Why are marketers keen on tapping a consumer’s physical location?

Experts say location-based marketing allows brands to curate personalised information, expand its reach, push ads via notifications in the digital medium and do much more

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Sep 16, 2019 8:38 AM



With almost every consumer having access to smartphones, it’s getting increasingly important for marketers to push personalised content on mobile phones based on a consumer’s physical location.

This form of marketing allows brands to personalise information for high relevance as this facilitates more accurate targeting.

This technique has been witnessing a surge in the Indian market and especially in the retail sector. Using location marketing, a brand can provide alerts regarding a nearby business offering or a promotion to the customer using the consumer’s location. This way, companies can not only serve the right product to the right consumer but also at the right place.

Facebook, Google and Instagram have been providing this form of targeting for quite some time now. Snapchat too provides location-specific geo filters and brands can use these to promote their location.

However, brands need to be cautious about not putting consumer privacy at risk, say experts.

OLX used hyper-location targeting to expand its reach in the market by using pin-codes. Users were targeted with personalised contextual overlay ads. According to the Global Location Trends Report launched at SXSW, 75 per cent of 253 global marketers believe proximity marketing will play a crucial role in their businesses in the coming years.

Sandeep Kuriakose, Founder and CEO of Euler Media (BPRISE), says: “Location-based marketing serves through contextually relevant advertisements, based on location in the form of push notifications and digital ads. Push notifications work for brands with their own mobile apps and digital ads run across a website or a mobile app that is relevant to the advertiser’s audience.”

However, some say location marketing is best suited for the retail industry only. We asked experts what other categories can this form of marketing to connect with target audience?

Sabyasachi Mitter, Founder & Managing Director, Fulcro, says: “The benefits of location-based marketing are obvious in the retail industries. However, almost all categories can also benefit from this form of advertising and messaging. For example, an airline app may use this kind of messaging to get flight feedback or offer transit information at the airport. A ticketing company may provide information on performances at evidence.”

According to Suchita Salwan, Co-founder, LBB, “Large-scale FMCG brands and CPG brands can also benefit from this where points of distribution are so diverse from city to city. It's extremely useful to think of how your messaging to your end customers and experience of your end customers can vary from location to location.”

Location-based advertising can also benefit the hospitality, financial services, auto, property and just about any business - big or small - Kuriakose added. Almost any brand can engage with this offline audience digitally. Location-based advertising creates product awareness when customers are in-store. Programmatic advertising, coupled with location awareness is a great tool that can help brands do relevant, hyperlocal contextual ads that are meaningful for the consumer. The ultimate goal of brands must be to drive customer engagement using digital ads while the customer is inside the store or even in the store vicinity,” he said.

A report by Allied Market states that with the help of location-based services, the global market is expected to be worth $61,897 million by 2022, registering a CAGR of 26.6 per cent from 2016 to 2022.

In the past, location-based marketing has faced challenges while flourishing and only big brands have managed to implement it. But experts believe that it will grow in times to come.

Mitter further says: “This form of marketing has been available in India for a long time. We have been able to market to customers basis cities and localities for a while now. Hyperlocal and real time marketing is catching up now in India. Combining location-based marketing with programmatic technology allows marketers to influence consumers from awareness through to purchase.”

Salwan also described this marketing as a huge advantage for brands to be able to tap into customers more locally. “Given that Indian retail continues are largely offline, online information can drive more definitive offline choices.”

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