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By Kane Hooper

Geolocation – Driving Marketing with Personalised Messages

You don’t have to be Uber or Google to make use of the GPS chips that exist in mobile devices. With so many marketing messages vying for attention, smart marketers can look to geolocation to keep their messages relevant and timely — so they cut through the clutter and create conversions.

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There are many areas where geolocation services and push notifications can provide amazing benefits to customers and companies alike.

I recently had an example where geolocation could have engaged me further. I bought some clothes last month and I quite liked their store and product. I willingly gave my email address and details during the purchase to get future discounts from them, I’m in need of some winter wardrobe items – plus there were jackets on the racks that caught my eye. Leaving the store, I was quite happy with my purchase and ready to engage with their loyalty program, and I was intending to come back. Hey - they offered me discounts.

But then the emails started. ‘Come in for our knit hats.’ It seemed every second day I was getting emails offering new products. I altered my email preferences and tried to be polite — ‘I don’t need so many emails, please’ — but that didn’t seem to change anything. More emails, followed by even more emails. In the end I banned them from my inbox. And it’s left a bad taste in my mouth about their loyalty program and their brand. I’d prefer not to have signed up.

This is where location services shine — instead of a flurry of messages, get users engaged via an application with a few enticements, a discount or a special offer, or preferences asking what they are looking for. Then target your customers with messages when they near your physical location, or that of a competitor. Remind them of the discounts you earlier offered, cross-reference the weather for the coming week in their location and suggest appropriate items they may need.

Traditional location services have several issues. Standard geofencing services such as Google and Apple have low accuracy (typically between 100 to 150 meters) using the phone’s GPS capabilities. As we all know, getting to a higher level of accuracy drains the battery life making it prohibitive for a number of usages. In an attempt to overcome these problems, some businesses turn to beacons, but that gets expensive and doesn’t meet the business need.

In trying to solve these problems we’ve recently been working with Bluedot Innovation, a location services company that has solved the issues of accuracy and battery by using all the different sensors in the phone. This allows the creation of geolines that are accurate down to a 2.5 cm virtual line. Furthermore, their revolutionary use of the phone’s sensors uses significantly less battery life than other geolocation services. There are a number of features that let you specify the exact conditions in which your geotargeted campaigns are activated.

I recently meet with the CEO of Bluedot Innovation, Filip Eldic, who explained that with Bluedot you can take your marketing to a whole new level. You can literally place geolines and geofences anywhere around the world and create marketing campaigns that are specifically targeted to the user’s real-time location and contextual behaviors.

We’re currently working with clients to integrate their mobile applications with Bluedot. The brilliance is that once the application is integrated with your application you can create and manage custom marketing campaigns without needing to make any changes to the application. It’s all managed from the Bluedot web interface. This means your marketing team can test and create new campaigns and launch them at the press of a button. They can constantly innovate to their heart's content. And in marketing terms this means fast response times to changing market conditions.

Traditionally any changes to a marketing campaign from a mobile app would require coding changes to the app itself and the lengthy process of app approvals from the App store or Google Play. This costs time, money and many frustrated marketers. This is no longer the case when integrating with Bluedot.

The smartphone’s location-tracking abilities and portability, combined with users’ transitory behavior, make location-targeted content a natural fit. Google reports that 30 percent of searches have explicit local intent, while 76 percent of those result in a store visit within a day.

A study by BIA/Kelsey found one of the biggest mobile marketing success factors is native thinking: building content, apps and ads that fit the device’s unique form factor. Nowhere does this principle apply more than location targeting. This local intent drives mobile ad performance when campaigns effectively cater to it.

When examining the different flavors of mobile ad targeting driving the sector’s growth, an emerging tactic involves audience targeting. This is using location data to build consumer profiles, which can be used as ongoing ad triggers.

This shifts the traditional thinking around location. Rather than use a mobile location signal to deliver a geographically relevant ad (e.g., nearby restaurant), location is beginning to be seen as a longer-term tool to measure and create a multidimensional mosaic of consumer intent.

Marketers can personalize messages for different audiences (think: soccer mom, business traveler, student, etc.). based on where they go and other data in their profile, such as past purchase history. You can deliver content that is relevant to that person, at the right time and place.

You can also create audience profiles based on patterns of where each customer segment goes and how long they spend there. This data is then used for predictive modeling for future behavior, and thus what contextual ad targeting and messaging will resonate most.

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Location services can be used to understand the customer journey and improve the experience. In other words, it can be used to see the last 50 places I visited before making a purchase and how my travel behavior influences my decision-making. This helps businesses to identify key moments to increase engagement and conversions.

And according to Demand Metric targeted content marketing cost 62% less than traditional marketing while providing a 300% increase in leads. So there is a bottom line reason to consider location services in your mobile application.

Integrating Bluedot into a mobile application is a fairly simple process. Basic usage, like sending a push notification when the user crosses a determined geoline, can be setup in under 2 weeks.

Geolocation services provide a tool for continuous relevant connection with your customers, keeping them engaged and offering products or services when they are most relevant.

To find out more about Bluedot Innovation go to www.bluedotinnovation.com

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