July 28, 2014

Location-based marketing steps up a notch

Written By Martin Sandhu


Location-based marketing is nothing new; since the dawn of GPS in smartphones marketers and advertisers have been able to target consumers on the basis of their location. It opened up mobile marketing to a local audience and makes push notifications and adverts more personal and targeted.

But simply using GPS is old hat now, marketers are starting to explore how a users surrounding can be used for promotion.

Smartphone Light Sensors

There’s a huge amount of technology is our smartphones and they’re getting increasingly more complicated. The light sensor, found on the front of the phone is particularly clever – you’ll know this if you use auto-brightness – it can adjust your screen brightness to suit the light around you.

Zealios Skin Care 

A US skincare company have made the most of this little-used feature and developed a coupon which can only be downloaded when the user is in sunlight. Ad agency TBWAToronto have created a 50% off discount voucher for the company’s sunscreen, which uses the phones light sensor to detect whether the user is inside or out.

Mashable tested the promotion and found that whilst it works, there are a few teething issues: “A Mashable test proved that the promotion works, but only for Android, with Firefox as the browser instead of Android’s default, Chrome; that may limit the offer’s potential reach.”

Using Other In-built Smartphone Features

There are many other features on smartphones that could be used to marketers advantage. What if time were taken into consideration? Location-based marketing could step up yet another notch. Taxi companies could target revellers out for the night in Nottingham city, reminding them not to walk home and advising them where the nearest taxi rank is, for example.

Rather than simply understanding the location of a user, marketers and advertisers are now able to understand other location-specific features, such as the weather. This opens up a whole new avenue for exploration, granted there does appear to be some teething issues, but the novelty of such campaigns will no doubt catch the attention of consumers.