2012 Location-Based Marketing Predictions

Posted by: in location-based marketing on January 4, 2012

Last week, my co-author, Mike Schneider, and I published a blog post called, Location-Based Marketing: 2011 in Retrospect.

Courtesy: Momentfeed

It took points of view from a lot of smart people who know a ton about the location-based marketing space. As promised, we are following up this post with a look toward the future. In the look forward, we’ve added a few voices including those of brands like American Eagle, Applebee’s and RadioShack.

Jess Berlin

Jess Berlin
, social media manager, American Eagle Outfitters | AE blog
In 2012, location will get personal. Location-based services will be able to tailor the user’s experience by offering personalized recommendations and offers based on your check-in history. There will also be further integration with loyalty and payment technologies to make for a personal and cohesive check-in experience. You can literally claim a recommended deal, receive loyalty credit and pay for something all within a check-in.

Jason Falls

Jason Falls
, author, speaker and CEO of Social Media Explorer
I think 2012 is going to further divide LBS and Social Media. The gradual adoption of location-based services by the mainstream and the marriage of location-based services and business models that demand revenue (Groupon buying Whrrl, Facebook buying Gowalla, etc.) will mean that LBS becomes less social and more advertising driven. While there will probably be pushback and whining from the social media crowd, the mainstream will eat it up and LBS will become the Sunday coupon section of our generation.

Eric Katerman

Eric Katerman
, co-founder, Forecast
2012 will be the year where foursquare becomes a legitimate platform, although they’ll have trouble spreading the message that they’re not just a check-in app. Theirs will become the defacto venue database for all manner of applications and we will start to see massive growth in the number of third-party apps. We’ll also see more focus on future-tense social networking, Facebook is up to something…

Jason Keath

Jason Keath
, founder & CEO, Socialfresh
Who to watch in 2012? Keep an eye on the growth of eBay owned barcode, QR code reader Red Laser as well as Amazon’s similar price check app. These tools have such a massive value to the mass market that their growth potential is huge. Geeks love both of these apps, but both will continue to creep into mainstream use.

Just as with the rest of social media, location apps will continue to fragment into innovative and niche use cases. Shopkick, LevelUp, TopGuest and many others have a clear runway for finding their audiences in 2012.

Asif Khan

Asif Khan
– president, Location Based Marketing Association
2012 is going to be a banner year for location-based marketing. I expect to see further integration between mobile and other proximity-based media like Billboard and DOOH. Watch for platforms to emerge that give consumers’ more control over their location data, and for lots of experiments with NFC, but not for payments. Tapping phones on smart posters to download coupons or bus schedules, and exchanging business cards and video clips with such enhanced NFC P2P features as Android Beam will grow in 2012.

Nataly Kogan

Nataly Kogan
, VP customer experience, WHERE
2012 prediction – relevancy and ubiquity, baby! More relevant offers and experiences and ubiquity of being able to use them and pay for them easily. I think 2012 will be good for users as different apps/companies offer a combo of services. Find places to go, go there, find what you want to buy and get a great deal, and pay – all in one.

Brad Mays

Brad Mays
, group director, WCG |
In 2012 the mobile category will continue to evolve from noun to verb, and location will begin to cement its position as a useful feature that anchors the ubiquity of mobile life. We’ll see location tags worked into more of the platforms we use everyday, mobile or otherwise, contributing to the explosion of big data and providing more of a physical retail trail. But, 2012 will continue to be a proving year for location, where most brands and individuals take a wait-and-see attitude until the case is conclusive. The good news is that we’ll get to have a lot more fun with location in 2012 because more brands will want to experiment, more of our friends will be willing to let us know where they are, and both will better understand why we check-in everywhere we go.

Jill McFarland

Jill McFarland
, digital and social media, Applebee’s | blog
My 2012 prediction is that location becomes more of a part of everything mobile and people don’t even realize they’re doing it. I tell people all the time that you don’t have to check-in. You’re geotagging yourself all the time from your phone allowing data to be collected, ads to be rendered, searches to better, based on your location.

Eric Miltsch

Eric Miltsch
, Digital guy @AuctionDirect. Co-Founder @CarZar_app. & LBS pro | blog
For our business, Auction Direct USA will continue to use location based marketing services to create more unique ways of connecting with customers, encourage loyalty and try to track foot traffic. I predict more activity from our internal sales people and even more from the customers as they take advantage of specials and recommendations. I also expect to see even more photo sharing activity from customers.

Adrian Parker

Adrian Parker
director of digital/social media, RadioShack | blog
Location applications bring the rhythm of local interaction to life on your mobile device. Applications like foursquare give real-time snapshots of who is doing what, where and with whom – and layers on reviews, tips, points and interactions that allow physical experiences to be shared across the globe. As a business owner, it’s a creative, low-cost, high impact channel for maintaining a mobile presence in an emerging platform. Going forward, location capabilities will be injected into the DNA of digital advertising, marketing campaigns and social networks. I don’t see location platforms as a marketing medium, rather they are a business practice that will mature as mobile adoption escalates.

