This week we debated whether or not to write about Cannes – especially after all M&C Saatchi’s successes this year. But we’ve decided to keep looking forward. So check out Marketing Week’s Cannes Lions 2014 for a decent summary.
Instead, we wanted to talk about what is in some quarters, seen as The Holy Grail; a form of marketing optimised to such an extent it’ll be able to deliver results like nobody’s business: location based comms.
It is of course, certainly nothing new. French bakery ‘PAUL’ provide just one example of how clever tech was being used successfully back in 2012, sending relevant offers, deals, and updates to customers as they moved through the world in real-time. [Watch]. But for all the talk, there haven’t yet been many world-beating examples of location-based comms.
That could be about to change. ‘New’ tech like iBeacons have helped turn up the heat on the concept of location-based comms – as have initiatives like Weve, the massive pooling of major telcos’ valuable consumer data, which demonstrates the industry is gearing up better than ever before. So much so, it’s now set toexplode in size from €1.2 billion in 2013 to €10.7 billion by 2018.
Rightly so. Because location-based comms can be so much more than simply tapping someone up in the right place at the right time.
We recently saw how well it integrates and augments traditional forms of advertising. Fiat gave their OOH a boost by using Weve’s geo-targeting capabilities, providing smartphone users within a half-mile radius of their billboards with an “immersive virtual experience”, meaning people seeing the ad showing the care were pushed a link offering a full view of the car’s interior, in 360 degrees. [Look].
But there’s so much more. On the media side, a whole host of additional data elements are being introduced to optimise further; anything from demographic targeting, to shopping habits – even favoured brands.
And on the creative side, the industry is starting to see just how much potential there is. Take the weather, for example. Brits love to talk about it. It’s the second biggest influence on consumer purchasing behaviour, according to British Retail Consortium. Marketers have known about the effect of weather on sales for years; Campbell’s Soup ‘Misery Index‘ being just one example. But using real-time weather data to trigger localised marketing campaigns can now also be a powerful tool for retailers & brands.
Pantene’s recent partnership with the Weather Channel enabled women to ‘avoid bad hair days’ by pushing geo-targeted ‘hair-casts’ in the morning, not only suggesting suitable products to use, but also giving out coupons for these products. [Watch].
This sort of marketing is understood as part of a shift in which marketers move from pure selling cultures to more direct, “helping the journey to purchase” culture. Location can be very much central to that shift.
And the sheer level of optimisation possible is also becoming more apparent. It delves into the realms of automated marketing. For example, The American Dental Association have learned that negative moods caused by bad weather can make consumers respond better to negative messaging. Again using weather data, consumers browsing their internet near high street areas and shopping centres on gloomier days were pushed a graphic toothbrush razor blade ad urging customers to floss to avoid the perils of gingivitis. It ignited more sales than other messages telling people flossing would give them brighter smiles.
To this extent, multiple strategies can be deployed simultaneously, targeting people based on different real-time environments. That’s far more flexible than traditional approaches to comms have allowed for.
In a world where most consumers are smartphone ready, and where layered data can be readily assembled to not only target consumers, but target them in the right place, at the right point in their purchase journey, and with the right tone of message to match their environment and likely mood, location will be getting plenty more love from marketers than it has done to date…