Archive for the ‘Mobile Marketing’ Category

7 (Seven) Ways Market Research Can Feed Into Business Activities

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Most commonly, market research is viewed as a method to improve advertising and marketing initiatives and to develop products that are friendlier to specific markets. However, the true range of uses for market intelligence is much larger than most businesses think. The results of surveys and opinion polls can also be used to inform various company departments to support their diverse activities.

Moreover, advances in technology have brought about sophisticated do-it-yourself (DIY) research products, which means that businesses have more control over the costs, reach, and timing of research solutions. Those DIY offerings also deliver the advantage of instantaneous results that can be monitored in real time, offering a competitive edge when time is critically important.

The distinctive characteristics of DIY market research solutions give businesses an impressive ability to influence operations across multiple departments, especially in the following seven areas.

1. Language and Tone of Communications
In the many ways companies engage with their consumers, language plays a crucial role. Market intelligence can be especially useful in shaping the tone and content of marketing collateral and company communications to appeal to specific groups of consumers without being irrelevant or offensive.

Research can also help organizations working in highly sensitive capacities, such as hospices or charities for terminal illnesses. For example, gathering opinions from a panel of leukemia survivors can help the marketing department of a leukemia awareness organization to focus on the issues most important to patients and to employ appropriately sensitive, supportive, and inspiring language in its communications.

2. Media Buying and Placement
Market intelligence can be used to discover the best arenas in which to disseminate messaging and launch marketing campaigns. Insights into the minds and media habits of consumers can help create a strategy using the most appropriate venues for marketing, public relations, social media, search engine optimization, and other campaigns.

Also, when businesses move into unfamiliar territories, market research can play a vital role in determining the best approach. Surveys could be conducted to learn more about the consumers in this new market. Do they use social media sites or news sites more often? Do traditional print publications still outperform those online? Is one social network more popular than another? The results of such reports could then assist in choosing the best strategy for media buys, article placement, social media content, and so on.

3. Crisis Management
Being able to access immediate results and observe reactions can be critical to proper crisis-response activities. Whether a business is coming to terms with a sudden drop in public opinion, grappling with an event that hurts consumer confidence, facing something that causes a publicity catastrophe, or responding to a natural disaster, the advanced capabilities of DIY research solutions allow for swift deployment of online surveys, improving a company’s image while providing information vital to the formation of the most appropriate response.

Although such application of market insight might not be commonly employed, they can be as valuable as the traditional uses for market research (such as others in this list of seven uses) and should definitely be taken into account.

4. Advertising Campaigns
Market research has traditionally been used to help agencies craft targeted messages in their advertising programs to ensure they are appealing to the right demographics.

Although the subjective nature of advertorial response is hard to measure, surveys and opinion panels have long been used effectively to pinpoint the specific aspects of a product or campaign that will resonate most with consumers.

5. Product Development
Another traditional use for research panels and target audience surveys, product development can be greatly enhanced via market investigation and input from key demographics.

Learning what the consumer believes, needs, and wants can help to create tailored products that satisfy demand. Conversely, maintaining a conversation with current users of a certain product via a managed research panel can help a company become aware of any issues that need improvement or product aspects that should not be altered during product upgrades.

For example, a car manufacturer wishing to update a popular model could deploy surveys to current fans of the car to gauge their opinions on various aspects. Perhaps most people think the car is visually appealing but they are frustrated by the way it handles. Those results could feed into the development process to ensure that the new model will perform well without alienating anyone.

6. Brand Perceptions
Brand outreach, too, has often drawn upon market research to inform strategies. Businesses can conduct investigations into the marketplace to determine which aspects of their brands are being properly communicated. In this way, they can avoid wasting time and money emphasizing brand characteristics that are already common knowledge.

On the other hand, examining a target audience’s opinions of a brand can reveal areas for improvement. For example, a luxury brand might discover that consumers affiliate its products with convenience rather than indulgence, highlighting an area of current brand messaging that possibly needs altering.

7. Service Improvements
Surveys have often been use to gauge whether consumers are satisfied with a company’s services. Now, technologies moreover enable companies to create their own consumer communities, forming a direct and constant source of feedback.

For example, a business could post information and a link on its website for consumers to join its research community. Those who sign up and participate in such a forum can form a valuable source of information for monitoring service performance. Moreover, owning a research panel can extend other customer service areas to enhance overall response to consumer needs.

4 Keys to a Successful Mobile Web Marketing Strategy

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Does your business have a mobile site that is designed with your mobile customer in mind? Is it a branded, usable, engaging experience?

If the answer is no, or if you’re not sure, you are not alone. According to Google, four out of five websites are not optimized for mobile consumption, and the bounce rates of such sites are typically over 80%.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly now, it’s time to make it so. People love the mobile Web.

Nearly three-quarters of smartphone owners access emails, and subsequently link to content, via their devices. And many of them like to shop using their smartphones, prompted by fellow users with whom they interact by phone while shopping.

Such mobile interactions push the user through to a website, and if that site isn’t optimized for mobile, then the opportunity to engage with that consumer is lost. Consider that 50% of users abandon a page if it hasn’t loaded within 10 seconds, and three out of five of those users never return.

You can’t afford to lose that many potential customers. And marketers now realize the enormity of this new channel’s potential for their business, but few have the knowledge of “how to mobilize.” So, I am glad to share with you some key steps to implementing a successful mobile Web strategy.

1. Understand the mobile consumer
Do some market research on mobile consumers. What information are they looking for, what are their specific habits and interests, what do they want to find out or do, what triggers them to do so, and where and when are they doing it?

