Benefits of location-based marketing for business
It's free or low-cost and highly targeted
Every time that you complete a page for your business on a location-based service, you're getting free advertising. And even the more advanced forms of location-based marketing (e.g. offers) are very affordable compared to many traditional marketing methods.
Location-based marketing is also highly geographically targeted; you know that you are talking to people who are within walking distance of your products or service.
Get to know your customers better
While many location-based offers are designed to attract new customers, location-based services are also a way to find out more about your existing customers.
User reviews will tell you exactly what your customers are thinking, while take-up rates for particular offers will provide insights into customer preferences. For example, if you get 200 check-ins at your bookstore for one author event, and only 20 for another, it's a good indication of how the 2 authors are trending among your customer group.
Reward loyal customers
Every marketer knows that it's more efficient to keep an existing customer than to try to win a new one.
Check-ins give you a tangible way to identify your most loyal customers and reward them with discounts (every 10th coffee free), preferential treatment (the best seat or parking spot) or just recognition (a photo on the 'wall of fame').
Attract new customers
Location-based marketing is one of the best ways to convert foot traffic and online traffic into new customers. People who may never have heard of you, or may never have considered using your product, can be persuaded to try your business for the first time.
Some businesses make a point of offering 'newbie' specials the first time a customer checks-in. Once you attract a new customer, it's up to you to turn them into a repeat customer by offering high-quality service and products.
Attract lots of customers
Developments in social media and mobile devices mean that it's now far easier to attract a large group to your business. Many people like to be part of a group, and like to visit places that seem popular with others. Attracting a crowd can add a real 'buzz' to your business.
Convert impulses to sales
Location-based marketing helps to remove barriers to sales. Once a customer is physically close to your store, you have a far better chance of persuading them to purchase from you.
Let's say it's a rainy day and a passerby is vaguely thinking that he might need to buy an umbrella. Your location-based message hits his smartphone, offering umbrellas at a discounted price in your nearby store. His impulse - to buy an umbrella - is converted into a sale for your business.
Even out 'bumps' in trade
Many businesses are stretched to capacity at certain times of day, but have lulls at other times. Location-based marketing can help to even out these 'bumps' in trade by attracting more customers during what are traditionally quiet periods.
For example, if your café is typically quiet after lunch, and you get a steady stream of university students passing by at that time of day, you could develop a 2-5pm discount offer that targets the student market. Every student who checks in could be offered 10% off their coffee, with the person who gets the most check-ins for the week getting a free coffee and cake on Friday afternoon.
Become a 'local legend'
A small business is unlikely to dominate any particular market in a city. However, strategic use of location-based marketing can make you a viral hit in your suburb or street - and this may be all it takes to double your turnover. By focusing your marketing efforts close to home, you can get the kind of market saturation that's impossible on a broader scale.
Improve your search engine rankings
Many location-based services rank very well in search-engine findings on the internet (i.e. they appear high up the page of search results).
If you fill in your business pages on a number of location-based services (e.g. Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook Places), you are more likely to appear high up in search engine rankings when somebody types in a relevant search term (e.g. 'guided walks, Cairns').
Measure your results
Location-based services can provide you with information about how many people check-in for a certain area or business, who's checked in most often and how many people have used an offer. This kind of information can be very useful in assessing the success of your location-based marketing program.