You now can target customers based not only on what they prefer but also on where they are. The technology is called location-based marketing and the concept is relatively simple. Location-based marketing utilizes technology to engage with users based on their physical location. Services such as FourSquare allow users of mobile devices – tablets and smartphones – to interact with others on the network by sharing ‘where they are’ or physically meeting up at locations for events, to leave a review or to gain some reward for showing up.

As an example of how location-based marketing works, let’s say one of your clients – we’ll call her Joan - comes in for a massage. When Joan gets to your spa, she ‘checks-in’ on her smartphone to tell her friends and followers on Foursquare. (The GPS capability on her smartphone enables Joan to let her friends instantly know she is.)

For checking in and letting her friends know she’s at your spa, Joan gets some reward from you –maybe it’s a coupon for a discount on a retail product or for a future treatment. Ideally, the increased visibility you get from Joan checking in will help boost your business.

Your business benefits from location-based services in a number of ways. It raises your brand awareness among prospective clients. You also can use it to build brand loyalty by rewarding clients for checking in and by offering rewards to attract new customers. More clients mean more revenue.

If you think you might want to add location-based marketing to your promotional efforts, here are few things to consider:

  • Mobile friendly website: You’ll need a mobile friendly website if you want your business to be found on smartphones, tablets or any other GPS enabled devices.
  • Get listed in online directories: Get listed in as many online directories that you can to help drive traffic to your business.
  • Optimize your website for location: The location of your business should appear in the title and Meta descriptions of your high traffic web pages. By doing so, search engines will index your website for location- based descriptions, such as city, state and even local neighborhood.
  • Be sure your business is ‘check-in’ worthy: Make sure the ‘check-in’ experience is satisfying and memorable.
  • Employees should be ready: Your staff needs to be prepared and aware of the rules or how to deal with clients who check in in terms of the rewards and incentives.
  • Consider a mobile coupon app: Consumers use them to find special deals in their area.

Location-based marketing can help increase the number of clients who come through your door. Do your homework – find out more about how to implement a program and ensure its success. In today’s highly mobile world, it’s not only who you know but where they are. Let us know if you are using location-based marketing and how it's working for you.