2021 Survival Guide: Location-​Based Marketing

BY Rachel Cagle
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COVID-​19 has limited our shopping and dining bubble pretty dramatically since March. Consumers aren’t traveling as much as they used to. They need help discovering what’s available in their local communities. Many consumers are also showing an increased interest in supporting local, especially small, businesses. But think back. Even before social distancing, searches we made, either typing or using virtual assistants, often ended with, “..near me.” This is exactly why location-​based marketing is so crucial to a business’ success.

Marketers Love Location-​Based Marketing

According to The LBMA’s Global Location Trends Report 2020, North American marketers can’t get enough of location-​based marketing. Last year, 97% of these marketers said that not only do they invest in location-​based marketing, they also rely on it. That’s an increase of 10 percentage points over 2019. Additionally, North American marketers contributed an average of 59% of their marketing budgets to location-​based media. This year, these marketers plan to increase this budget allocation by 1% to 2%.

Overall, more than 75% of companies in North America believe that location-​based marketing is important. 54% of companies say that this marketing format is extremely important and about another 26% report that it’s somewhat important. Only about 2% to 3% of marketers across the continent claimed that location-​based marketing was not important to their marketing efforts.

Why These Efforts are Important

Obviously, the most useful aspect of location-​based marketing is the ability for businesses to target the potential customers who are in their markets. However, the marketers who responded to The LBMA’s study reported there is much more to this marketing form. About 14% of North American marketers say that location-​based marketing helps drive sales at the point-​of-​sale. Another 13% say that it helps their location generate foot traffic. And even if the consumer conducting the search doesn’t take action right away based on the ad they see, 23% of marketers say that the effort still increases brand recall in the consumer’s mind. Consumers tend to shop at stores that they recognize, so this is invaluable the next time they go exploring, either physically or online, and see the company’s name and logo. Other benefits of location-​based marketing include an increase in average purchases and meaningful personalization.

Location data can also be useful in other aspects of managing and promoting a business. For example, LBMA says that this data can aid in:

  • Tracking Assets: 35% of marketers agree
  • Customer Service: 23%
  • Store Planning and Layout: 19%
  • In-​Vehicle Navigation: 4%

What Comes Next?

As more companies invest in location-​based marketing efforts, there will be more important topics to explore. In North America, LBMA estimates that these topics will include:

  • Social Location Services
  • Merging Mobile and Digital Out-of-Home
  • Augmented/​Virtual Reality
  • Location Search Optimization
  • Location-​Based Payments

How well is your client faring in the digital location-​based marketing realm? You can run a Digital Audit, available on AdMall by SalesFuel, on a particular location to see how they’re utilizing digital advertising. Their reputation score, SEO alignment, and local search alignment can give you some insight into which areas they could use your professional guidance in.