Locations, Beacons, Context & Challenges

Some thoughts on how Marketers & Marketing teams can use Locations as part of their activities. Given that the engagement rates in social media are dropping to single digit percentages, it becomes important to engage the consumer through other means and at different places.

Think Beyond the App (App+)

The last half a decade, everyone has spent time and money on developing an app to engage with the consumer. Every mid to large sized retailer and brand has an app and more than 80% of these apps are not used regularly. It will be an interesting statistic to understand how many of these apps are used consistently beyond the first few days and I would be surprised if the number is anything more than the top 2 or 3 trusted and most used brands/retailers. Hence, the need to engage the consumer beyond the app or thinking about the consumer when they don’t have the app also.

Why not deliver some of the capabilities that an app offers without using an app, but with modern web technologies and also at the location where it matters.

This is something that retailers and brands need to consider more seriously in the near term as a Location based strategy, to engage the consumer who does not have the app, will become important. For example, even the app of a large mall like Inorbit which gets around 35–40,000 in footfalls every day, has less than 50000 downloads on Play store (as on 10th March 2017).

User Content at the Location

One of the important trends of the so-called Web 2.0 phase was the introduction of “User-Generated” content. It would be prudent to scan the web for content relating to that specific location and share it where is is relevant.

For example, if I get reviews of a restaurant or for specific products in a restaurant when I am there, it would be useful. It would also be great if people from my friends list can leave messages specific to a location for me, which will only be accessible at that location. This could probably mean better feedback as the content is meant to be read by someone and is not some random note. In general, I trust my friend more than the general information that I can gather.

Move beyond Promotions for Location-Based Marketing

Location based marketing using beacons is becoming popular with consumers and businesses as the idea of context of where the consumer is and at what time the information is accessed can be used to tailor information. But, so far a lot of the information shared is similar to what is shared in general on the web. This trend has to change to offer something beyond offers/coupons to consumers.

Marketers need to think of promoting products at places where consumers might use them rather than at places where it is available. For example, a baby product brand can advertised in parks or near schools rather than in and around the store. The focus needs to shift from where it is available to where it is used.

Businesses should also connect with consumers through social media channels using the information gathered from location based marketing. For example, if we know that a consumer has shown interest in baby products, they might be contacted through social media channels with more information in a day or later (assuming permissions are taken) rather than using adWords. This can lead to better engagement with the consumer.