July 6, 2016 | Google | by Alexian Chiavegato

Location-Based Marketing is More Accessible Than Ever Before

People use their mobile devices everywhere now. On the bus, walking down the sidewalk, sitting in a cafe: these are places we browse the web or access apps on our phones or tablets. This means exciting opportunities for marketing on mobile. You Publishers now have the ability to target consumers and readers, gaining an upper hand with up-to-the-moment marketing power by knowing their customers’ surroundings.

Beacons, or devices that send information to mobile devices based on proximity, are the main resource for targeting users based on location. If you run an auto parts company, for example, you could use this technology to instantly offer a 10-percent discount on oil changes whenever a consumer enters your store. The message would show up on smartphones through an app or a mobile web browser. This technology represents the Physical Web, or Internet of Things, and includes Internet-connected technology that has real-world applications.

A great example of this strategy is a campaign Allrecipes.com ran. When users of Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app entered Marc’s grocery store, they were presented with notifications based on their surroundings. If it was a nice day outside, the notification might suggest a sale on ground beef to put on the grill. Other notifications might also suggest more economical ingredients or different recipes.

One hurdle to this form of location-based marketing is the need for users to download an app. Google aims to change that with its new Eddystone beacon. Unlike other beacons, the Eddystone beacon can communicate through the user’s web browser rather than a previously downloaded app. The browser must be Google Chrome, but since 47 percent of all smartphones now come preloaded with Chrome, this approach could potentially reach a larger portion of users than just those using specific applications.

When a user searches topics related to their location, Google can push advertisements related to where they are, including offers from surrounding businesses. A new Google study suggests that interactions like these are becoming more and more common, with 30 percent of all mobile searches now related to location. They also found that more searches today occur on mobile than desktop, and that more than half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. This represents a huge number of people who can be targeted more specifically based on where they are at any given time.

Once you begin using this technology, it’s important to take advantage of the data it collects by continually updating and improving your location-based marketing strategy. One study of United Kingdom shoppers found that 56 percent of shoppers who researched a topic while in the store went on to make purchases in the store during the same visit. Using this information, stores could make a concentrated effort to provide the final push to purchase, whether that comes in the form of a coupon or making sure the clothes a customer has researched online are waiting for them in the fitting room.

So we know the technology exists, the campaigns work, and the data proves useful to improving future marketing efforts. Stores can use this technology to gain more sales, and blogs and publications can use it to provide readers with information that is engaging and relevant to their surroundings. This technology is constantly improving as mobile marketing continues to grow and develop, offering a great reason for any company to consider adding location-based marketing to its array of mobile marketing tactics.