Location-based apps like Foursquare and Scvngr and geo-fencing platforms such as Placecast created industry buzz aplenty last year. But will marketers lose interest in the platforms, which have been slow to achieve scale? Dave Knox, CMO for digital shop Rockfish, said brands "get" that location-based marketing will climb in importance as more and more consumers adapt to the newest mobile devices.
"Our clients are becoming increasingly interested in location-based marketing with the rise of mobile technology," he told ClickZ on Wednesday. "As more people are switching to smartphones, they see the benefit of being able to engage consumers where they are and in the moment."
While conventional thinking might lead one to believe that geo-social marketing - getting consumers to record check-ins for rewards - may only concern offline retailers, Knox said other types of brands can also benefit. Efforts by Pepsi, History Channel, Time Out magazine, and others during the last two years seem to support his claim.
"All sorts of brands are embracing the pop-store model; so location-based marketing can be leveraged there as well," Knox said.
Marketers Aim for Better Location-based Analytics
Rockfish, a WPP property, has counted brands like Sam's Club and Bunn as digital marketing clients. In September, the Rogers, AK-based agency partnered with and invested in the location-based marketing services firm MomentFeed.
Santa Monica, CA-based MomentFeed earlier this week announced upgrades to its products suite. The most intriguing element involves offering a retailer data on when patrons tweet on Twitter or check in via Foursquare while they're in a store. The system examines the reach of the location-based broadcasts by calculating how many Twitter followers and Foursquare friends the store customer has. The data available also involves Klout scores of individual customers, as well as the integration of Facebook Insights stats in order to give companies a holistic social media view.
MomentFeed CEO Rob Reed pointed to the Twitter- and Foursquare-based stats as a way for stores to effectively weigh the value of individual customers. Frequent patronage, he said, can be used to extrapolate how much they are spending.
Reed added that brand clients "can create any arbitrary group of locations - by state, region, DMA, etc. - such that the data, content, and campaigns for those locations can be managed as a group. This is how, for example, you'd compare performance between locations in California and New York side by side."
Knox from Rockfish suggested that national quick-serve chains might find such geographical breakdowns useful.
"Restaurants are one segment that is primed to use location-based marketing to tap into what's happening in their locations via social," he said, "as more people are using their smartphones throughout their dining experience…[such as] checking in, taking pictures of their meals, reviewing their experience, etc."
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
June 5, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT