DMF 2011 | Leveraging Location-Based Services to Engage with Customers, Prospects and Advocates

By Amanda Sides | Feb 4, 2011
More Articles by Amanda


With the growing mobile industry, I’m glad to see so many sessions based around mobile marketing.  This session focused on location-based marketing on platforms such as Foursquare.

Speakers that made it down to Austin for this session (a lot of speakers this year got stuck because of the weather and unfortunately couldn’t make it) were Asif R. Khan, Founder & President of Location Based Marketing Association, and Sarah Atkinson, Marketing Manager of FohBoh.  You can follow Asif on Twitter at @theLBMA, and Sarah at @FohBohGal.

From a brand point of view using location-based marketing, you’ll want to know where your consumers are, send them your brand message, give them offers and incentives to ultimately drive sales and measure ROI.

A few stats on who uses location-based services…

  • 80% male
  • 70% 19-35 yrs. old
  • 70% college grads
  • 20% more likely to do mobile research

Mobile Usage Evolution

Search Engines > Social Networks > Location-Based Services

First, people migrated to using search engines such as Google to look for information, then social networks like Facebook to talk about themselves, and then location based services like Foursquare to share local data and find places and friends nearby that like doing similar things.  People are currently using location services to find friends, for the game elements (Foursquare badges, mayorships, etc.), coupons, sharing, new experiences, and to find products and reviews and recommendations.

More stats…

  • 83% of Americans have a cell phone
  • 31% of those use smart phones
  • 10% use location-based services once a week

Location Based Marketing is Cost-Effective

Once you decide this is a path you want to go down for your marketing strategy, the typical next step would be to determine budget needed for these efforts. Surprisingly, you don’t need to spend much. Here’s a huge chain that utilized a clever location-based marketing campaign using a few dollars that had a huge impact…

McDonald’s. Last year, McDonald’s set aside $1,000 to offer $10 gift cards that you could qualify to win if you went to your local McDonald’s and checked-in on Foursquare.  This one day campaign increased traffic to the chain by 33%. Read more at Mashable.

Sarah jumps right into a couple of case studies, including one for Buffalo Wild Wings.

Buffalo Wild Wings. BDubs used an app called Scvngr.  The campaign was set up around NBA finals, including points when you eat certain things, show up wearing your team’s jersey, among other challenges.   In the first week, there were 10,000 players and over 33,000 check-ins. Give your customers a little incentive, and they will flock to you.

Here are some ways people are utilizing incentives with their location-based marketing:

  • Starbucks. Offers $1 Frappuchino coupon for all Starbucks mayors.
  • Billy Berks. Free basket of sweet potato fries for every two check-ins.
  • Golden Coral. The Foursquare mayor can eat free once per day.  On top of that, each check-in enters you to win an iPad.

As with any form of mobile marketing, it may be intimidating to get started. Mobile usage of location-based services is seeing significant growth, and is a market that business are beginning to take advantage of.  Dive-in and see what location-based marketing can do for your business.

Location Based Marketing Analytics

Since it’s such a new industry, there aren’t currently many analytics tools available.  There are a few coming to fruition, and more will be available as usage increases, but one that Asif recommends for Foursquare is called FourScore.  FourScore is a tool offered by Deep Focus can give you analytics data regarding your company’s Foursquare interactions.

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