GeoLocation and Marketing Strategies: How to be Innovative, Valuable and Trust-Worthy
The ways in which location matters in a networked world are brilliantly described throughout Net Locality a new book by Eric Gordon and Adriana de Souza e Silva. As the authors write, “The spaces we interact with on a daily basis are filled with data—pictures, thoughts, reviews and historical documentation–aggregated into accessible and usable bits of information. A Google search promptly uncovers thousands of references that are displayed according to the user’s location. A mobile phone, through any number of applications, can locate its user and find nearby relevant information.”
While the late 1960’s became associated with the phrase “The Personal is Political,” we could say that the 2010’s are becoming increasingly about the ways in which the personal is locatable. Being able to find where we are going, down to every last longitude and latitude coordinate, and discover countless resources in our proximity opens new opportunities for individuals and marketers.
David Meerman Scott writes in the third edition to his ground-breaking book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR, “Mobile applications that make use of GPS technology include Facebook Places, Foursquare, Layar, Gowalla, and many others, but the concept is the same for all. When someone is using their mobile with geolocation capability, the location of that person is pinpointed for marketers to use.”
Jamie Beckland writes “It’s easy to see why marketers would be interested in geolocation: You can effectively target customers at the most important point in the consideration cycle–standing right in front of you.” As Jamie points out, consumers are still concerned about privacy and that sharing location is a high-trust activity. He suggests “brand trust is the only way geolocation technologies will move into the mainstream” and offers tips for building geolocation into your social strategy:
- Tell your social networks that checking in is important for large events
- Encourage cross-promotion form location services to social networks, e.g. offer rewards for Foursquare check-in but only if the personal is also a Facebook fan.
- Use geographic information from social networks to drive location-based participation.
Up until now, the most common geolocation marketing approach has been discounts e.g. coupons for checking-in, but the most important motivation for consumers is often the social component of location.
Foursquare Pages and GeoLocation
Foursquare is an application that understands the social component of location and they’ve made social possible by making their branded pages now available self-serve to all businesses (previously exclusive to a handful of brands) they are. As they describe on their blog these features are perfect for brands for a number of reasons but most importantly you can reach the whole foursquare community with your Tips and check-ins (and push those check-ins to both Facebook Pages and Twitter) and become featured on their page gallery. Foursquare has over 10 million users worldwide.
Foursquare describes tips as being information about “going here, and doing this” – they are focused on providing relevant information about a location that someone can accomplish while they are there.
For example, The Wall Street Journal says:
The Wall Street Journal wants to help you explore New York, so we’ve teamed up with Foursquare to offer tips around the city. You can also unlock our badges by exploring the five boroughs, discovering new lunch spots, and hanging out in the financial district.
Starbucks offers tips about stores to visit in different locations. For example one in Florida is open later than nearby stores “if you need to study late, this is the store to do it at.”
Fast Company says, by following them on Foursquare you’ll have a chance to unlock their BIG IDEA BADGE and get insider knowledge on some of the most exciting companies throughout the world.”
With the advent of self-serve Foursquare pages businesses may want to consider this as an important addition to their social media strategy. And one where there the competition isn’t too great yet.
If you’re interested in creating a Foursquare page, Adam Helweh, offers 8 useful tips to help you get started.
WiFi Names as a Marketing Tool
David Meerman Scott offers a very innovative idea that he says is “rather far outside the mainstream.” He writes about using WiFi name as a marketing tool and credits the idea to Alexandra Janelli. Janelli writes, “Wireless router names are breaking through the walls of homes carrying with them virtual messages, airwave graffiti, or warnings only to be decrypted by our smart phones and computers…they are monocles into the cryptic world around us.” David adds, “Imagine how many people are seeing that network name…How about using the 32-character SSID space to broadcast a marketing message?”
David’s ideas include:
An auto dealer’s wifi name could be “Free test drives.
A pub: “Try Joes Martini”
A bookstore: “Stop hacking and reading a book.”
Are you using geolocation tips and messages as part of your marketing strategy? What works for your business? As a consumer, what do you respond to?