Geo-tagging. How many times have you heard someone in marketing evangelise about location-based offers recently? Everyone with a Smartphone...

A social room with a view


Geo-tagging. How many times have you heard someone in marketing evangelise about location-based offers recently? Everyone with a Smartphone has been literally been sprinting towards the nearest brand and encouraging everyone to get involved – PLEASE can we all stop for a minute and think about how we can use this channel intelligently?

Which is why I was so interested to read a recent thought piece by Ethan Zuckerman whilst on my internet ramblings. Aptly titled “Desperately Seeking Serendipity” ( - Zuckerman refers to the very same software (Creepy) that ousted the cheating husband in my last blog post and explores how “cosmopolitans” (people who live in cities) experience serendipity. If you have some time on your hands, I’d thoroughly recommend a read. He suggests that despite living conditions in cities offering a plethora of options to eat, shop & play, we are naturally creatures of habit and we will stay well within our comfort zones, doing the same thing and going to the same places a lot of the time.

And whilst ‘Creepy’ might not be great for those wishing to hide an affair, it seems like it might be pretty great for brands and marketers! If you can track key influencers (e.g. Beauty bloggers) online and see an aggregated output of a typical day for them, and if what Zuckerman says is right (i.e. We all do much of the same) - you can make a real impact learning about them and then influencing their day in the right place at the right time.

To engage consumers, particularly a niche audience, you could track their movements and activities and begin to serve location based offers when it is right for them – which makes for a smarter activity than just blasting offers every time they walk past a store. Just because you are walking past a Starbucks, doesn’t mean you want a 1/2 price coffee. But if you stop there every morning at 09.03am, and the Costa next door sent you an offer at 8.55am when you are on the approach, you might be inclined to swap.

Let’s offer consumers the best solutions that are right for them and at the same time try and make it measureable and of real value to the bottom line for a brand? For me, it’s about more than just ‘Location, location, location’ – it’s about what’s relevant to me. The pay off for me sharing where I am with you should be that I only receive offers that are not just right for me but delivered at the right time – not just offers.

Which is why I really like Whatser – in-app word of mouth – location based offers and recommendations from your own friends, making the city yours. Whilst they aren’t the Google of location apps just yet, I’m keeping an eye on them. OK, so it’s not brands being clever about where you are, but it can’t be denied that here is another niche community of people sharing and reviewing your brand and services – and you should have a voice/ place there.

Eli Pariser has written a whole book on the subject of tailored communication based on your own preferences and activity patterns. “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You” seems to put location and personalised services into layman's terms. I haven’t read it yet, but you can bet I’ve just clicked ‘order’ on Amazon – I’ll keep you posted! (

As a marketer, I am in love with social media and location based services and very excited about the future of intelligent marketing. I can’t help feeling like we’re on the cusp of something immense and that we are very lucky to be working in this industry. So - come on everyone in marketing - let’s bring a bit of that magic back and start using social media intelligently and strategically – and let’s get some bang back for our bucks as marketers!

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