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Location-based marketing: The key to mobile customer engagement?

Brad Howarth | Jan. 13, 2014
We look at how geo-targeting and geolocation services are coming to the fore as marketers look to capitalise on the rise in consumer smartphone adoption, and why engagement is key to its success.

According to the managing director for Adobe Systems in Australia, Paul Robson, the quest to incorporate geo-location into marketing campaigns is a natural extension of marketers' desire to tailor those campaigns to the attributes of individual consumers.

"When we sit down to meetings with these organisations they all talk about personalisation," he says. "They want to have a personal relationship with their customers, and they want to be able to provide them with relevant content, relevant data, and understand what they want."

In many instances, brands will take what little geo-location information they can get, including making assumptions based on the IP address of browsing consumers, due to the strong uplift this can give to the effectiveness of offers, Robson continues. The ultimate goal, however, is to get consumers to log in to a service and part with more specific location details in the process, further refining the geo-targeting process.

Realising the opportunity, numerous Australian location-based services are poised to launch in 2014. These include the Melbourne-based start-up, Snap It Up, which aims to provide an engine for business to sell goods and services to nearby consumers. The concept essentially takes store-front advertising and extends it to people outside of line-of-sight.

Its co-founder, David Gillespie, believes Snap It Up will be especially effective for selling distressed inventory, such as for a hairdresser that has a vacancy, as offers can be posted in a matter of seconds. "From a bricks and mortar sense we know it works, and what we are doing is translating that," he says. "We are creating a hybrid between physical advertising campaign and a Web-style banner ad campaign, but the idea is it can drive traffic to a physical store.

"What this is really about is providing time and place location-based offers. If you are having a quiet morning, you have the ability to influence the sales you have that afternoon."

Another advantage of the model is that advertisers can learn now many people were in range of their offer but declined to take it up. Gillespie says Snap It Up is now talking to potential partners who operate in large numbers of physical locations. It will not be replicating the model of group buying services that have hired large teams of face-to-face salespeople.

"What we have come up with is a completely different business model that does scale without face-to-face sales," Gillespie says.

The company has also invested heavily in the technology behind Snap It Up, including developing a location model that does not rapidly drain the battery of the users' smartphone, and an enterprise grade ecommerce engine capable of handling millions of consumers, cross referenced to hundreds of thousands or stores.

 

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