Location-Based Marketing Needs Smarter App Development

By 2016, 90% of smartphones will be enabled with GPS technology. As this paves the way for location-based services, it’s no wonder the total value of the global, real-time, mobile location-based advertising and marketing market is expected to reach $9 billion by 2017. Already, 76% of marketers are using real-time mobile marketing techniques.

But this should come as no surprise because of the success of location-specific advertisements. Marketers have found location ads to be more effective than other mobile targeting strategies, as they produce double the click-through rate. 

Even social media outlets recognized the possibilities with Facebook, offering geotargeting services since 2011 and Twitter following suit when it gave advertisers the ability to target by ZIP code.

To give a recent example, Microsoft deployed geotargeted ads in the Miami market to promote the opening of a new retail location. And, it worked! Microsoft saw an 89% incremental lift in in-store visits among consumers who saw the mobile ads.

But it would have been impossible for Microsoft to target these specific Miami-based consumers without sufficient back-end mobile technology and real-time data movement. After all, the advertisements would not have had much value if they were seen by out-of-market mobile users or if they were posted long after the store had opened.

The world of location-based data demands application performance and speed at scale, especially if such marketing initiatives want to ensure that the right data is delivered to the right place at the right time, even over unreliable network connections.

Right Place, Right Time

Whether you’re trying to deliver coupons, live pricing updates or flash sales, information that doesn’t reach users’ mobile devices in time often means missed opportunities to boost sales and revenue. The information received by consumers needs to be accurate and timely to be useful.

A mobile coupon, for instance, does customers no good if it arrives after they have already left the mall… by then, it’s likely to be too little, too late. You need to know, in real time, where customers and prospects are located for this kind of marketing push to be effective.

Performance at Scale

But just knowing where your target customer base is located isn’t enough… perhaps that mobile coupon still won’t make it through to potential buyers because of the sheer number of people you’re trying to reach.

For example, if a top, nationwide retail store wants to send out a coupon on Saturday afternoon to anyone who is near one of its 250 locations across the U.S., that’s likely to be millions of end users it’s trying to reach all at once! So without the ability to ensure the same high performance, whether you’re targeting 10 or 10,000 potential customers, any location-based marketing drive won’t hold up to customers’ expectations.

Relevant Updates

Another common issue for location-based marketing efforts involves unreliable network connectivity. Without good bandwidth, customers may not be getting your updates and you may not be getting an accurate snapshot of their location. For instance, if a connection is lost, when it reconnects, you don’t need to know a customer was at your store 20 minutes ago. You only need to know who is at the store right now.

Having this level of insight into only the most relevant updates not only ensures you have an accurate location-based snapshot, but also prevents you from annoying users outside that relevant location with irrelevant information.

How can marketers ensure these three crucial location-based service components are met? Is it possible to get real-time updates of only the most relevant data at scale, even over unreliable networks?

Short answer: yes!

By incorporating intelligent data distribution technology, location-based marketing apps can perform at scale, offering only relevant information to an end-user’s actual location. Consider how much better your app could perform if you didn’t send all the data out to your users, but only what has changed.  

This reduced data allows the app to handle sending and receiving information over whatever limited connectivity is available. This not only saves bandwidth but greatly improves app performance and allows real-time services to scale. All of this is paramount if location-based advertising and marketing services are going to satisfy users’ high-performance requirements and reach the billions predicted for market revenue!

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