When Location Leaves You Nowhere: the Value of Context in Mobile Marketing

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

I attended a few trade shows recently, including Money 20/20 and the Gartner Application Architecture Development & Integration Summit in Las Vegas, and the Dallas Digital Summit. I saw a lot of presentations about location-based marketing and mobile apps, and talked to lots of mobile app developers and mobile marketers. There’s a lot of experimentation and innovation in mobile apps, as enterprise app-dev and marketing teams try to figure out how to stay engaged with their customers.

For all of the billions spent on location-based marketing, there’s a realization that relying on location is usually not enough. When is location by itself fully sufficient context for the delivery of a useful service? Weather is an obvious one. Almost everyone with a mobile device has one or more weather apps. If there are 1000 people in the same place – maybe a shopping mall or an airport – the weather is what it is, depending only on that location. It doesn’t matter who you are, what language setting you have on your phone, where you’ve been or what you’ve done; location is totally sufficient to deliver a useful service.

Maybe you ask Siri ‘where’s the nearest gas station?’. Your location alone is enough to provide the answer. But even here, you can see the value of a little more context. If your phone knows that you get a discount on gas as a Costco member, it’s useful to know that ‘The nearest gas station is 0.3 miles this way, but there’s a Costco 0.4 miles the other way, and you’ll save money there.’ A little extra context can go a long way to a more delightful experience.

Generally, mobile marketers are seeing that location is usually necessary but rarely sufficient. You really need to understand a lot more of the consumer’s context if you want to deliver an experience that delights. The growing use of beacons, which give precise location information, combined with couponing is a case in point. It’s cool to be able to send a notification with an electronic coupon to someone’s mobile phone when they come into proximity with a beacon (or enter some other geo-fence that you’ve defined). But if that’s all you have to go on, your wonderful offer of a discount or some other special promotion might come across as noise to many consumers. Notifications are often just an intrusive way to delivering irrelevant content to consumers. Notifications are often blunt instruments instead of precision tools for consumer engagement because you’re not targeting people precisely enough. Notification fatigue then leads to app fatigue and deletion of the app – one reason why, as I heard at one conference, about 90% of all apps are deleted within a month of installation.

It’s as simple as this: if there are 1000 people in the same place, it’s just not plausible that they should all get the same experience on their mobile devices, just because of where they are. If you care about your brand, you want to deliver as much of a personalized experience as you can. Doing that requires understanding and using as much of the available context as you can. Flybits was founded to make this really easy and effective.

Enjoy What You're Reading?

Fill out the form below to sign up for our newsletter, where you can stay up to date on all of our resources that will help you contextualize your customer experiences. 

Related Articles

How Banks Can Build Better Data Alliances

Hyper-personalization is changing the face of digital marketing. By unifying proprietary data with third-party and contextual data sources, customer-centric leaders in financial services can create experiences that meet customers’ needs in real time. Banks can push this evolution forward even further by creating alliances with other non-competitive brands and playing the role of “concierge” to tailor meaningful experiences down to the individual consumer.

Read More »
Does Your Bank's AI Partner Have The Right Data Strategy?

Does Your Bank’s AI Partner Have The Right Data Strategy?

It would be a mistake to think that the AI revolution will be this easy. Training a great algorithm — the AI equivalent of building a great app — isn’t enough to create a successful AI initiative at your bank. An algorithm is only as good as the data it’s trained on. And data management and governance in financial services is extremely complex, especially with data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA now on the books. Adding to the complexity, it’s become increasingly clear that the easiest way for banks to access innovation in AI is to collaborate with fintechs.

Read More »

Navigating Changing Customer Expectations In Financial Services

It’s no secret that Big Tech companies like Apple and Amazon have shifted customer expectations over the past decade. Frictionless digital transactions, next-day shipping, and other streamlined omnichannel experiences have become the norm across multiple industries. Companies that can’t deliver may already find themselves falling behind.

Read More »