In just 2 years, smartphone adoption in the U.S. has skyrocketed from 18% to 44%. This represents a significant opportunity for location tools to engage consumers at their point of decision, on their terms. Phones will no longer be the 3rd screen of interaction, they will be the 1st screen, surpassing Televisions and PCs. The real impact is that consumers are beginning to take advantage of GPS, Siri, cameras, apps, Wi-Fi and other wireless capabilities, including mobile commerce. In the past 10 years, RadioShack has sold more than 72 million cellphones. As smartphones and tablets are becoming the preferred device shoppers use to research and locate products, we will leverage the products we sell as a medium to connect with consumers, locally.

Chad Reed

Chad Reed,
CMO, Bluebox (and co-owner, Roll On Sushi)
The future of LBS resides with monetizing the app and making it more desirable for users and brands. I think geofencing will play a role with this. getting offers and recommendations pushed to you based off your interests when you are around specific locations is big. i also think the future is tying in with loyalty programs. Not sure exactly how that will work but someone will figure it out :-)

Bluebox is now working directly with brands by turning their loyalty program in to a fun casual gaming network using social media and real rewards from brands.

Rob Reed

Rob Reed,
founder and CEO, Momentfeed,
Three technologies to look at for 2012 from Rob’s recent SoLoMo Manifesto (download here):
1. Mobile commerce – includes a number of solutions ranging from in-app purchases, executed online or at the point of sale, to the venerable mobile wallet, which stores all of your credit and debit cards, gift cards, and loyalty cards. Google and PayPal, together with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, are all angling to merge our wallets with our smartphones. Meanwhile, brands like Starbucks offer branded payment apps and startups like ChowNow and Splickit offer multi-merchant solutions.
2. Near Field Communication (NFC) is an emerging technology that facilitates payments and engagements with a simple tap of one’s phone. The NFC chip in the phone can communicate at close range with other NFC devices, such as point-of-sale systems, as well as with static NFC tags, which can take the form of a decal. For marketers, NFC represents an opportunity to position one’s brand at the front end of location-based engagements.
3. Indoor Location – The final frontier for location will be universal indoor navigation. Which is to say, the ability to navigate indoor spaces with the same level of coverage we enjoy outdoors via GPS but with pinpoint accuracy

Simon Salt

Simon Salt,
CEO, author, Social Location Marketing and CEO, IncSlingers
Predictions for 2012… foursquare continues its growth, but as it does becomes less visible – e.g. it will continue to acquire new users but it is becoming like Twitter in that we don’t really talk about it anymore – its part of the social media fabric of life. Check-in will become irrelevant as an action on its own (if it isn’t already) – campaigns will have to become more relevant and less about just checking in. Marketers will start to leverage QR codes/NFC as part of their location campaigns – they provide proof of physical presence, and it can be done at the point of sale which provides better tracking.

Mike Schneider

Mike Schneider
, co-author Location-Based Marketing for Dummies, SVP digital incubator, Allen & Gerritsen
| blog
In 2012, I look for four things to happen:
1. Look for intent-based stuff to get serious. It’s time for companies to start making predictions based on our behaviors or intercepting us on the way to do something. Some big brand will capitalize. I’ll race ya!
2. Social loyalty everywhere. Connecting location to payments and providing value is huge. <– period
3. Micro-locations become more prevalent starting with your TV. An increased effort will be made to try to figure out what you’re watching and giving consumers ways to not only promote, but also to purchase.
4. More gaming! We have only seen the beginning of mobile / location based gaming. Look for companies to find ways to improve on the clunky experiences of Dokobots, Geomon and Hitcher to provide better interaction with the environment.

Aaron Strout

Aaron Strout
, co-author Location-Based Marketing for Dummies, head of location-based marketing, WCG
| blog
My predictions?
1. Check-ins become more passive (active checking in like we do today on foursquare doesn’t go away but become less of a focus).
2. Foursquare really goes mainstream and grows to 50 million users (yes, I know this is bold).
3. Location becomes a component of every mobile application (and some non-mobile applications).
4. Like Twitter and Facebook in 2010-11, a number of Fortune500 brands begin thinking about a “location” as part of their 2012 marketing strategy.
Bonus: Brand adoption of Instagram goes through the roof.

So what about you? Got a location-based marketing prediction? Leave it in the comments below. I’ll keep my eye on them and may pull a few up into the post!

By: Aaron Strout

Aaron leads the technology practice at W2O Group and is a regular contributor to Marketing Land. In his spare time, he podcasts, speaks, Twitters and BBQs. He also loves his Instagram.

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11 Responses

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  1. Excellent summary by everyone – tremendous opportunities no doubt. Another stretch prediction I’d really like to see: Apple buying Yelp to aid in their quest to battle Google via Siri/local voice search results. (Audio SEO)

    Appreciate being included Aaron, great work as usual.

  2. @PaulCTayla said

    Some great stuff all. For me location has to become an increasingly relevant element of the media lay down in any integrated campaign. It should even be separated from just mobile; it’s a campaign nirvana.

  3. Great insight and predictions! While mainstream customers are a little slow on the uptake of location based services, daily deals and coupons are definitely a part of their vocabulary. Now the challenge for developers is to make these applications quick, easy and highly optimized. Brick-and-mortar retailers and small businesses rejoice!

  4. Manaw said

    It’s interesting to note that location would be a key component for targeted marketing not just in developed countries but in developing ones as well. Providing offline merchants same level of info as on-line merchants on consumer buying behavior would have significant upside.

Continuing the Discussion

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