The power of integrating location-based marketing

Date posted: 1 Jul 2019

Posted by: Garett Farrell

Post category: News

The power of integrating location-based marketing

While mobile is undoubtedly fundamental in boosting location-based marketing, at Smithfield, when we mention it, we aren’t just talking about mobile, or how to navigate a store. We’re viewing it instead as a method of connecting consumers to brands and products at a local level.

If you do a quick Google search, it soon becomes clear that the majority of articles about location-based marketing focus solely on mobile. That’s understandable given the figures already cited.

However, in our view, adopting a mobile-only approach is a mistake because location-based marketing is at its most effective when part of a truly integrated view that also embraces traditional media and search, bringing in options that include door drops, direct mail, geo-targeted digital, ad bikes, hand-to-hand leaflet distribution, posters, radio, and outdoor. This list goes on, and each of these media can be targeted in close proximity to your business location or where you think your customers are. Without these other channels, our feeling is that location-based mobile ads just don’t pack the same punch on their own.

Without it your business risks losing out

Very simply, if you ignore the potential of location-based marketing then you risk losing out on incremental sales growth and even face a decline in footfall, as highlighted in the 2018 research commissioned by Factual.

benefits of location marketing
Lawless Research, 2018 Location-Based Marketing Report, 1 June 2018

There are some powerful benefits highlighted in this research, and, when put together with the relative affordability of testing location-based marketing, it’s something that really has to be explored.

At Smithfield, we see location-based marketing as an ideal way to allow clients to test the power of advertising before committing to big scale mass reach media that can cost thousands with no guarantee of success.

Once again, it’s important to think beyond mobile when testing these opportunities. TV is just one medium, for instance, that’s growing more sophisticated and accessible to smaller and challenger brands thanks to the development of location-based solutions. Sky Ad Smart, the tailored advertising platform, is one example of where a location-based approach can be tested on a hyper-local level for a fraction of the cost of a traditional TV campaign.

It’s also vital to recognise the role that search plays in location-based marketing. Given that one-in-three mobile searches are now location-based, marketers have a real opportunity to understand and impact the consumer journey at a local level. See our blog post about local search here.

76% of Mobile users who make a local search online visit a business within a day
Google / Purchased Digital Diary May 2016 – Think With Google

Use it to test your proposition

Let’s look in more detail at the role location-based marketing can play in testing. A national campaign based on a new proposition can be high risk. Location-based marketing provides you with the ability to look at developing the proposition in a test environment, measuring its impact across different media channels, and with various creative executions, at a fraction of the cost, enabling you to understand exactly what works, and where, ahead of a national launch.

To ensure the test is successful and clean you need a control store/environment, where no one is exposed to the advertising in the same vicinity/location. This will allow for uplift measurement.

We recently ran a successful location-based marketing test campaign for one of our clients. To see this in practice, view the case study here.

Provide a clear call to action and detail the benefits

If you are investing in location-based marketing, it’s important to acknowledge that its power as a sales tool tends to outweigh its strengths in building brand awareness. Therefore, the best campaigns include a really strong call to action or offer to drive the user to the store or to make the purchase.

Building on the call to action, you’ll also need to provide clear directions on how to redeem an offer and be consistent on this across all your communications. Again, if you lack clarity then you risk customers dropping out of the journey.

And, when you are mixing location-based marketing with wider brand awareness activity, you need to make sure that the call to action is only accessible to consumers within proximity of the store. Your wider media comes into play to ensure that you are engaging your consumer outside of the location, building general brand awareness and loyalty.

Measurement is key

Finally, the conclusion of any successful location-based campaign involves delivering detailed measurement. This can be the trickiest part, as you need to align the promotion with clear metrics and understand how to associate a local ad with in-store traffic, and in-store purchase.

A good starting point for planners is to ensure that there’s an understanding of the average number of visits per store, and other factors such as times of peak visits. This then becomes our benchmark, enabling us to analyse the campaign across hard measurements like sales, increased footfall, app downloads, online redemptions, and soft measures include exposures, clicks, impressions served cover and frequency of local population.

It’s here where mobile does help as it allows you to measure incremental store traffic through mobile location data that provides a link between the online and offline worlds.

The key principles of location-based marketing

Just to wrap up on the key principles of location-based marketing as we see them at Smithfield:

  • It brings growth for your brand at targeted locations, if done effectively.
  • It is a great way to test your marketing approach and allocate your budgets.
  • It is not just about mobile. It must be integrated to ensure you capture the customer on their journey.
  • Your call to action needs to be strong.
  • It enables you to understand hard and soft measures, empowering you to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

You can view these principles in a real, working environment, with a case study of a location-based campaign we ran in Manchester. Click here to read more.

References:
Lawless Research, 2018 Location-Based Marketing Report, 1 June 2018 ThinkWithGoogle, Google/DigitalPurchaseDiary May 2017

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