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August 15, 2016

Two-thirds of marketers in a recent IAB study said that location-based marketing was the most important trend of the year. Location-based promotions provide a natural way to engage mobile users, prompt immediate conversions, and personalize your customer experience. These promotions allow you to push content or notifications such as coupons or product information to users. It can be a great way to connect with prospective customers, but how do you determine if location-driven marketing is right for your business? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help figure it out.

Does Your Business Have a Geographic Component?
Certain businesses are a natural fit for local marketing because they have a geographic focus. You may have brick-and-mortar locations that can target specific neighborhoods or offer services that focus on a certain region. Location-based marketing makes sense for brands that have a local focus or incorporate regional marketing and advertising strategies.

National brands that are strictly online (like Amazon and eBay) and aren't focused on specific geographic segments may find other strategies, such as paid search advertising or launching a company blog, more effective. But when you need to reach an audience that's based around a physical location, or connect with consumers in a specific market, location marketing provides a direct channel to them.

Are Your Campaigns Focused on Measurable Goals?
Location-powered mobile campaigns help marketers achieve measurable goals, from specific conversions to raising brand awareness with a targeted local population. Mobile marketers evaluate metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and a lift in brand recognition to understand how their local campaigns perform. Out-of-home marketers, meanwhile, use measurements like dwell time and recall to determine a campaign's potency. In either case, action is the best signal that your targeting, messaging, and focus resonate with potential buyers. Consider whether your campaign has a clear, concrete focus that's possible to measure.

Your goal may be getting consumers to buy a product, download an app, or share content on social media. Alternately, you may be working to raise the profile of your brand in a certain region. Define your goals before you begin and map out a plan to measure your progress. From consumer brand surveys to advertising campaign analytics, measurable goals will help you monitor the ROI of your investment over time.

How Does Your Audience Use Mobile?
According to Mobile Marketer, mobile usage influenced $1 trillion in spending in 2015, and approximately 78 percent of local searches converted to purchases. It's important to understand how your audience uses mobile. As Venture Beat notes, more than two thirds of millennial shoppers use their mobile devices for product research while they're in brick-and-mortar stores. Keep in mind, though, that everyone from parents to Baby Boomers uses their mobile device to research products, find discounts, and more.

Invest in understanding your target audience's specific behaviors:
Do they use mobile devices when shopping?
Are they willing to download apps or take part in location-based programs for discounts?
Do they tend to share location data with apps?

Data that shows customers actively using location services and incorporating mobile into their shopping green-lights a mobile campaign. If your customers aren't embracing the technology, you may want to focus elsewhere—or advertise in apps where you know users will be sharing location data out of necessity, such as GPS apps like Waze. Let data, rather than assumptions, drive your campaign development.

Do You Need Better Personalization?
Mobile-first content strategies are all about personalization and relevance. Marketers are collecting and analyzing data more closely than ever before to conduct effective segmentations of their audiences. It's possible to target audiences by age, marital status, income, and numerous other factors—yet geography remains a powerful level of personalization. And the more you know about your audience, the more effectively you can target them.

Once you've determined whether location-based advertising is a good fit for your brand, you can begin planning your strategy. As always, it's important to think about the specifics of your brand and which approach would work best.
≥≥ Need a Shortcut?
A location-based campaign can be a marketer's best friend, but the strategy works better for some companies than others.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location or target a specific region, local marketing may be right for you.
If you're planning to start a location-based campaign, getting to know your audience is a worthwhile investment.
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