GeoMinds: When It Comes To Location-Based Advertising, Real-Time Is The Right Time
Mobile consumers have vastly different mindsets at different times of the day and geo-targeted marketing needs to reflect that, says Localz' Nimmity Zappert.
Now is the right time for real-time marketing.
What’s all the fuss about real-time? Why is real-time so important in geomarketing all of a sudden? With 82 percent of smartphone users browsing and shopping via their mobile devices according to research by retailer DirectBuy, real-time technology is crucial to the mobile experience. Having a real-time decision engine is essential to being able to leverage the latest in location technology along with real-time messaging to deliver truly contextual, personalised content.
The growing importance of real-time marketing was even the recent focus of The Forrester Wave: Real-Time Interaction Management, Q3 2015, which states, “Customer insight professionals, cross-channel marketers, and others responsible for customer-facing operations must prioritize their RTIM investments based on how, when, and where customers interact with their brands.”
So where are consumers interacting with brands? This is where location technology comes in. In terms of innovative tools for marketers to master, location technology is the new kid on the block. It opens up a whole new world for marketers by enabling them to know exactly where a customer is in the physical world.
Combined with a real-time decision engine and messaging, not only do retailers know where their customers are; they can communicate with them at that precise moment with the most relevant offer. Real-time decision engines take location information and combine it with both real-time and historical customer information to decide the next best marketing action. This ensures that the real-time message is both individualized and contextually relevant to where the customer is at that exact moment. That is the real gold.
To capitalize on this great new technology, marketers must bring together the online world with the in-store physical world. Customers are no longer thinking about shopping online or offline; they are just shopping and want a seamless experience. John Lewis’ 2014 Retail Report showed that customers who shop both online and in-store spend on average three times more than single channel shoppers. So the prize is big if retailers can utilize real-time and historical data to connect the dots between a customer’s online experience and in-store experience.
How do they do it?
By using the latest in beacon technology, retailers can know precisely where a customer is in their store. They can then use this information to engage with customers in real-time on their phones – bridging the online and physical worlds.
For example, if the customer is browsing in the cheese section, the real-time decision engine can use this location information to determine the best offer for the customer. Based on historical data, that offer might be for a particular wine the customer has previously viewed or purchased online that would complement the cheese in the in-store display. Or perhaps a customer is coming to the store to collect a package that was ordered online. As the customer approaches the store, a notification is sent to a staff member to prepare the package for collection, and the customer receives a notification with directions to the pickup location – providing a positive and connected customer experience.
Forrester states the challenge: “…vendors that excel at digital execution lack seamless integration with offline channels, and vice versa.”
This is also the real opportunity – to utilize location data coupled with interaction data to deliver a great digital experience for customers that connects seamlessly with their in-store experience.
The retailer who gets real-time marketing right wins. The race is on.
*Nimmity Zappert is Head of Sales & Partnerships for Localz. With a broad experience across a range of international markets, Nimmity is passionate about taking the new and exciting innovations in location technology to the world, and believes the collaborative yet competitive nature of working with partners is fundamental to building a scalable business. Nimmity loves to travel and recently relocated from Sydney, Australia to London, where she is enjoying travelling around Europe and beyond.
**Editor’s Note: Our “GeoMinds” opinion series features posts written by outside contributors from all parts of the GeoMarketing community who want to share their views of the trends, issues, problems, and solutions changing the online-to-offline advertising and marketing landscape. To become a contributor, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.