Q&A With The Authors of Location Based Marketing for Dummies


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This is an embarrassment of riches. I’m honored to interview the authors of Location Based Marketing for Dummies, Aaron Strout and Mike Schneider.

1. What is the most important thing Marketers should know about LBS?

LBS gives marketers the ability to learn more about their users discovery habits. This information becomes powerful competitive advantage and allows marketers to provide place relevant content and offers. It’s not, however a magic bullet or one single offering. It’s not mobile or web, it’s both. It’s not advertising versus content, it’s both.

2. What does it take to execute a LBS strategy correctly?

It just takes a little marketing discipline, patience, upfront planning, ability to acquire and read data and insights, ability to set up a good test and ingenuity to beat your established benchmarks.

3. What are the common mistakes LBS early adopters have made?

Most of them do not have a very compelling offer. They also underestimate the ripple effect they can get from surprising and delighting customers.

4. What are the best practices for integrating LBS into a multi-channel campaign?

There aren’t any best ways. There are so many ways. You can bridge online and offline with QR codes. You can provide specials of geospecific mobile ads. You can do hyper local search targeting. You can do embedded offers in Google lcoation specific searches. You can run scavenger hunts. You can provide content to heighten brand awareness.

5. Examples of brands using LBS well?

Tons of businesses do well with hyper local google search combined with click-to-call

  • Swavorski did a really great scavenger (SCVNGR) hunt in the UK that put 500 teams of two on a location based treasure hunt [Mashable]
  • USA Today takes Lifestyle content and places tips around the US for added brand awareness
  • Businesses like The Local, Saus Boston and Taqueria Zorro are using inverted deals to incentivize trial and loyalty using The LevelUp.
  • Tasti d-Lite is doing cool things with social loyalty by making Checkins passive and giving people additional loyalty points for use of their foursquare, twitter and Facebook accounts [aboutfoursquare story]

6. Daily deal sites or LBS check-in – which do you invest marketing resources in and why?

Depends on the business. Daily deals bring people in but those people are highly unprofitable and could cannibalize your loyal customers. LBS is generally a longer term, less expensive option but effectiveness hinges on your offer and platform choices.

7. A recent Pew study provided information on LBS usage providing adequate fodder for LBS proponents and nay-sayers. What do you make of it?

I think that study is already dated.

8. What’s your go-to app (if you don’t mind sharing)?

For check-ins: instagram: I’m getting a little burned out on checking in for the sake of checking in. For paying: LevelUp. I love what Seth Priebatsch is doing and I love the of creating a situation where cash can flow without friction. They don’t discuss the details of their model, but they’ve figured out ways to make interchange less than average and are striving for “interchange zero”. Also grooving hard in Trover, Alfred, Forecast and Bizzy. GLMPS is working it’s way into my flow as well.

9. What does the future hold for LBS?

The future is bright. Location based services will be come more valuable for consumers and merchants. The power comes when location is incorporated into more natural processes like discovery and payment. Tech companies, carriers and credit card companies are realizing that the collision of navigation devices, ad networks, content networks, social streams and commerce is the holy grail. While the technologies and data streams are still heavily siloed, look for big companies to try and consolidate companies in order to gain competitive advantage at the virtual cash register.

10. And because we’re beer lovers, are any breweries leveraging LBS?

Beer is tricky for LBS due to age restrictions, but luckily there are a few niche applications that are dedicated specifically to the discovery of beer.

  • TapHunter helps you figure out what is being served in bars nearby. Find Craft Beer does similar.
  • Untappd allows you to check into your beers and gives you suggestions of similar beers based on what others who check into the same beers like. There is also an opportunity to get badges. Allagash and a couple of others experimented with brewery specific medals on an app called Redpint, but Redpint has since been acquired by and merged with Untappd.
  • Guinness has their own app that helps you find places to enjoy Guinness nearby. It’s called Guinness Pub Finder.

Heady Topper

We see opportunities to make plans based on places that (good) beer can be found very fascinating and extensive. Now, who has a Heady Topper for our efforts? ;)

11. So what will Marketing Technologists learn from LBS4D?

Check it out for yourself!

  1. Claim your locations on LBS platforms
  2. Reach out to influencers, get to know them
  3. Create a great offer
  4. Operationalize – get employees ready to support
  5. Test/Learn/Optimize

Republished with author's permission from original post.

John Refford
Natixis Global Asset Management
John Refford is a Financial Service professional with 17 years experience including 13 years management experience. John writes about Marketing Technology at his personal blog refford.com and at his personal twitter account @iamreff. His writings reflect his own opinions and not those of his employer.


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