GeoMinds: Retailers Are Failing To Provide Customers With Precisely What They Want: Location-Based Marketing
The "creep factor" that haunts retailers when it comes to geo-targeting is a myth, writes GPShopper's Bill Siwicki.
79 percent of U.S. adults with smartphones and/or tablets enable mobile apps to use their location, according to the “2014 Mobile Behavior Report” from software company Salesforce. 65 percent downloaded a business-specific mobile app (as opposed to a gaming app or a utility app), the report finds.
What’s more, 63 percent of U.S. consumers find it “cool,” not “creepy,” when location-based services identify relevant items and stores when conducting searches for same, according to the 2015 “Creepy or Cool” study by omnichannel personalization company RichRelevance Inc.
The fact is, consumers are aching for location-based marketing. They’re seeing wild TV commercials showing the latest mobile wonders, they’re being spoon fed joyful notions of the wonders of mobile technology by device makers and app developers, and they’ve watched enough sci-fi on TV and the big screen to know what technology was supposed to have already enabled by the year 2015.
The problem? Too few retailers are making the magical mobile milieu come alive for consumers. Yet the two data sets above show very clearly: Consumers want to be on the receiving end of location-based marketing. Period. So what gives?
In my travels talking with retailers across the country, the big thing I still hear from retailers is they do not want to creep out their customers. Ah yes, the creepy factor associated with location-based marketing. That old chestnut exists mostly in the minds of business executives worried about crossing that line and alienating loyal brand fans, losing customers, foot traffic, and sales.
Yes, there are many consumers who are unnerved by what mobile technologies can do today. But you know what? When a customer of yours simultaneously says, “Hey, please track my whereabouts” (when they OK location-awareness in an app) and “Hey, please send me messages” (when they OK push notifications), guess what? They’re not going to get creeped out. They want what you fear sending them.
If retailers are following industry best practices for location-based marketing, they’ve implemented a double opt-in process for receiving marketing messages and participating in location-based tracking to lead to more relevant, personalized content.
This ensures that customers who want location-based content will receive it.
My advice to retailers? Don’t count your entire customer base out for location-based tracking by making presumptions for them. Let your customers speak—which, by the way, they are.
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