GPS on a mobile phone allows app publishers to deliver more relevant content and drive mobile engagement by establishing where a user is through their GPS coordinates or their IP (if they haven’t opted in to share their GPS coordinates.) There’s been a great deal of excitement around iBeacon technology to deliver targeted offers to mobile users in-store via proximity based devices.
A recent survey by Retale found that 71% of mobile app users say they don’t like the idea of being tracked into a store via their smartphones. The data points to the fact that either marketers are not thinking about the many nuances involved in effective marketing via geo location or they are perhaps being too aggressive in their approach. Geo sounds great, numerous companies tout the benefits, but let’s think about the steps necessary to engage users via Geo.
Mobile Engagement via Geo Location
For a retailer, or marketer or any app publisher for that matter to engage their audience through geo location based messages a few things have to happen first:
- The mobile user has to opt in to receive notifications (This is the 1st form of opt in)
- The mobile user has to share his or her GPS location (This is effectively the 2nd form of opt in)
- At this you have a double opted in user that is open to receive geo based offers. The user has to cross a geo-boundary to trigger a message (Let’s hope that the constant pinging of the location doesn’t drain his or her battery)
- For iBeacon to work the mobile user has to have bluetooth enabled. For anyone with a device older than 3 days you know that bluetooth tends to drain the device’s battery very quickly.
- If iBeacon’s are in the store then the only way to really inform the user of the device, and potential offer, is to make sure their bluetooth is enabled via analog signage upon entering the store. (Let’s hope they’re not staring at their phone as they walk in.)
- All previous conditions should probably be true… and maybe, if you were really on top of your game, you emailed them about the in-store offers via iBeacon.