If you think the term location-based mobile application marketing sounds like something I’ve made up, I’ve got news for you. Mobile apps are no longer the huge next step of digital marketing – they’re well and truly here.
However, what we’re now seeing is the development of mobile app technology into something that aims to engage with users to the point that personal interaction actually takes place in real time, in real situations.
In fact, there are so many companies experimenting with ‘indoor location’ technologies that a quasi trade group known as the The In-Location Alliance was recently developed by Nokia – and only last month Apple paid $20 million for a company called WifiSLAM, who profess to be building the “‘next generation’ of location-based mobile applications”.
But what does this actually mean? And how does this relate to content marketing?
Let’s start at the beginning…
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If you’ve ever had the experience of instinctively walking to a particular aisle of your local supermarket because you know what you’re looking for, only to be greeted by a completely unrelated and undesired product, you’ll relate to this well.
The redesigning and shuffling of supermarket layout is a now considered an ancient marketing technique aimed at confusing consumers into impulse buying whatever they lay their eyes on. Personally, I refuse to believe this ever worked well in the first place – it’s annoying and does nothing to help the consumer or create a positive brand experience. And how likely is it that you would buy toilet cleaner when all you really needed was bread?
Anyway, what location-based mobile application companies are now discovering is the same thing that content marketers have been bleating on about for years: If you give your customers the most seamless and helpful experience you possibly can, they will thank you, they will feel positive about your brand and they will ultimately spend more with you.
Companies like Aisle411 are now providing services such as location-based mapping of supermarkets, so customers no longer feel lost or confused in store. As a result, their experience is quick and easy. They get their shopping completed faster and feel like they have more time to spare, ultimately resulting in them spending this spare time ‘shopping for pleasure’ (and spending more money!).
So while the old-fashioned supermarkets rely on trying to steer consumers into a frenzied state of bewildered impulse buying, the forward-thinking among them are helping the consumer by freeing up their time and making the grocery shop a pleasant and quick experience.
This is the absolute essence of content marketing – helping the consumer by providing them with content that enhances their experience and is delivered to them right when they need it. And by the looks of it, if location-based mobile application marketing is anything to go by, the trend for real-time, relevant and helpful content will remain the focal point of future digital marketing developments.