10 Keys to a Good Location Based Marketing Campaign

Originally posted on my work blog at WCGWorld.com on April 7, 2011

If you aren’t familiar with location based services, some of the top providers are foursquare, Gowalla, YelpFacebook Places, Whrrl and SCVNGR. These services help companies engage with their customers and create loyalty 2.0 programs by exchanging value (offers, coupons, badges, mayorships) for tips, check-ins and spreading the word. In this particular post, I’m going to share 10 basic tips that any company can use to help build a successful location based marketing program:

  1. Be sure to claim your location across each of the top 5-6 location based providers, even if you don’t plan on regularly monitoring/engaging in all of them.
  2. Pick 1-2 services to use (hint: if you’re in the travel and entertainment industry, Gowalla is a great choice). One way to decide which service(s) are right for you is to see how active your customers are across each service.
  3. Find out who your influencers are (the mayor, ambassador or the person at the top of your leader board is usually a good place to start) and get to know them. Heck, invite them in for coffee, lunch, a wine tasting.
  4. Set some goals. Are looking to drive foot traffic? Loyalty? Sales? Engagement? Think about how to measure this.
  5. Pick a great offer. Note that “great” doesn’t equal “expensive.” Sometimes, a sign in your store/venue honoring the “mayor” might be enough. My co-author, Mike Schneider, and I have what we call the “Ben & Jerry’s Rule” named after one of the first successful campaigns ever to roll out on foursquare. They offered 3 scoops of ice cream for $3 for everyone that checked in (cost for 3 scoops is normally $5.50). And even better, the mayor got a free extra scoop.
  6. Measure, refine and optimize.
  7. Don’t be afraid to leverage the “game dynamics” of some of these platforms as appropriate. For instance, on SCVNGR, you might give extra points for a picture with the store manager. Or if you sell coffee, a bonus for the best drink recommendation.
  8. Remember to let people know about your program by putting up signs, telling them in your newsletter, including a mention on your “on hold” music, etc.
  9. Operationalize, operationalize, operationalize. This means that if you are going to run a location based marketing campaign, train your employees. Train yourself. And make sure you have whatever it is that you’re promising. Not operationalizing is where many companies fall down.
  10. If you are tech savvy (or have some tech savvy developers), try experimenting with some of the APIs these location based platform providers make available for free. You can jazz up your website or your mobile app.

Has your company launched a location based marketing campaign? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

We First

Tomorrow, my friend (and someone I greatly respect), Simon Mainwaring will be making his second appearance on the Quick’n’Dirty podcast show. Unfortunately, I have a client offsite that will prevent me from being in on the interview but with regular co-host, Kyle Flaherty and guest co-host (and colleague), Greg Matthews, Simon will be in good hands. One thing to note and that is that Simon is our first official guest to have been on the show two times. There are a couple of reasons for that:

  1. He’s that good
  2. Simon has a book coming out this week called We First.

Simon was kind enough to send me a few bullets about the book down below so those of you interested in the book (that should be all of you) know what it’s about. I’ve also embedded a recent video Simon did for the book. Hopefully this will reinforce why you’ll want to read the book.

  • The core premise of We First is that all corporations, businesses, consumers and citizens need to work together as partners and begin using capitalism as a driver of prosperity by standing in opposition to the traditional ‘me first’ mentality of free market capitalism.
  • Social media gives consumers new platforms to influence the purpose of capitalism and the behavior of companies while, at the same time, offers brands an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with consumers about shared interests and values, enabling both brands and consumers to translate their shared values to create a more sustainable economic system.
  • We First proposes that capitalism must look beyond our immediate needs and acknowledge that sometimes our self-interest is best served through compromise or solutions that promise gains over the long term, or rather, that good self-interest benefits society because it fulfills the needs of individuals while respecting those of others, whereas selfishness detracts from society because it fulfills only one individual’s needs.
  • We First discusses “profit as purpose” to refer to a model in which businesses, while making a profit, also have a positive impact on the world, for a business that commits to profit with purpose also seeks to infuse greater meaning into the lives of all the stakeholders it touches, as well as all other parties effected by the business’s presence.
  • We First sustainability refers to the fact that capitalist enterprises must preserve the planet’s resources for future generations and, for capitalism to survive, businesses need to figure out how to create a prosperous society of consumers who have the financial resources and living standards to support the very existence of capitalism because, if capitalism doesn’t provide jobs and decent wages to people, there is no market.


By the way, I get NOTHING for writing this post and have not received a free book. I am doing this because Simon is one of the nicest/smartest/well-spoken guys out there. Too often we do disclosures because there is a possibility that we’ve been tainted or influenced in some way. In this case, I can only say I’m influenced by the fact that Simon just does things right.