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Amplifying app marketing success with location-based advertising

Although the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increasing amount of remote working, in 2023 a large percentage of the full-time workforce still works completely on-site (~59%) or using a hybrid model (~28%). This means that consumers are still largely spending their day-to-day on the go–the perfect opportunity for mobile marketers to leverage the contextual strengths of location-based mobile marketing.

What is location-based marketing?

This targeted approach leverages consented location data to deliver personalized and contextually relevant content or promotions to users through mobile apps or other digital channels. Location-based advertising helps marketers send tailored messages, offers, or information that cater to the specific needs and preferences of users based on where they are at a given time.

This marketing tactic enhances user engagement and conversion rates while providing valuable insights into consumer behavior, allowing app marketers to refine their strategies and create more meaningful connections with their audience. In essence, location-based marketing bridges the gap between the digital and physical worlds.

How does location-based marketing work?

Location-based targeting relies on various types of location data to deliver tailored content and advertisements to users. Four common types of location data used in location-based marketing are:

  1. GPS data: Global positioning system data is obtained from a user's device through its built-in GPS receiver. This data provides precise latitude and longitude coordinates.
  2. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth beacon data: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth beacons are used to identify a user's location within a specific range of a beacon device. When a user's mobile device detects a beacon's signal, it can determine the user's proximity to a particular physical location, such as a retail store, museum, or event venue.
  3. IP address and geocoding data: IP address data can provide approximate location information based on the user's internet connection. Geocoding data is used to translate IP addresses into geographic coordinates or regions. While not as precise as GPS data, IP address and geocoding data can still be valuable for targeting users at a city or regional level.
  4. NFC data: Near field communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless communication technology that allows devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to establish a connection when near (typically within a few centimeters). In the context of marketing, NFC tags or chips are strategically placed in physical objects, like posters, products, or promotional materials. When a user's NFC-enabled device comes into contact with, or very close to, these tags, it can trigger various actions, such as opening a website, displaying a coupon, launching an app, or sharing contact information.
Types of location-based marketing data

Four benefits of location-based marketing

Due to its highly contextual nature, location-based ads have several advantages over traditional advertising methods.

  1. Personalization: Highly relevant content provides a personalized experience to your users.
  2. Increased engagement: When users receive relevant content at the right time and place, they are likelier to engage with it. This can lead to higher conversion rates and improved customer loyalty.
  3. Data-driven insights: Location data provides valuable insights into user behavior, preferences, and traffic patterns. This information can help you refine your marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions.
  4. Cost-effective advertising: Location-based marketing can be cost-effective because you're reaching users who are more likely to convert. This efficiency can lead to a higher return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts.

In addition to the above benefits, location-based targeting is most effective when combined with behavioral and temporal targeting, both of which can significantly enhance the precision and effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Behavioral targeting allows you to understand user preferences, interests, and past interactions with your app, helping you deliver content that aligns with their preferences and needs. Temporal targeting, on the other hand, factors in the time of day, day of the week, or specific events, allowing you to send messages or promotions when they are most relevant and likely to be acted upon.

By combining location data with user behavior and timing, you can create hyper-personalized experiences. For instance, sending a lunch special coupon via push notification to users near a restaurant during lunchtime, based on their past dining preferences, can significantly increase the chances of conversion.

7 types of location-based marketing

There are a large number of approaches you can take when integrating location-based data into your marketing strategy. Here are some of the methods you can use.

  1. Geofencing marketing: Creating virtual boundaries to trigger actions or deliver content when users enter or exit specific locations.
  2. Location-based gamification: Incorporating location-based elements into mobile games, encouraging users to visit specific places to unlock rewards or progress in the game.
  3. Location-triggered emails: Sending targeted emails to users based on their location, encouraging them to take specific actions or visit certain locations.
  4. Event-driven marketing: Sending notifications or content to users attending or near a specific event, such as concerts, conferences, or sports games. Or, promoting local events, workshops, or gatherings to users who are geographically close to the event location.
  5. Location-based content delivery: Tailoring content delivery based on a user's current location, providing them with information that is relevant to their surroundings.
  6. Navigation: Providing users with digital maps or navigation assistance while they are in a physical store to help them find products or departments.
  7. Location-based surveys and feedback: Sending surveys or feedback requests to users based on their recent visits to specific locations.

Location-based marketing examples

Here are a few example scenarios where mobile marketers could effectively use location-based marketing for apps across various verticals:

Fintech apps: Provide users with financial advice when users are in a shopping district, such as tips on budgeting and saving–helping them make wise spending decisions.

Gaming apps: Inform players about nearby gaming events, tournaments, or meetups related to the game they're playing, fostering community engagement and participation.

E-commerce apps: Track delivery location so that when a user's order is close to their delivery address the user can receive a push notification alerting them that the package is nearby.

Mobility apps: A public transportation app can use location-based alerts to notify users about delays, changes in schedules, or nearby service disruptions when they are at or near transit stops or stations.

Travel apps: Provide users with location-based recommendations for nearby restaurants, attractions, and activities, enhancing their travel experience and encouraging exploration.

Location-based marketing examples

Location-based marketing in the privacy era

Of course, to use location-based advertising, you’ll need user consent to access their location. This portion of your strategy should be carefully considered with a thoughtful prompt, such as one of the examples below. Try to keep the prompt concise and transparent, informing users of how they’ll benefit from more personalized marketing from your app.

Location-sharing app prompt examples

Location-based marketing for mobile apps is a dynamic and effective strategy that can significantly enhance user engagement and drive results. By delivering personalized and contextually relevant content, businesses can create more meaningful connections with their audience and stay ahead in the competitive app market. However, it's crucial to respect user privacy, follow best practices, and constantly analyze data to fine-tune your strategy for optimal success.

To learn more about how to measure your full marketing funnel, learn about Adjust’s Mobile Attribution, or request a demo for a full view of our next-generation mobile measurement solutions.

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