Dave talks with Aaron Strout talks Location-based & mobile marketing technology trends like the Internet of Things, Wearables, Beacons & Geofencing. If you want to interview someone who’s an expert in the field of location based marketing, why not ask the guy who literally wrote the book on it?
5 Questions You Will Be Able To Answer After Listening To This Episode On The Future Of Location-Based Marketing With Aaron Strout:
What’s next in location-based marketing?
What is the Internet of Things?
Why is Aaron Strout referred to as “The Kevin Bacon of Social Media”?
What are Beacons and Geo-Fencing?
According to Aaron Strout, is there a viable future in mowing lawns?
If you want to interview someone who’s an expert in the field of location based marketing, why not ask the guy who literally wrote the book on it?
Here at Redback Solutions we’re more than a little ambitious, so that’s exactly what we did.
In addition to co-writing Location Based Marketing For Dummies, Chief Marketing Officer at W2O Group Aaron Strout has nearly 20 years of experience in integrated online marketing and regularly contributes to popular industry publications such as the Marketing Land blog.
Being in the game since the late 90s means Aaron has experienced first hand the ever-evolving digital marketing industry and over the past few years he has written many pieces predicting mobile and location based marketing trends.
We asked Aaron how his predictions from last year have played out and what he thinks will be the next big marketing technology trends for both small and big business.
INTERLUDE! If you’ve just discovered Redback Solutions, below is a short video about who we are and what we do. If you just came for the article, you can simply skip past the video and keep reading 🙂
The Internet of Things (IoT)
It may sound like a futuristic buzzword that local businesses today needn’t pay much attention to, but the IoT is already here and more approachable than you might think.
What is the Internet of Things?
Jacob Morgan from Forbes explains the IoT as: “The concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet and/or to each other”. In other words, if you have ever worn a digital fitness bracelet or smartwatch, then you are part of the internet of things. At a very basic level, even our smartphones are considered part of the IoT.
How is the Internet of Things relevant to local business?
It’s easy to imagine brands like McDonald’s or Nike keeping up with all the latest marketing technology trends to engage with customers in new spaces, but is it possible for a small businesses with just one or two locations to jump on board too? How can local businesses realistically use the Internet of Things to chase leads and reach new consumers?
In this episode, Dave and Aaron discuss the realistic ways in which a small business should be utilising location based marketing to better connect with customers.
Keeping up with location-based marketing online can include simple solutions like:
- Ensuring your business’ opening hours are up to date on Google Maps
- Publishing your inventory online to improve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Updating your in-store hardware to provide a more convenient shopping experience for your customers
An improved user experience (UX) is the lifeblood of the IoT and the reason it will continue to grow, becoming more integrated into our lives and businesses. Not only will these new technologies and marketing strategies efficiently reduce overheads and improve reach, but they will provide a smoother, more satisfying interaction for the consumer from research through to post purchase.
Geo-fencing is one of those marketing technology trends that actually works best in hyper local situations where the target area is within 5 minutes of your location, so it can be a great tool for small businesses when used correctly.
What is Geo-Fencing?
Geo-fencing works by placing a virtual “fence” around a specific location and receiving information when your target audience is passing through the area. These messages are usually in the form of display advertising, social media advertising or SMS.
Why use geo-fencing? Small and big businesses alike can use the information gleaned from geo-fencing to:
- Understand where your target audience is and their movement patterns
- Remind them to come and take a look at items they have previously researched
- Entice them with promotional messages while they are in the vicinity
Not only can you target those who have visited or are close to your store, you can also place a geo-fence around your competitor’s location to convert potential customers.
Beacons have been around for a while in many different forms, but only recently has their potential really begun to be understood and utilised well by marketers.
What are Beacons?
Beacons are small, battery-powered transmitters that use bluetooth to transmit messages to connected devices in the vicinity. In the past, beacons were relatively expensive to run and the batteries didn’t last that long. With improved technology, new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons are becoming a great way for businesses to interact with customers who are nearby or in certain parts of the store.
Like geo-fencing, beacons can be used for a number of applications as mentioned above. In addition, multiple beacons can be placed in different areas around your site or store to broadcast relevant information while the customer is close by.
Do These Marketing Tech Trends Actually Work? What’s in it for the Customer?
Shiny new ways to reach out to our audience sound great in theory, but where is the line between annoying white noise and advertising that engages them? Simply following your customers everywhere they go isn’t going to work. If used incorrectly, location based marketing can even have a negative effect and start to creep them out.
“Irrespective of the technology, it’s all about the principle, and the principle is all about value exchange”.
While technologies like geo-fencing or beacons may at a glance seem like just another way to annoy people or invade their privacy, they are in fact a platform for the business and the consumer to exchange things of value.
Google for example, is able to answer almost any question you have, providing the most relevant information based on what it has gleaned from your search history and other information you have given it. In return, Google is allowed access to consumers’ data in order to provide them with more relevant, personalised search results and advertising.
What Should Every Location-Based Business Be Doing In Terms Of Marketing?
As we mentioned earlier, there are many simple solutions for small business owners to connect with local customers more efficiently. There are a surprising amount of free tools available and in order to have the best chance of keeping up with the bigger players, small businesses should be utilising them.
Listen to the podcast to hear Aaron’s advice about the simple yet effective ways in which a local business can utilise location based marketing on platforms like Yelp and Google.
What Are The Most Effective Advertising Media?
It’s especially important for local businesses with small marketing budgets to understand the media consumption habits of their target audience. In this episode, Dave and Aaron discuss the current trend of consolidation in online marketing, where big players like Facebook and Google receive the lion’s share of small business dollars.
If you think about ad spend 20 years ago, international brands and small businesses alike were dividing the majority of their marketing budgets between three key media platforms: TV, radio and print. As brands, we have to be aware of where our target markets are spending their time, taking note of the constant shifts in media consumption.
While internet consumption continues to grow rapidly as the second largest media behind TV, marketers need to pay close attention to how their audience is accessing the internet and also new behavioural trends such as double or even triple screening (for example, browsing an online shop on your iPad while watching TV and checking Facebook notifications on your phone).
Mobile now accounts for over 70% of internet consumption and continues to grow while most other traditional media is in decline.
Behavioural changes in media consumption means that we are relying on less traditional platforms such as Facebook for the bulk of our news and entertainment. This means that Facebook and Google will continue to be the big players in terms of online media, using their rich data sources and complex algorithms to create a personalised media platform for each individual.
Your Website And On-Site Should Be On The Same Page
Even if your business is purely bricks and mortar, the importance of a strong online presence is paramount, especially with continuous improvements to Google’s location based search and user friendly Facebook ads that target small local audiences efficiently.
50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their mobile device will visit the store within a day.
This is why your local ranking is so important for directing foot traffic. If you don’t have enough quality information to offer online, you could easily lose out to a competitor who does. For multi location businesses, it can sometimes be hard to scale your marketing efforts and produce enough relevant location-based content to ensure optimum local engagement.
Here are some of the few final tips given by Dave and Aaron for local businesses to optimise owned media and company assets:
- Train store/site managers in light content production for social media platforms
- Encourage employees to share and create user generated content
- Create “snackable” content that your customers will want to share, even without being asked
What is the Location Station Local Marketing Podcast about?
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