Location-Based Advertising Boosts the SMB Marketing Arsenal

June 15, 2016 Peter Krasilovsky

Business-specific,  location-based advertising has emerged as an important new addition to the the marketing arsenal for many SMBs.  Its impact is especially strong for businesses that want to target consumers in-store for impulse purchases as they are shopping or travelling, or when they need to hire emergency services.

Location based advertising tends to complement or replace advertising on traditional local media outlets, which  obviously  less specific, less hyper-local,  and less time-sensitive. According to a Unacast survey,  beacons are the most popular location based  ad channel among businesses that are targeting locally.  Of these:

95% use beacons
54% use GPS/Geofencing
28% use Wifi
16% use NFC.  
The influence of location based advertising is now spreading beyond its original just-in-time parameters. Google’s Waze traffic service, for instance, is applying all kinds of marketing to location for its traffic-impaired users.  Waze is now matching sponsors with local football stars for tests of specific location-based ad campaigns.

It isn’t, however,  always a perfect solution. A quorum of users isn’t guaranteed – there may not be enough users in a location to make certain types of marketing worthwhile.

Its biggest drawback is the lack of accuracy in mobile-based geolocation.  A worldwide survey of  marketers by The Location Based Marketing Association said that 77% found it “valuable,” but just 65% found it to be “accurate.” An inaccurate location ad campaign, of course, isn’t going to be worth much.



About the Author

Peter Krasilovsky runs Local Onliner, a consulting firm that focuses on how digital channels target local consumers. “Local” has been a focus for him since 1995-96, and the firm's practice now includes search, marketplaces, geotargeting, vertical media and loyalty and promotion services. Peter was Chief Analyst and Vice President for BIA/Kelsey from 2006-2015. He holds an MA from The Annenberg School of Communications at The University of Southern California and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. He currently resides with his wife Sharon in Ashland, Oregon.

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