Friday, May 14, 2010

Is Your Marketing Strategy Location-Aware?

Is Your Marketing Strategy Location-Aware?
Part I: Why Hyper-local is the Next Big Wave You Can't Afford to Miss

by Tracy Manning
Vice President of Client Services, Berry Network
(14. May 2010 01:45)

If there’s one thing that’s certain about marketing these days, it’s that if you think you finally have it all figured out, just wait about five minutes and you’ll have a new challenge to solve. Marketers have been scrambling over the past few years to grab the reins on interactive, fragmentation, media mix and social influence, but many may have missed a key trend that will be vitally important moving forward on just about every major advertising platform: Hyper-localization.

In a time-starved, increasingly mobile-social, GPS-wired environment, ensuring your marketing campaign is hyper-local may mean the difference between winning and losing big in the marketplace. Smart phone adoption is at an all-time high, and research shows that consumers’ habits change drastically: once they get the smart phone needle in the proverbial vein, there’s no turning back. This is particularly true for iPhone users, whose massive consumption of wireless data has been well documented in the media.

For these users, the mobile phone becomes their primary screen. They begin to turn to it versus old standards for their media and information. TV viewing takes a downturn as they realize they can tap into most of what they want to see via services like iTunes or by streaming it from the mobile web. Radio listenership plummets because they have an on-board MP3 collection in their pocket and can stream it through Bluetooth to a number of devices in their homes and cars. Home PC usage declines as they realize they can not only search for anything they want on the go, but actually get more relevant results for businesses near them using the GPS functionality of the phone.

But this trend isn’t limited to mobile. By way of technology, it’s also taking over in traditional online search and will likely also make its way to TV via location-aware set-top boxes. It’s this marketer’s opinion, that before it’s over, the hyper-local trend will prove so efficient and effective, that every media platform will be forced to acknowledge it and adapt to it in order to survive. Marketers who wise up early to this trend and jump in on the front edge of the wave will win big with early adopter consumers, achieve incredibly efficient ROI and reap long-term benefits for years to come.

So what will it take to succeed in a hyper-local environment?

• Strong understanding of technology trends and the opportunity they represent

• A pioneering spirit that lends itself to early experimentation, learning and optimization

• A direct marketing/direct response mindset in terms of targeting, messaging & measurement

• Partners like Berry Network (, who are experts at understanding how consumers shop locally and managing the detail that will be necessary to keep you on the leading edge of this trend

Want to learn more? Stay tuned for the remaining installments in my series: “Is Your Marketing Strategy Location-Aware?”, beginning with “Part II: Grabbing Your Share of The Hyper-Local Mobile Opportunity.”