“Location, location, location” no longer applies only to real estate. With today’s mobile GPS technologies, marketers can track a cell phone user’s location to within a few feet.

That means you no longer need to solicit email addresses and phone numbers from your customers. If potential customers come into or near your brick and mortar store, you can use their location data to target them in highly personal and relevant ways in real time.

Location-Based Advertising (LBA) is all about proximity. The closer users are to a business, the more likely they are to click on an ad for that business. The sweet spot is 1–2 miles.

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Basically, targeting your audience by location turbocharges your paid search and mobile display campaigns. In fact, geo-targeted ads perform twice as well as standard non-targeted ads.

So, what is LBA anyway?

There are four main types of Location-Based Marketing:

1. Geotargeting — Using real-time location data supplied by mobile providers, you can send mobile ads to certain people in a certain location at a certain time. Geo-targeted ads are also known as geo-aware ads.

For instance, say you own a sports bar near the local ballpark, and you want to target fans as they’re on their way out of the stadium after the game and drive them to your place to celebrate the big win. You can also target other locations that sports fans frequent, like sporting goods stores or family sports centers, and re-target them over time.

2. Geofencing — Using GPS and RFID technologies, you can to block off a virtual area around your business and send ads only to potential customers who are currently inside the “fence” or have been inside it recently. Geo-fences come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as small as your retail store or miles wide.

Let’s say you’ve just opened a boutique dress shop in a local mall. You can set up a geo-fence right around the mall to target people who are currently shopping and drive them to your store for a big grand opening sale. You can set up a larger geo-fence—say, 5 miles around your store—and use it to send an ad to anyone who is browsing for dresses on their phones or devices at home or work.

3. Geoconquesting — Geo-conquesting is similar to geo-fencing, except you are identifying customers who are loyal to or considering your competitors and re-targeting them to your brand.

Let’s go back to that dress shop. Two blocks from the mall, there is a well-established, popular dress shop. Using geo-conquesting, you can set up a geo-fence around your competitor’s store and send ads to its customers when they are very likely to be in decision-making mode. If you can’t outspend the competition, outsmart them!

4. Beaconing — Beacons are devices that can be installed inside brick and mortar locations to send relevant messages via Bluetooth technology to smartphones and mobile devices that are nearby. Also known as proximity targeting or in-store targeting, beaconing can lure customers inside your business or reach out to them after they enter.

Let’s go back to the sports bar. Your geotargeting campaign identified the sports fans who saw your ad after the big game last Saturday. Now it’s Monday night and you want to reward those who maybe didn’t stop by then but are coming in tonight to watch football. You use beaconing to offer them a free appetizer coupon that they can easily redeem by showing the message or ad to their server when they place their order.

Do customers like geo-targeted and location-based ads?

Yes, they overwhelmingly do. In fact, consumers don’t just like LBAs, they “like ’em-like ’em.” Why? Because nothing beats location-based marketing for convenience. It’s instant and nearly effortless. You’re giving them what they want, exactly when they want it.

Say you and a friend are out shopping together. You walk into a shoe store and hear your phone ding. It’s a coupon from that store for 20% off any purchase. You love coupons almost as much as you love shoes, so you’re thrilled. The shoe store got a sale, so they’re thrilled. You saved $100 on a hot new pair of Choos, and the store made $400.

While you were checking out, your friend was on her smartphone, checking her email and social media. She’s getting hungry, so she searches for nearby lunch spots and is served an ad offering a free appetizer with any entrée. The ad has a “GET DIRECTIONS” CTA button. She clicks on the ad and sees that it’s just 2 blocks over. Now the ladies have a place to eat and will save money again on lunch.

So, just how much do consumers like targeted location-based ads?

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What makes an LBA ad successful?

Your goal with any location-based advertising is to reach a highly-targeted audience with a very personal message at a time when they are most likely to respond the way you want them to. There are four key elements to any successful LBA campaign:

1. Accurate location data — You must know where your customers/audience are, where they live, where they shop, where they have fun, etc.

2. Accurate behavioral data — You must know how your customers/audience behave, what their habits are, what they like, how they interact online, etc.

3. A compelling, well-designed ad/campaign — An effective location-based ad will have an eye-catching design and layout, a message that is personal and relevant and a powerful call to action.

4. Accurate tracking data — You need to be able to track everyone who viewed your ad and everyone who took an action (clicking for directions, tapping to call your location, visiting your website, downloading and/or redeeming an LBA-delivered coupon, etc.).

Should I be using LBA?

If you own a brick and mortar location, whether you are a retailer, service provider or practicing professional, such as an attorney or dentist, you can grow your business with location-based marketing efforts. LBA is cutting-edge, fully customizable and surprisingly affordable.

Besides, if you don’t get onboard the “USS LBA,” you will be missing the boat. Today, approximately 6% of retailers and service providers identify customers via their smartphones. Experts predict that by 2020, that figure will reach 53%. If their forecast is correct, that would be an increase of 883% in less than three years.

We can help steer your business to success! Appleyard Agency can manage every aspect of your LBA campaign. Our in-house team starts with market research and planning to identify desired audiences and how best to target them. Our designers then work closely with you to create interactive ads that grab customers’ attention and inspire them to take action. Our experts then use the latest programmatic and real-time technologies for precision media buys, and follow up with easy-to-grasp post-buy analytics and reporting to illustrate campaign effectiveness and ROI.

Contact us to learn how location based advertising can help your business grow.

About Heather Carroll

Heather Carroll joined the Agency in 1996 and is involved with nearly every aspect of copywriting and content development, including print, PR, television, radio, digital and social media. She graduated from Pensacola Junior College with honors and went on to attend the University of West Florida. She has 20 years’ experience as a copywriter/editor and project manager.

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