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Location-Based Services Will Transform Mobile Marketing

By Geoff Peterson May 22, 2011 Filed Under: Location-Based Services, Mobile Marketing
Are you using location-based services yet? Chances are you’ve received a "use your current location" pop-up message on your mobile phone by now. That message is being directed from a site you’re visiting on the mobile web or from an application you’ve downloaded to your phone. These services want to use your current location to update you on local events, news, weather and even special offers and coupons from businesses nearby to you. The use of location-based services is an emerging trend being adopted today on mobile devices, smartphones in particular. 

What does this mean for marketing? Simply put, it’s the closest thing to "real-time" marketing we’ve seen yet. It allows several ways to not only discover new leads for our business, but pinpoint exactly where they are at a given moment. This is a big-time game changer for the entire marketing industry.

Here are the top reasons why marketers need to pay attention to the location-based trend today:

Discover More Networking Opportunities

By now, you or your company should already have a presence on the most popular social and business networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While away from your desk or working remote, mobile devices have their own separate services, such as Loopt and Mocospace. These mobile social networks provide those in sales and marketing with yet another avenue to reach new clients that are unaccessible or not found through other means. For some, mobile networks such as Mocospace are the only means they have of being social online, as they do not have a computer at home or access to social networks at work. Statistics show that hispanics and households with lower incomes do not have access to the Internet from a PC. You must pay special attention to mobile networks for this reason alone. 

Receive Alerts for Nearby Leads

Whether it be a "check-in" a ping or a tweet nearby, you now have several ways to accurately discover when and where potential leads for your business are (leads being key people or business development targets you are pursuing). Foursquare, Google Latitude, Zhiing and Glympse are examples of services that make this possible. Foursquare has practically created it’s own phenomenon in the digital age with a simple "check-in" game. Essentially, users check-in upon entering a restaurant or office building using Foursquare on their iPhone, Blackberry or other smartphone. The more check-in’s to a certain location allows a user to become mayor of that spot which creates the potential for special discounts and other perks. This creates a huge window of information to aid in our quest to find the best leads possible for our business. In addition with Twitter, users can be updated with tweets from local users on their mobile device with a Twitter client such as TweetDeck. This is particularly effective when discovering people talking about your industry or product.

Get Local Information at Your Fingertips

If you’re running a search on the go, Google Mobile for instance can update your location and pull up relevant search results for local companies, all using voice commands. Indeed can pull jobs from companies in the local area, which in turn will give you an idea of your key competition and also who may already be housing leads you need. AroundMe is an example of an application for the iPhone that can help you quickly figure out your surroundings, find venues for interviews and gather popular local destinations to target in your sales and marketing efforts. Layar is an augmented reality browser that looks through the camera lens on a smartphone, and adds a layer of information users can see on their screen and interact with.

Unleash Mobilized Marketing

Too many sales and marketing professionals focus on technology as a means for finding candidates. It sounds hypocritical considering location-based services are mostly based on GPS, smartphones and technology. But, the true advantage of location-based services is getting you out of your chair, and meeting more people face-to-face in their backyard. Most people we talk to see smartphones and the iPhone in particular as a shiny toy, and that’s it. The iPhone is a small, lightweight and powerful computer in your pocket that happens to make phone calls too. It can hold thousands of applications that can help sales and marketing professionals do their job effectively every day.

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