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Location, Location, Location!” ¬†You might have heard people say that¬†location¬†is the most important thing for a business.¬†¬†Then, the next most important is …¬†location, and so on. ¬†You’ve certainly heard the phrase enough to wonder what possesses people to say it three times.¬† Or you might think it pertains to three different types of locations — perhaps an excellent location, a mediocre location and a lousy location.¬†So, how are brands¬†leveraging location for the retailer‚Äôs dilemma?

I’ll put your mind at ease. It means identical businesses can increase or decrease in value due to location. It’s repeated three times for emphasis, and so you will remember the phrase. It’s the number one rule in real estate, and it’s often the most overlooked rule in digital marketing. ¬†Even¬†Non-profits use LBS to promote awareness and spur donations. Luckily,¬†the¬†Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA) had a collaborative event with the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association (AiMA) about¬†why location matters.¬† The¬†Location Based Marketing Association¬†is the live intersection of people, places, and media. ¬†They better help brands leverage location and their president,¬†@AsifRKhan, devlivered a jam-packed¬†keynote presentation of new research from the LBMA on why its all about a location-based future.

At the networking session of the event, I got the chance to sit down and talk with Amanda Spark and Chris Crawford of Response Mine Interactive.  Chris actually taught himself how to be a SEO Consultant by just reading Warrior Forum.

“Constantly doing SEO will allow you to learn to keep up.”- Chris Crawford

I also had a chance to run into the guys at Insightpool, Matt Smith and Adam Lewites, who are¬†indulging¬†in conversations that they don’t even speak like¬†Portuguese.¬† ¬†They are showing ¬†enterprises looking at location from a social perspective matters too.

For many businesses, getting the right location can make the difference between success and failure. Can you think of a shop or restaurant near where you live that has closed down, maybe because it was in the wrong place?  There are lots of reasons why location is important to a business and location matters to some businesses more than it does to others.  Some businesses need to be near their customers or suppliers, but every business needs to be able to reach its customers.  For a retail shop, you might want potential customers to be walking past you all the time.  However, a business that is internet-focused has the ability to locate almost anywhere and reach mass audiences.

Value + Relevance= Individual Data

As businesses become more global, you need people who can speak the same language as your customers. This is one reason why India has been successful in attracting call centres and software development from the UK and North America.  A lot of cultures related to check-in, specifically the African-American and Latino segment, have not been as popular on Foursquare because of cultural values even though they are the heaviest users on smartphones.  Some businesses need to be in a location that suits their image or might want to be the only business of their type nearby. With businesses clustered together Рfrom restaurants in Soho or Chinatown to fashion shops and jewelers on Bond Street -how do you differentiate yourself?  Retailers and brands face challenges in categorizing and selecting the right location-based marketing tools that determines success in their stores.


  • Bluetooth or Wi-Fi?
  • Integration with digital signage and point of sale?
  • Should you use push notifications, if so, in App or via SMS?
  • Mobile payments and how do you fit QR codes into the mix?
  • Do you need new POS systems and can you connect to a loyalty program?
  • What is the right mix of these solutions for driving footfall vs. increasing dwell time?


  • Moderator: @AsifRKhan, President¬†@TheLBMA
  • Tripp Sessions, CIO Benchmark Brands
  • Bill Keen- Director, Mobile Solutions IHG
  • Lauren Barash – Director of Marketing Moe’s Southwest Grill
  • Josh Martin – Manager, Social Media Arby’s RestaurantGroup Inc.

What is a place?

There are 2,430,000,000 places in the world with 350,000 Wifi Spots.  Geo-relationships are starting to get to that point.  All smartphones today have GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi (Indoor location), and connect to cell towers.  SMS is more outbased the U.S and 85% of all data has a location element.  The point of location based marketing is to create experiential connections that leave memorable experiences.  For example, the Miami Dolphins give away fan experiences to run on the field.  Or how about the Coke dance vending machine as a magic place for gaming platforms? Brands need to complete the redemption cycle like Shopkick, Beanstalk loyalty, and Google Wallet to give card-linked offers.

“Location is just data.” ¬†It can tell you the¬†where, who, how, and sometimes we don’t even need mobile. ¬†For example, the¬†Starhub online music store created a campaign with¬†RFID chips that trigger music from changing room to create an interactive in-store experience.

Music + Fashion + RFID Tags = Musical Fitting Rooms

Location based marketing apps are popping up left and right like the 400 million people that have downloaded Shazzam, which is now used for audio signals for TV models, TV shows, and other commercials.  Other apps like Broadcast, Viggle, and Get Glue are connecting content to context.  What types of apps are you using  to market to consumers?

Your iPhone Screenshot Image

Indoor location brands like bytelight and adcentricity are up and coming.  MCX  and Urban Airship mobile provide jumping to geofences, Jiwire, and Go-Go.  However, the role of other non-mobile media such as billboard  and print communications will continue to promote location-based deals.  Even digital signage will evolve to advertise a certain interest or product to the dominant demographic in a given region.

IP geolocation¬†is the method by which Internet addresses are identified by a geographic location. Each computer using the Internet has an assigned, though not necessarily unique, IP address such as and this address can be associated geographically. A registry exists that assigns IP addresses to countries, regions, city, etc. and databases can be purchased in which to perform the geographic “look-up” of addresses that are associated with specific locations.¬†¬†However, the¬†question of privacy for companies like¬†facedeals¬†that allow you to check-in with your face are still up for debate.

For brands like IHG that are investing $500,000,000 million in mobile for 2013, location is one of their most important factors in reaching their travel audience¬†for monetization. ¬†They also use¬†loyalty¬†programs and priority club membership to better reward travelers based on their travels to different locations. ¬†Foot geotargeting is discoverable to know where we are today and is a¬†driving factor of where to dine for food. ¬†Moe’s check-in club uses Facebook and Foursquare for gamification to allow fans to compete with other fans and SMS to push out notifications of deals in restaurants nearby.¬† Arbys uses foursquare instead of Facebook deals because it has been a more successful platform for creating a mayor tent or table for the mayorship of the location to sit at. ¬†They also update offers that are market-based by knowing¬†where certain people are at a given moment based on where they check-in on their social media network.

Key Takeaways:

  • Augmented Reality is here.
  • Nobody cares about badges; Not Just Gamification anymore.
  • Push Notifications keep customers top of mind.
  • Indoor Location is the hottest thing.
  • Location + IP=Adds a digital element
  • Take the store to the people.
  • Completing the redemption cycle.
  • Location benefits all through charitable services.
  • Content is king, but context is the advisor to bringing content to life.
  • Don’t forget about audio and trends of active to passive check-ins.
  • Bridging¬†social, location, and retention of search.

Final Thought:¬†“Location is about data. ¬†Mobile is just a connective tissue. ¬†A place is wherever you are right now that can be marketed to in real-time.”


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