Use Location-Based Listening to Reach Prospective Customers

location-based listeningYou don’t have to look far to read an article about the growth of mobile phones. And although mobile marketing elements like mobile-friendly websites are still important, the next phase of mobile marketing is here: location-based listening.

What if you knew someone was sitting in a train station that also housed your café and you could send that person a coupon for a free cup of coffee if they stop in for a fresh croissant? Or what if, while in your store, a customer sent out a disgruntled tweet—and you could use location-based data to quickly diffuse the situation and help make things right?

Some of the earliest location-based listening opportunities have come from Foursquare’s business platform, where businesses can monitor foot traffic from “check-ins” and encourage sales with check-in specials, coupons and other updates. The possibilities are endless—and what’s even more exciting? The technology is just getting started.

Location-based listening is like a lot of other marketing concepts. The data is being created on an almost continual basis. Businesses and marketers, however, are charged with collecting and analyzing this information so that they can actually put it to use. The good news is that two big drivers are making location-based listening more accessible to a wider range of businesses: the cost of enterprise software that has this capability, like Salesforce, is decreasing, while the number of startups with this capability is increasing. Geofeedia and Snaptrends are just two of many examples.

There’s no denying that location-based data gives businesses a powerful opportunity to make almost instant connections with customers (both current and prospective). Yet before you act, remember that listening can be equally important, too. As you’re gathering your data, you don’t necessarily need to act on all of it. Instead, pay attention to what people are saying about your business or brand, then use that feedback to create and refine offers, messaging and customer service interactions.

And when it comes to effective location-based implementation, pay attention to one group in particular. Restaurants are perhaps one of the most advanced groups when it comes to implementing location-based listening processes; a case study of several restaurant chains is packed with insight and may help you find some new ways to use location-based marketing data, even if you’re not in the restaurant industry.

In the meantime? Put location-based marketing high on your list of Marketing Trends To Watch. The mobile explosion has only increased the amount of data that’s being circulated throughout the Internet—and now it’s up to marketers to find ways to meaningfully tap into this growing pool of information to drive sales and improve customer service.

So what do you think? Are you using any location-based listening tools yet in your marketing? If so, have any results to share? Or thoughts about what would work if you did try it? We’d love to know more.

Image by Mr. T in DC via Creative Commons

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