Al Gomez
August 29, 2017

4 Location-Based Technologies For Mobile Marketing

Location-based Technologies

The number of mobile phone users worldwide is forecast to surpass 5 billion by 2019. More and more people are becoming dependent on their mobile devices to find information or simply entertain themselves. It has become an essential part of many people’s lives. This dependency has given rise to the growth of mobile marketing. Businesses have realized that in order to engage with customers, they have to connect with them in the way they can be reached best – through their smartphones.

Mobile marketing has undoubtedly provided plenty of opportunities for businesses to communicate more effectively with their audience. The problem is, the world is becoming more and more cluttered with ads that some people have already developed immunity from. The biggest marketing challenge for businesses is getting customers to notice their ads and take action. You can spend thousands on your display and banner ads, and online users will still keep ignoring them. So what can you do about it?

Targeted Marketing Through Location-Based Technologies

Research conducted by Digital Connections revealed that 49% of the consumers will disregard a brand if it bombards them with ads or if they perceive the advertising to be irrelevant. Another 36% are more likely to buy from a brand that sends them tailored messages. The solution is targeted marketing. Through the use of location-based technologies, you can tailor advertisements and send them to customers at the right place and time.

Here are 4 location-based technologies you can incorporate into your marketing strategy.

NFC (Near Field Communication)

So how can NFC be incorporated into your mobile marketing strategy? Like Bluetooth, NFC is a data transfer technology. The biggest differences are that NFC can only operate within a short range and it transfers data faster than Bluetooth can. These previously mentioned capabilities are what makes it unique over the other location-based services. Its short range makes it ideal for secure mobile payments. Meanwhile, its fast data transmission time offers vast opportunities for this technology to be utilized in your marketing strategy.

Aside from giving customers a fast, convenient and secure way to pay, you can also leverage NFC to create a richer interaction with them. By putting NFC tags on your products, customers can scan the tags with their NFC compatible phone. You can choose to direct the NFC tag towards your website, blog or social media. This will give the customer ready access to your website if they want to find more information about your product, leave feedback or reorder. If your product needs assembling, you can have the tag direct them to a how-to video. You can also use NFC tags to engage customers by holding contests and perform market analysis by conducting surveys.

An emerging technology

Currently, NFC is being taken advantage of by only a few companies. This is because the number of NFC compatible phone users aren’t enough to gain global support for the technology. However, according to Statista, by 2018, the number of NFC-enabled phones is expected to shoot up to 2.9 billion. So there will be more opportunities for businesses like yours to provide a richer and more engaging customer experience. By incorporating NFC into your marketing strategy, you are taking your marketing game a step higher than your competitors. You are elevating your business by creating a fun and engaging experience for your customers.


Another location-based technology is Geofencing. Geofencing utilizes Global Positioning System (GPS) or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to define a virtual boundary around a geographical area.

Because of its targeted approach, geofencing has many practical applications. It provides businesses a way to engage customers by sending a location-triggered alert when they enter or leave a geofenced area. Customers are more likely to be convinced to enter a store and shop with this type of hyper-localized advertising than simply having random advertisements sent, which they are likely to forget. Through geofencing, office management can also be alerted if an employee attempts to enter an unauthorized geofenced area. Law enforcement agencies are already using this technology on people who are under house arrest. Their ankle bracelet alerts the authorities if the individual leaves the premises.

Many companies are already implementing geofencing in their marketing strategy. Walgreens is using geofencing to promote customer loyalty by pushing a notification that allows the user to open their app every time they enter the geofenced area. The user can then look at their account details and view promotional offers. History Channel’s Foursquare campaign is also another great example of a company that leveraged geofencing. They pushed historical facts to users’ phones whenever they enter a geofenced historical monument or location. The campaign resulted in 400 million check-ins.

Though you may only be managing a small business, you can learn a thing or two from these companies, who have successfully leveraged geofencing in their marketing strategy. From targeting customers to retaining them, geofencing has already successfully presented many engagement opportunities for businesses. When used smartly, you can utilize geofencing to market your business effectively, too.


In its earlier days, only a few establishments such as cafes, libraries, airports and hotels would offer WiFi access. Now it’s everywhere. More and more countries are providing free WiFi access in public areas. Businesses are taking advantage of people’s desire to always be connected by installing WiFi hotspots in their establishments. Students and employees are more inclined to enter, shop or buy, and stay at a place that allows them to stay connected.

Free WiFi access is among the top motivators for customers when entering an establishment. You can leverage your WiFi access service by urging customers to like your business’s Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media account. In exchange, they gain free access to your WiFi. You can personalize the landing page with your latest offers, information about your business or a feedback form. Just offering the free WiFi access service itself is an effective way to market your business. It’s a proven way to attract customers’ attention, and an easy way to keep up with competitors. Better yet, being the only one offering the service in an area gives you an advantage over similar businesses.


This is perhaps the most widely used location-based technology today. Bluetooth is revolutionizing the way advertisements are being broadcasted through small wireless devices called beacons. Since Apple’s iBeacon and Google’s Eddystone launched, many businesses discovered the opportunities beacons bring in delivering a comprehensive shopping experience to customers. More Bluetooth-transmitting beacons started to emerge, and it is expected that 400 million are going to be deployed by 2020. A large part of the U.S. population (53.3%) use Android, which uses Bluetooth as its connectivity standard. This allows you to reach more than half of America’s population with the beacon technology.

A notable feature of a beacon is its capability to collect user information and track behavioral data of individuals. The beacon itself isn’t capable of generating data. The online portal and app connected to it are the ones collecting/generating relevant customer data and performing data analysis. Data collected, such as the frequency of a customer’s visits or which products he/she usually buys, can help you tailor your advertisements. It can also help you develop loyalty programs. Sending personalized advertisements and using customer data to develop loyalty programs, will help your brand provide customers with a better shopping experience. This, in turn, will help foster loyalty among them.

Big brands are already taking advantage of this technology by deploying beacons in their stores. It allows them to target new customers by pushing notifications or sending coupons directly to anyone who passes by or enters the store. Beacons are also paving the way for innovative digital signage solutions. By using the collected customer data, beacons can trigger digital display messages relevant to the preference of a prospect in proximity.


Businesses are always looking for better ways to communicate with consumers. The opportunities constantly being introduced by location-based technologies are making this easier. Gone are the days when the only way to get the word out there is through flyers, brochures, and billboards. Who would’ve known that there would come a time when broadcasting your message to a hundred people is as easy as clicking a few buttons?

When used smartly, these location-based technologies can help you provide an ultimate shopping experience to your customers. It also allows you to keep up with your competitors and gain an advantage over them.

Which location-based technologies do you think you can incorporate into your marketing strategy?


Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

Additional reading: 11 Tools & Apps to Improve Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Why Mobile Marketing Is Harder & More Rewarding Than Ever Before

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Al Gomez is the man behind, Dlinkers and UnliDeals. With more than 9 years of experience in digital marketing, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself achieve online success.