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Location-Based Marketing Playbook: 7 Use Cases for Engaging Users On the Move

Intel co-founder Andy Grove defines an inflection point as an “event which changes the way we think and act.” Mobile marketing has arrived at an inflection point.

Closing the gap between the real and digital worlds is no longer a distant fantasy, but a tangible reality for forward-thinking marketers with the right toolkit.

There’s never been a better time for mobile marketers to turn novel ideas into opportunities, especially when it comes to connecting online and offline worlds with location-based marketing.

How can you turn location data into opportunities to win consumer mindshare, clicks, and conversions? Using real-life examples, we’ll explore practical ways to apply a location-based marketing strategy to four key marketing goals:

  1. Improving the Customer Experience
  2. Prompting In-Store Visits
  3. Driving Transactions
  4. Improving Audience Targeting

A common question we hear among mobile marketers is: how do you send a well-timed opt-in signal, push notification, or promotional offer that users find helpful instead of distracting or annoying?

Here are a few simple ways you can use location-based marketing to create meaningful encounters that capture attention, fuel interactions, and nudge passersby to convert.

How to Improve the Customer Experience

Capture Feedback at the Right Time

When are users primed to give valuable feedback? The moment their interaction with your brand comes to an end – whether that’s when their flight touches down, the credits start rolling on their movie, or they’re walking from your store to the parking lot. They’re reflecting on how they feel about your brand. Even better? They’re seated, waiting to start the next part of their day.

Send a push notification asking a short question like, “How did you enjoy your experience with us today?” Try letting users reply with an emoji for an instant emotional response that requires minimal effort. There’s no better time to engage a captive audience.

Remove Friction from User Journeys

What’s more, location-based targeting allows you to get rid of printed forms, improving the customer experience (as well as reducing your carbon footprint). By sending location-based notifications right when users leave, you become instantly more valuable to them.

For example, a health insurer reminding a patient leaving their hospital to process their claim in the app. They don’t have to pick up the phone, wait for snail mail, or even write a check.

Steer Users in the Right Direction

Location intelligence can help you connect with local foot traffic and help crowds navigate straight toward you based on their current location.

Think push notifications with detailed transit information when a user enters a subway station. Or information on artists and acts sent to a user upon entering a music festival.  Or hyper-local offers for nearby restaurants.

Geofencing provides endless opportunities for reaching out to the right people, exactly when they want you to.

How to Prompt In-Store Visits

Increase Brick-and-Mortar Traffic with Location-Based Promotions

Need to increase in-store experiences, interactions, and purchases? Send a promotional message just as your app users pass by and entice them to visit your store.

You can trigger push messages based on either granular distance from your store or physical location, so that all customers within a certain distance receive a timely, relevant offer. Highlight convenience, tempting discounts, and the value of an in-person experience. As you know, getting them in the door increases the likelihood they’ll see something else they like in addition to what they came in for.

Humans are creatures of impulse and opportunism. Capture the attention of customers at a nearby restaurant to let them know your ice cream shop or wine bar is the perfect complement to their meal.

How to Drive Location Transactions

Upsell with Last-Minute Urgency

One of the best ways to engage app users is by meeting their needs as soon as they arise.

Airline passengers are a prime example: imagine you’re running late for your flight, and as soon as you enter the airport you receive a push notification with a “skip-the-line” or quick boarding service. By making the customer’s life easier, your mobile marketing campaigns soar.

Deliver Live Recommendations

Use a customer’s in-app behavior to make custom offers and recommendations within your brick-and-mortar location.

Send a personalized push notification referencing their online wish list or abandoned cart. Those shoes you wanted are 50% off! The headphones you liked are back in stock! There’s a flash sale on team merchandise for all fans in Section A!

Whatever trigger works for your brand, make it work for users in real time.

How to Improve Audience Targeting

Remember those customers dining in the nearby restaurant? Next time they’re in the area, why not recommend a similar dining experience? Enriching these real-world customer journeys with real-time recommendations has never been easier.

Here’s where the cycle of customer experience is completed: by closing the loop via retargeting.

With a broader ecosystem of touch points, beginning with location intelligence for optimum accuracy, you can start with immediate one-to-one conversation to build trust — and scale across email, social, display, onsite personalization, and beyond.

Build Momentum by Bridging Online and Offline Moments

The digital and the real world are converging. There’s no denying it, stopping it, or slowing it down.

The power that marketers have today is right in the hands of their app users — an engaged audience that expects personalized offers, information, and user experiences regardless of where they are. Get there first, while they’re in the moment – or risk losing their attention.

Location marketing hands you the key to maximizing on those moments, so you can grab each opportunity just as your audience is positioned to act.

Check out this geofencing guide to get insights into everything you didn’t know — and didn’t want to ask — about this fundamental location-based advertising technique: The Ultimate Guide to Geofencing.


Menno Kolkert – CEO & Co-Founder, Plot Projects

With a civil engineering background, Menno knows all about building bridges in the physical world. In 2011, with an iPhone 4 in his hands, it dawned on him that he needed to build a different kind of bridge; a mobile-centric bridge to connect the online with the offline world. Plot Projects has grown into a leading location-based marketing platform, helping iconic brands like Coca Cola, Walmart, Heineken, and Vodafone connect with consumers.

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