I’ve discussed local marketing, local citations and mobile marketing here before, but this time I want to look at some powerful location-based advertising tactics that can be very powerful tools for boosting sales.
Geo-fencing is simple to understand: You design an ad campaign to show banner ads or text messages to people via their smartphones when they get within five miles of your location. As your prospects move into the general area of your business, you want them to feel that they’re getting “warmer.”
You can set the specification for your ad buy using distance parameters. Of course, along with the “geographics,” you can specify various demographics to refine your campaign even further.
A sly variation of geo-fencing is to use the same idea to target your competition. You put a “fence” around their locations so mobile device users get your ads when they are near the business sites of your competitors.
Imagine Tom at Joe’s Used Car Lot doing some online price comparison. As he wanders in and out of the cars looking at his smartphone, he discovers that Jane’s Used Car lot across town is offering a special discount! It might be all the motivation Tom needs to at least make the trip over to Jane’s Used Car Lot to check out the deals.
Geo-conquesting is becoming a common marketing strategy. You may want to try it out and you certainly need to find out if your competitors are attempting to conquer your territory.
Both geo-fencing and geo-conquesting are forms of geo-targeting. There are three basic ways to communicate your geographically-triggered messages to your customers: text message (SMS); advertisement, like AdWords: and a smartphone app, yours or a third party app.
Google and various social media platforms provide a DIY entry into geo-targeting. Businesses with bigger advertising budgets use a variety of providers that specialize in the technology and service, including Thumbvista and xAd.
Turning up the heat
After geo-fencing and geo-conquesting bring customers to your location, proximity marketing or hyper-local tactics kick in. Proximity marketing sends messages to those smartphones asking the user if he or she would like to receive an offer, get a digital coupon, learn about something that’s happening, play a trivia game, or any number of ploys. Often the hope is to make a sale, but establishing customer loyalty is also a great use for proximity marketing. Further, customers say they prefer shopping at stores that provide a customized experience.
We often talk about the “sales funnel.” With all the variations of local and mobile marketing, we have created a “geographic sales funnel.” The most successful businesses will be finding the best ways to use these strategies to outsell and “out-loyal” the competition.
Photo Credit: Sascha Musse/Creative Commons