6 Strategies to Better Target Customers With Location-Based Offers

Pan­elists at “Loca­tion Mat­ters – Cre­at­ing Immer­sive Expe­ri­ences for Fans and Cus­tomers” dur­ing New York’s Adver­tis­ing Week dis­cussed how to man­age cus­tomer rela­tion­ships when incor­po­rat­ing loca­tion-based tech­nol­o­gy and offers.

Lisa Lacy By Lisa Lacy. Join the discussion » 1 comment

It’s easy for brands to upset con­sumers by inun­dat­ing them with loca­tion-based offers. And once they opt out, it’s high­ly unlike­ly they’ll opt back in again. That means it’s incred­i­bly impor­tant for brands to pro­vide util­i­ty to said con­sumers when tar­get­ing them with loca­tion-based con­tent. Brands have to think about what kind of con­tent will make con­sumers will­ing to use up some of the pre­cious bat­tery life on their mobile devices.

Cit­ing brands like Levi’s Sta­di­um, Dunkin’ Donuts and Dis­ney as exam­ples of effec­tive loca­tion-based adver­tis­ers, pan­elists at “Loca­tion Mat­ters – Cre­at­ing Immer­sive Expe­ri­ences for Fans and Cus­tomers” dur­ing New York’s Adver­tis­ing Week dis­cussed how to man­age cus­tomer rela­tion­ships when incor­po­rat­ing loca­tion-based tech­nol­o­gy and offers.

Here’s their take on best prac­tices for brands.

Lesson 1: Don’t Interrupt, Provide Utility

Elisa Padil­la, senior vice pres­i­dent of glob­al mar­ket­ing at Brook­lyn Nets/Barclays Cen­ter, said her brand has mul­ti­ple apps that are very much focused on the guest expe­ri­ence. That includes the abil­i­ty to upgrade seats direct­ly from the app, as well as to access infor­ma­tion such as where to find a short­er line to buy con­ces­sions. It also includes video con­tent that allows fans to go back and watch a great play if they missed it when it hap­pened live.

In addi­tion, Bar­clays has test­ed out a few push noti­fi­ca­tions. The first pro­vid­ed a wel­come mes­sage to “[make] this feel like home for the next few hours,” she said. Oth­er mes­sages were for the 40/40 Club and the retail shop.

We’re very con­scious of plan­ning our mes­sag­ing for next sea­son,” Padil­la said. “We want to be respect­ful of our guests. We don’t want to inun­date them with mes­sag­ing. We test, we under­stand, we imple­ment and we add val­ue to the cus­tomer.”

Derek Frid­man, group cre­ative direc­tor at dig­i­tal agency Huge, used the exam­ple of the app from home improve­ment retail­er Lowe’s, which uses Google Maps to map out each store and help cus­tomers find what they’re look­ing for, no mat­ter which loca­tion they’re shop­ping from.

They did this beau­ti­ful thing – the sig­nage is there, which match­es the phone, so cus­tomers know that’s what it looks like and ‘I’m in the right spot,’” Frid­man said. “It’s not about sell­ing to them. It’s about get­ting them to the right place.”

In oth­er words, brands have to pro­vide util­i­ty and think about what will make con­sumers want to grant them access to their bat­ter­ies.

Bat­tery is cur­ren­cy,” he said.

For her part, Kather­ine Hays, CEO of Vivoom, a plat­form that weaves brands into user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent, said Vivoom gives users three ben­e­fits.

  • Exclu­siv­i­ty. That’s because Vivoom pro­vides assets users can add to their videos in real time, which they couldn’t access if they weren’t at a par­tic­u­lar event, she said. She called this “the mod­ern-day con­cert t‑shirt” and said it gives social cur­ren­cy and inspires shares.
  • Emo­tion. By pro­vid­ing wrap­ping around videos, Vivoom helps users cre­ate videos that bet­ter reflect the emo­tions they felt when they first shot them, Hays said.
  • Authen­tic­i­ty. It starts with a user video and “the assets we’re adding are the real deal,” Hays said. In oth­er words, by pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al assets tied to a spe­cif­ic event or con­tent like a movie, users are more eager to shoot and share with friends and friends of fans watch these videos longer than they would oth­er­wise, which means “users are shar­ing a video with friends with a brand’s voice wrapped around it in an authen­tic way.”

Lesson 2: Don’t Screw Things Up, But Especially Don’t Screw Up Data/Privacy

Not­ing a brand real­ly can’t recov­er from screw­ing up some­thing like data, Padil­la said each of Bar­clays fran­chis­es asks cus­tomers for per­mis­sion to uti­lize data and com­mu­ni­cate with them and she said they do not cross-sell.

Unless you opt in, you don’t hear from us,” Padil­la said.

Sim­i­lar­ly, Hays said users only receive Vivoom cam­paigns based on loca­tion or social activ­i­ty, such as attend­ing a game at Gillette Sta­di­um or lik­ing an app.

In addi­tion, Hays said Vivoom can change up offers based on what’s hap­pen­ing at an event, which helps keep cam­paigns and calls to action rel­e­vant.

Lesson 3: Make Experiences In The Physical Location Better

Frid­man said brands should think about how to start a con­ver­sa­tion with cus­tomers in the dig­i­tal space and then aug­ment that expe­ri­ence in a phys­i­cal loca­tion. He point­ed to car deal­er­ships, say­ing cus­tomers spend hours online doing research and then go to check out vehi­cles in per­son.

I’m already edu­cat­ed online about what I can do in the phys­i­cal space, but [brands] can start turn­ing phys­i­cal loca­tions into des­ti­na­tions rather than just inven­to­ry on shelves,” he said.

Lesson 4: Be Ready For Anything

If con­tent is king, cura­tion is the new queen,” Frid­man said.

That means con­tent has to be mod­u­lar so that it is “primed and ready” and “when cus­tomers go left, we can respond,” he added.

Padil­la agreed, adding that test­ing cre­ative is impor­tant to make sure it works on dif­fer­ent devices.

Lesson 5: Reward Passionate Fans Appropriately

What’s more, when com­mu­ni­cat­ing with pas­sion­ate fans that have opt­ed in to receive offers on their mobile devices, Padil­la said Bar­clays wants to reward them with real­ly great stuff. So, for exam­ple, after send­ing out a tick­et offer via SMS last spring and sell­ing over 400 tick­ets, she said the brand real­ized “these are peo­ple who real­ly want to be involved with this brand.”

To date, Bar­clays has not sent out anoth­er such offer because “we want to make sure to reward them with a bet­ter offer when we do it again,” Padil­la added.

Lesson 6: Put Yourself In The Customer’s Shoes

When­ev­er we do some­thing, we ask our­selves if peo­ple will opt out if we do this,” Padil­la said. “If two say yes and two say no, we real­ly drill down to make sure it’s the right deci­sion.”

Have you incor­po­rat­ed loca­tion-based offers into your own mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy? What’s your take?

Lisa Lacy

Written by Lisa Lacy

Lisa is a senior features writer for Inked. She also previously covered digital marketing for Incisive Media. Her background includes editorial positions at Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, AOL, Amazon, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

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