There are multiple schools of thought on this subject, however, a new one seems to have cropped up from out of nowhere. Many people believe that location-based marketing of any kind was a good idea for businesses that are based primarily offline. For example, a hairdresser or an estate agent may well struggle if their Internet marketing campaign was nationwide as opposed to localized.
The same arguments may be made if you are marketing on a mobile website, since it is only the method of research that is changed and not the motivation to research. If a person is searching for a hairdresser that is local to them, then their motivation is no different if they decide to search on the Internet, on their mobile phone, or in the yellow pages.
A new argument has cropped up on behalf of location-based mobile marketing, and it is all because of the growing popularity of GPS. People are now able to use the GPS on their phones to locate people, locate businesses, and even use it as a satellite navigation system. In a sense, GPS technology within mobile phones has actually made location-based marketing even more necessary on mobile phone websites than it is on desktop websites.
Is location based mobile marketing right for your business?
If your business is based primarily on the Internet, then yes, you should invest time and money into location-based mobile marketing. If people need to turn up to your place of work for you to provide a service they need to know where you are, and you need to assume that they’re going to find out where you are via their mobile phone. Combining proximity and interest is the way to go! Never have marketers had such access to potential customers.
If you are running a broad and mixed marketing campaign (as you should) then location-based mobile marketing should only be one part of a larger marketing campaign. To leave it out however, would be a serious and damaging omission. However, there’s a lot of fear out there about getting started with location based marketing.
Is location based marketing safe?
The truth is that very little is “safe” online if safety means privacy to you… For example, if you have a Facebook page, are already hundreds of people (friends or not) who know your mother’s maiden name, your interests, your hobby, and your job. Mother’s maiden name is quite a common choice for security questions, and yet all somebody has do is go to your friends section on your Facebook and look under family members. As web marketers we have to work towards minimizing this.
When you start your website and purchase a domain name and server space, you automatically have your name and address posted on the Internet for anyone to see. In other words, location-based marketing is no less safe than any other innocent operation you care to partake of on the Internet. Putting information out there means that people can find it – so choose wisely.
Does it work?
That is like asking if your advertisement in the newspaper will get you any more customers. Location-based marketing isn’t predetermined in any sense of the word, which means that you cannot simply use it and expect it to work. You need to make sure that your location-based marketing campaign is correctly optimized so that the right people can find the right information. It is up to you to learn as much as you can about location-based marketing, and then put your knowledge to work so that you gain targeted and local customers through your campaign.
Does location-based marketing have the potential to bring more people to your store or place of work? Yes it does, because location-based marketing is a form of advertising and advertising works. How well the advert works is completely up to you, but at the very least, location-based marketing acts as a reference point that your customers can use to find you.
Should you create a location app that works with GPS?
This would be an app that people can use to find your business, while also locating where they are themselves on the map. Primarily you do not need to integrate GPS into your location app, so “”no”” is the first answer. If it is not needed, then do not waste your time on it. On the other hand, having an app which works with a phone’s GPS system is a novelty, and some hardcore mobile phone users may appreciate it.
The main argument for not creating an app that has GPS integrated into it is because your business location does not move. Once it is located on something such as local maps then there is no need for further action. If a person wants to know where they are in relation to your business, then all they need to do is turn on their own GPS System.
One of the few arguments for creating such an app would be that a person might easily locate your business and themselves all in one swift motion, i.e. by turning on and using the app. However, there are few circumstances where this app would be worth downloading, since it may not be used very often.
Another reason for creating such an app would be that you can create a mapping system that is similar to what you would find in a mall. The map would show your business, and then an arrow pointing to the customer saying you are here.