Q&A: Can Businesses Benefit from Location-Based Services

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In 2010, businesses learned location-based services could help them build and retain foot traffic, potentially increasing sales through what amounts to free advertising.

Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla led the push and Twitter and Facebook soon followed suit, adding features for users to reveal their whereabouts in exchange for deals or notoriety.

This year, more of those businesses are predicted to take advantage of geo-targeted data to revamp their marketing strategies by either taking cues from those social networks or directly using them.

“I really see the value of location-based services in gathering data to drive mass customization of your message and marketing efforts,” said Grant Powell, CEO of POM8, a digital marketing agency that has worked on social media projects for food brand Kraft and Grammy award-winning singer Alicia Keys.

“I believe that every business should leverage location data to refine their marketing efforts,” Powell told BusinessNewsDaily.

In this Q&A, Powell discusses why location-based services work, the future of Foursquare and how he uses geo-targeted data.

BusinessNewsDaily: Why are businesses using location-based services?

Grant Powell: Demographic hyper-targeting allows advertisers to maximize their marketing dollars by tailoring messaging directly to micro-demographics. Location-based services do precisely that. They help enable advertisers to know more precisely who they are putting a message in front of.

BND: How can a business best use these tools?

G.P: One strategy is to implement engaging web or mobile applications built off of these services that create a viral effect and help promote your business. I really see the value of location-based services in gathering data to drive mass customization of your message and marketing efforts.

BND: Do you think the services will evolve, worsen or improve in 2011?

G.P.: I think there is a reasonable chance that companies like Foursquare will weaken since geo-targeting can be utilized without the involvement of such companies. There are, however, location-based companies such as Simple Geo that are less of a social platform and more of an integrated technology. I believe that every business should leverage location data to refine their marketing efforts.

BND: Are any of your clients using these services? If so, why and how?

G.P.: Yes, we are gathering geo-targeted data to research and identify segments of clients' customer base, or what regional demographics respond better to particular marketing efforts. We then launch geo-targeted ad campaigns and custom messaging according to each micro-demographic.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer Brian Anthony Hernandez at Bhernandez@TechMediaNetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BAHjournalist.