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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bring Your Marketing Home #LBM #Amplify #Florida

Behold the power of location-based marketing!

With your marketing dollars having to do more than ever, you need to stretch your dollars a little bit further. And you may be surprised to find out that the best way to do that is to keep them closer to home.

“The old ways of marketing are going the way of the dinosaur,” says Steve Cabeza, Marketing Ninja at Amplification, Inc. [ / Facebook / Twitter] “Businesses used to have to spray their messages to the masses and hope to get some sort of return, but that’s antiquated and has been replaced with more effective and efficient methods. One of the most exciting is location-based marketing.”

The Case for Local 

Use direct mail to grow your business? Wish it was working a little better? You and everyone else. That’s because direct mail coupons, which cost money to print (and are not eco-friendly) and more money to ship, have a single-digit redemption rate. That’s right. Spend all the time you want on them, and you’ll still get less than a 10% return on your investment.

On the other hand, location-based SMS (short message service) coupons consistently generate double-digit redemption rates if used properly. How do they work? Through the power of social media and smart phones. Via platforms such as Foursquare and Facebook Places / Deals, social media-savvy customers (which is a much higher percentage of folks than you may realize) can instantly see what deals are being run by businesses in their vicinity. There’s no coupon to lose, no need to cut anything out of a magazine. Instead, the customer shows their phone to the cashier and gets a discount. And it’s happening all the time and all around you.

“I was unsure about location-based marketing until Amplification, Inc. convinced me to run a Facebook Deal,” says Scott Goldberg, chiropractor with 212 Chiropractic [ / Facebook / Twitter
] in Sunrise, Florida. “Since starting to use Facebook Deals, I’ve had an incredible number of people check in when they come for treatment. And every time someone does, all their friends know where they are. So while my clients are getting a discount, I’m getting free social media exposure which equates to free advertising.” 

A great example of a business doing location-based marketing the right way is the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, click here to visit their fan page. With one Facebook check-in for every three people who “like” their Facebook page (132,590 fans at the time this was written) and near constant interaction with fans, the Bellagio promotes their sophisticated message of the good life, while their clients are voluntarily interacting, providing unparalleled marketing that enlivens the Bellagio brand and keeps the conversation alive—even amongst those who are thousands of miles away. And it’s all courtesy of location-based marketing.

Bigger than a Single Platform

But Facebook Deals isn’t the only way to encourage and enliven this win-win situation. Foursquare, Gowalla, and other platforms do the same thing. The trick is figuring out which your clientele use and calibrating your efforts accordingly. Since some folks would much rather be part of the Foursquare community as-well-as or versus Facebook, and some others would use another platform altogether, representing your business in as many as possible ensures the greatest likelihood of success. The first step to increased sales is increasing the awareness of your brand.

Sully Dawson, owner of Eco-Friendly Auto Center [ / Facebook ] in Oakland Park, Florida, has his hands in a few location-based marketing pots. Each takes effort to maintain, but the dividends are well worth it.

“I’ve found that my customer base is very plugged into social media, so location-based marketing is an essential,” Sully says. “It’s a fun way to engage customers, and it’s the best way to interact with them in a way they appreciate and relate to.”

More SMS coupons are being created and redeemed each day, and as more people are turning to social media, the numbers will only increase. Pile onto this the fact that consumers are approximately five times more likely to trust their friends’ recommendations than advertising, and it becomes clear that if you haven't 'claimed' your burgeoning social media presence and started promoting your goods and services via location-based marketing, you’re missing a big chunk of business.

“By adding relevancy and context to your customer social media engagement, the result is enhanced customer service, stronger loyalty, and increased credibility,” says Marnie Goldberg, Social Medium at Amplification, Inc. “In an economy that is markedly more competitive and relies on constant, honest communication, the business that does this best is the business that wins and retains new customers.”

Want to find out how to make location-based marketing work for you? Need to out-communicate your competition? Forget about your next direct mail piece or print ad and e-mail Amplification, the window decals (thanks to Davie SIGNARAMA!) are included!

Thanks to our freelance writing resource, Daniel K. Brantley [ ] for another fabulous article. Contact Daniel via email, or follow his chicken-loving life on Twitter