10 Keys to a Good Location Based Marketing Campaign

Posted by: in location-based marketing, Thinking Creatively on April 7, 2011

Since I’m relatively new to this blog, the folks that read it regularly may not know that I’m writing a book on location based marketing. I’m also the head of location based marketing at WCG (with some time spent helping clients with mobile and social media strategy as well). To that end, I will plan on talking fairly regularly about what I’m seeing in the location based marketing space.

If you aren’t familiar with location based services, some of the top providers are foursquare, Gowalla, YelpFacebook Places, Whrrl and SCVNGR. They help companies engage with their customers and create loyalty 2.0 programs by exchanging value (offers, coupons, badges, mayorships) for tips, check-ins and spreading the word. In this particular post, I’m going to share 10 basic tips that any company can use to help build a successful location based marketing program:

  1. Be sure to claim your location across each of the top 5-6 location based providers, even if you don’t plan on regularly monitoring/engaging in all of them.
  2. Pick 1-2 services to use (hint: if you’re in the travel and entertainment industry, Gowalla is a great choice). One way to decide which service(s) are right for you is to see how active your customers are across each service.
  3. Find out who your influencers are (the mayor, ambassador or the person at the top of your leader board is usually a good place to start) and get to know them. Heck, invite them in for coffee, lunch, a wine tasting.
  4. Set some goals. Are looking to drive foot traffic? Loyalty? Sales? Engagement? Think about how to measure this.
  5. Pick a great offer. Note that “great” doesn’t equal “expensive.” Sometimes, a sign in your store/venue honoring the “mayor” might be enough. My co-author, Mike Schneider, and I have what we call the “Ben & Jerry’s Rule” named after one of the first successful campaigns ever to roll out on foursquare. They offered 3 scoops of ice cream for $3 for everyone that checked in (cost for 3 scoops is normally $5.50). And even better, the mayor got a free extra scoop.
  6. Measure, refine and optimize.
  7. Don’t be afraid to leverage the “game dynamics” of some of these platforms as appropriate. For instance, on SCNVGR, you might give extra points for a picture with the store manager. Or if you sell coffee, a bonus for the best drink recommendation.
  8. Remember to let people know about your program by putting up signs, telling them in your newsletter, including a mention on your “on hold” music, etc.
  9. Operationalize, operationalize, operationalize. This means that if you are going to run a location based marketing campaign, train your employees. Train yourself. And make sure you have whatever it is that you’re promising. Not operationalizing is where many companies fall down.
  10. If you are tech savvy (or have some tech savvy developers), try experimenting with some of the APIs these location based platform providers make available for free. You can jazz up your website or your mobile app.

Has your company launched a location based marketing campaign? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

By: Aaron Strout

Aaron is the President of WCG, one of the three agencies under the W2O Group umbrella. He is a regular contributor to Marketing Land and a co-host of video podcast, Live from Stubbs.

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Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

4 Responses

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  1. This is a great article, I attended SXSW this year and saw Seth Priebatsch from SCVNGR give a talk. It was all about adding a game level to everything, the social media revolution having been won by Facebook. In an attempt to increase my personal success I have taken these suggestions along with the help of Majon.net to increase my local marketing. Being from Austin, TX, logicality is very important.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Podcast with Aaron Strout on LBS Marketing | Common Sense linked to this post on August 19, 2011

    […] big and small as well as some tips for first-timers. For more of Aaron’s tips on LBS, click here. By: Matthew SnodgrassFind me on: Twitter […]

  2. Location-Based Marketing for Dummies | Common Sense linked to this post on September 7, 2011

    […] how to use it and most importantly, how to get started. In an earlier post, I talked about the 10 keys to a good location-based marketing campaign. While that was enough to whet some people’s appetites, this book helps those that really […]

  3. Social Media Strategy Class Reading List - by Ben Foster linked to this post on September 26, 2011

    […] 10 Keys to a Good Location Based Marketing Campaign […]

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