You Are Being Locked, Not by a Missile But by a Wild Merchant
Imagine that a young professional just take off from the office during his lunch break. While a young professional just walk out as usual from his office during lunch break, a notification shows up saying that there are 3 highly rated sandwich restaurants in his 5 mins walk radius. Because he’s starving and having nothing on his mind, he decides to have his meal at the place where the notification recommended.
It Is Not A Fairly Tale, According to Adweek
Whether it sounds cheerful or scary, location-based marketing is going to take place in people’s lives. A news article from Adweek says that Foursquare just start working on boost brands’ offline sales by connecting digital ads with real-time locations. The reason why it’s a news is because the location data used to be kept by few companies, such as Snapchat, Facebook, Google, etc.. Now these data are literally available to be used for offline businesses. In the article, Capital One and Retale have already tried the beta version of Pilgrim, an app made by Foursquare that pings out push notifications to show nearby locations.
To Catch the Trend, a Matter of Life or Death
The article is clearly a BOOM to we marketers. We have already experienced the power of location-based marketing through multiple apps. Remember an app that made thousands of people rushed to the Central Park after midnight just for a rare Pokemon? Pokemon GO, according to Adweek, “has driven more than 500 million visits to 35,000 sponsored IRL locations.” Moreover, Wechat has an application called “People Nearby”. The function of the application is as simple as its name, and it allows millions of small online merchants to thrive. Google Maps also has a feature called “Explore food & drinks near you”, which shows tons of places you may want to go.
To we marketers, the location-based marketing tools just opened a brand new world to us. Although it is a well-known fact that people gradually spend more time on their mobile devices than on desktops, many brands are still confused about how to adapt to the trend. Search and display ads are the two dominant items where brand invest most of their money, but they sometimes doubt the effectiveness of these two measures because the conversion rate is too low.
However, location-based marketing tools is a kind of precision marketing, and it is less likely to feed meaningless ads to annoyed customers. People gotta eat, people gotta drink, people gotta have fun. It is as simple as that. When you are shopping in Soho in the weekend afternoon, a digital coupon that you can use in a nearby store pop out through your phone notification. It is obvious that you will at least think about it and maybe even pay a visit, as long as the brand has been in your selection bracket. In this case, the digital coupon creates a competitive advantage, for example, for Top Shop to differentiate from Zara and H&M.
Forget about the Worries and Embrace the Change!
I believe as long as Foursquare properly dealt with privacy and legal issues, the location-based pop outs will be a star in the world of marketing. If don’t believe it, just imagine that if people found a rare Pokemon at Macy’s in Herald Square in summer 2016, the manager at Macy’s would probably regret why he/she hadn’t spent more money on the app immediately after Pokemon GO was launched.