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December 19, 2016

Geolocation is transforming the advertising industry, and as a number of 2016 location-based marketing campaigns demonstrate, marketers are taking innovative and diverse approaches to reach on-the-go consumers.

After all, companies can now leverage GPS, Wi-Fi, and IP address geotargeting to connect with prospects and customers in new personalized, contextually appropriate ways that can spur users to take intended actions. Consider the use of navigational data, which can be a powerful tool for targeting drivers. Taco Bell, for instance, has used branded pins on Waze that provide step-by-step directions to nearby locations as part of the chain's efforts to promote its breakfast menu, Adweek reports.

Here are some more inspiring examples of geolocation campaigns from 2016:

≥ The location-based augmented reality game Pokemon Go not only taught marketers that consumers can embrace AR, but also inspired some companies to consider how they could capitalize on the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds. The yogurt brand Stonyfield, for example, targeted "PokeStop" visitors with game-themed ads, Adweek reports. The ads, which were served within five minutes of a visit, ran in apps that people often have open while playing the game, like weather or messaging apps. One execution included the copy, "Time to catch a Stonyfield Organic" and "Fill up with whole milk, level up with protein." The ads linked to a store locator on Stonyfield's website.

≥ The culinary social network Allrecipes used beacon-triggered push notifications to drive engagement of its Dinner Spinner app to an audience already in a food-related mindset. Allrecipes targeted shoppers in beacon-equipped Marc's grocery stores in Ohio who had the app and enabled push, reports Mobile Marketer. The messages promoted specific ingredients on sale and related recipes that could be found on the app.

≥ Hidden video cameras placed in Krispy Kreme doughnut boxes caught some positive, often funny reactions people had to seeing them pass by. MediaPost reports the brand's agency, Baldwin&, made a video montage called "The Effect Is Real" that targeted adults 18 to 44, past quick-service restaurant patrons, and mobile and desktop users within 10 miles of a Krispy Kreme store.

≥ The coffee brand Juan Valdez customized mobile ads based on time, location, and weather data that targeted adults within a 500-meter radius of each of its 25 coffee shops in Bogotá, Colombia, according to Lovely Mobile News. The brand featured hot product options to people who were experiencing rain, for instance, and cold products when the temperature was hot. Likewise, Juan Valdez promoted different food products depending on the time of day. The rich media campaign created by Adsmovil also offered driving directions to the nearest store.

≥ The car manufacturer Renault used vehicle recognition technology in a digital out-of-home campaign to identify the make, model, and color of vehicles so it could trigger tailored creative promoting its Mégane model, according to ScreenMedia Daily. The ads, which targeted stationary drivers at a London roundabout, were based on the car game "I Spy" and featured messages like, "Hello, you in the silver hatchback. I spy something stylish beginning with Mmmm..."

These 2016 location-based marketing campaigns exemplify some creative and effective ways companies are taking advantage of a kind of intelligence that offers so much potential. What's to come for 2017? Expect even more innovation on screens large and small.

≥≥ Need a Shortcut?
As a range of 2016 campaigns demonstrate, marketers are finding innovative and diverse ways to use geolocation to reach on-the-go consumers.
Pokemon Go inspired marketers like Stonyfield to consider how to capitalize on the merging of the physical and virtual worlds.
Krispy Kreme and Juan Valdez were among the brands that targeted campaigns to mobile users near their stores.
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