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Why Location and Relationship Will Be Marketing Buzzwords in 2016

In an age where consumers can do almost anything from the smartphones in their back pockets, marketing campaigns are quickly becoming concentrated on mobile platforms. Companies that can quickly adapt to the evolving consumer expectations will push ahead of competitors and be viewed as leaders, while those who can’t or won’t keep up risk losing their share of the market.

With the demand for mobile-centric campaigns at the forefront of marketing in 2016, “Location” and “Relationship” will be industry buzzwords that cannot be ignored.

Location Based Marketing (LBM)

The location based data delivered by consumers’ smartphones and wearable devices provides an opportunity for marketers to customize communications to those consumers based upon current location. For example, a coupon for half off a favorite appetizer can be sent to a customer who is passing by a restaurant during happy hour, making this communication personalized and timely. The consumer’s technology is interacting with its surroundings, presenting marketing offers that the consumer is actually interested in. Gone are the days of blasting generic ads to consumers, hoping to draw them to a new location. LBM provides only relevant information to the consumer, at a time when the recipient is most receptive to the message. However, this marketing doesn’t necessarily end when a consumer enters a brick and mortar store. Beacon technology is allowing stores to use Bluetooth signals to send targeted messages to customer smartphones within the store, customizing the offer according to where the customer is within the store.

Location based marketing is not only limited to product-based information. For example, an event attendee could receive additional information regarding a booth they pass by, or about the next workshop within a specific room, all through an app or a wearable provided by event organizers.

Because the information is targeted to the specific time, place, and consumer, a positive reaction to the communication is more likely.

Relationship Marketing

The pervasiveness of consumers giving feedback regarding products through digital channels has given rise to relationship marketing. Relationship marketing focuses on building and maintaining long term customer and brand loyalty. Creating strong, positive, emotional reactions to products fosters a desire to remain loyal to a brand over a long period of time, rather than creating a customer who makes a one-time purchase with no intention of returning to the brand in the future. Brand loyalty also results in free word-of-mouth promotion that is invaluable in today’s environment where a rapidly growing amount of consumer product information comes from the internet.

Use of digital media platforms allows for a two way conversation between companies and the consumers purchasing their brands. By engaging people who are talking about the brand, marketers can create a sense of community and inclusion, giving consumers a feeling of ownership in the brand. Digital platforms also allow consumers to express dissatisfaction with a brand, which can be seen as a downside, but negative feedback allows a company the opportunity to respond publicly, demonstrating concern and taking action. Prompt and thoughtful responses to negative feedback can turn customers into loyal brand advocates. Through digital media interactions, companies create the voice and the story of a particular brand, and then invite consumers to be a part of that story.

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