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Location Is Everything in a Mobile World


In 2017, it is estimated that in the US alone, there will be 222.9 million smartphone users. Mobile devices are now an everyday part of all of our lives. So for marketing purposes, how do businesses use this to their advantage?

The world of digital marketing seems limitless and ever evolving. Roughly half of all smartphone users are now finding offers and discounts based upon their current locations. This is accomplished through location-based marketing, or LBM for short. LBM is the use of mobile marketing to target mobile users within a specified geographic area.

In most cases, an LBM ad or alert served to a mobile user is meant to encourage a last minute purchase. This would include a deal of the day offer, a discount promotional code or something along those lines. The goal of location-based marketing is to spur a reaction, by capturing the end user’s attention and transforming them into a customer. Businesses can reach mobile users in two ways, either while they are using the internet or while using an app. In this post, we are going to focus on internet usage.

Location-based marketing is not limited strictly to businesses with large marketing budgets. It can also apply to smaller businesses, such as coffee shops. LBM can work by targeting either a consumer’s location or based upon their behavior. Here are a few examples of how to apply both of those methods.

Using a consumer’s location as your marketing angle works great with restaurants. Say you are a restaurant that wants to promote a lunch special. Your ad would be scheduled to only serve mobile users during specific lunch time hours, within a particular area surrounding your establishment. Those who are served the ad will be more likely to react because they are conventionally already in the area.

Now with behavior targeting, if you’re a business that has a special offer or promotional code, you can directly target a user’s persona instead of their location. Take, for example, a gym that has a winter promotion. That gym would target the offer toward users who have a higher propensity towards wanting to work out. This type of ad serving allows the gym to hyper-target only those who would be more likely to react to the promotion.

The caveat is that if your focus is simply on branding, there are more efficient methods of advertising than location-based marketing. Also, in some cases, it does not prove worthwhile if your audience is too small to target either by location or behavior. The benefit of LBM is not only to sway the consumer in your immediate vicinity to take action on your offer, but to allow the business to spend those allocated marketing dollars strategically.

Kelly Loos is an account executive at KK BOLD. Her location is in Minot, ND. Except for when it isn’t.