Understand that people always have their mobile on and to hand. That personal relationship with a mobile device is what makes the mobile Web so powerful. Mobile consumers are using their phones for instant interaction with brands. This is great for you because if they see your ad campaign in print or TV, they want instant engagement and will reach for their mobile phone.

2. Analyze your mobile consumer—you have the data now
Analyse your website traffic and specifically mobile device users, the 20% of mobile users who patiently waited for your desktop Web pages to load on their mobile browsers.
Where did they go, what questions did they ask, what content was relevant to them, when did they use it, how long were they there? Analyze the 50% who bailed out: What were they trying to view, and where might they have gone instead?

Begin building a picture of the behaviors and needs of those who visit your site via a mobile device, and use that information as a foundation for your mobile strategy.

3. Optimize your content for a small screen
Find a strong mobile Web technology platform provider (or an agency that uses such technology) that has already addressed the problem of delivering the same experience across the scores of different mobile devices out there. You’ll want one that handles rich media and rich, interactive mobile experiences; delivers HTML5 (but also mark-up for older devices); collects user data; and has reporting and campaign management built into it.

Avoid using simple/quick site builders such as screen scraping or transcoding, which do a poor job of rendering your existing Web content. If you are serious about your brand, don’t compromise it on mobile.

If you plan to go it alone, then you’ll need a really smart Web team in-house who understand mobile best-practices.

4. Apply what you’ve learned
Apply the findings from your Web analysis. If you’ve discovered 90% of mobile visitors to your desktop site are simply looking for your physical location, then prioritize developing an easily discovered map and some geolocation functionality, then embed other content around it.

That’s a simplified example. Here’s a more complicated one, from a recent client, a baby food brand. We discovered that mobile visitors to the client’s site were, not surprisingly, new or expectant mothers. A large majority of them were accessing the site after midnight looking for feeding advice (presumably with baby in arms). Based on that information, we helped the client build its mobile experience around advice and support, thereby strengthening the client’s relationship with its site visitors and increasing purchases with tracked “special offers.”

Learn from the best

Take inspiration from these businesses and brands that have optimized for mobile and gained tremendous results:
• Amazon has made mobile accessible and trustworthy; it has integrated mobile with the Web experience, and the process works quickly and reliably.
• eBay reports processing one mobile transaction every second.
• Domino’s Pizza published recently that it had received 50% of UK orders via mobile and topped £1million sales via mobile in a single week.
• McDonald’s has been highly innovative with its mobile approach, using localized voucher codes and offers to drive customers in. Think about ways in which your own business could tap into the location-based capabilities that mobile uniquely presents.
• Since launching its dedicated mobile site, BuySpares (UK) recorded a 31% increase in revenue.

Five QR-Code Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Marketers remain bullish on the potential of QR codes, but a Temkin Group study in April found that only 24% of US adults are actually using them. So notes Dan Wilkerson in an article at Mashable.

According to Wilkerson, there are five common mistakes being made by QR-code marketers that are turning consumers off. Here they are, with some suggested solutions:

Poor content. To marketers, QR codes are cheap, trackable, and easy to create. But using one costs users time and effort: They have to download an app to read it; it isn’t clear what kind of info they’ll unlock; and 90% of the time, the site they land on isn’t optimized for mobile. Suggestion: Improve your offers. Promise a discount, the first few chapters of a book, a free drink, a video.

Poor consumer awareness. A study of college students by ArchRival found 78.5% don’t know how to scan a QR code, Wilkerson reports. Suggestion: Ensure your market is educated on what actions to take with a QR code (and why it’s worth their while)!

Questionable value. QR codes most often link to a company site or landing page, the logic being that it’s “saving” users the work of entering a URL. But most users don’t know how to use these codes, receive little education on what they’ll get upon scanning them, and, when they do use them, endure a hit-or-miss scanning process to get to valuable content.Suggestion: Before implementing a QR code campaign, determine whether it will really save a user more time and offer more value than a 10-second Google search.

Poor location. We see QR codes everywhere, with their context rarely considered. Suggestion: Test your implementation in a real-world scenario to ensure your code is appealing, practical, and useable.

Poor aesthetics. A little help from Photoshop can make QR codes look less ugly without affecting their scannability. You can also generate codes with 30% redundancy, meaning you can remove 30% of the code and replace it with your logo or info about what it actually unlocks. Suggestion: Get creative; make your unique QR code actually attractive and useful.

The Point: Don’t hop on a bandwagon without knowing how to drive it. Taking the time to produce a great QR code will set you ahead of those who leapt in head-first—and now regret it.

10 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Site

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

With smartphone’s taking the majority share in mobile phone usage in America this year, it’s easy to see that the future of Web is mobile. No one can afford to ignore it.

Astute advertisers, developers, and brands are creating experiences that connect, convert, and engage their audiences before the mobile revolution consumes them.

Still on the fence regarding whether to make the move to mobile? We at AD:60 have compiled an infographic that lists 10 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Site. The list should obliterate any reasons against putting mobile at the top of your digital must-haves.

Here are a couple of stats from the infographic:
8% of all digital traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.
60% of smartphone users make more than $100,000 per year—double the US household income median.

10 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Site

10 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Site

11 Apps Every Marketer Should Download

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Apps are everywhere these days, and not just on your iPhone. Apps are all over Android, mobile devices, desktops … even in your marketing software! And the functionality of these apps is ever-expanding, which is good news for marketers, because it means you can now download an app that does more than just fling angry birds at little green pigs. That’s right — now there are apps out there that make a marketer’s life easier, and even make them better at their jobs.

As a marketer and fan of exploring new apps (although my colleagues might have a more emphatic name for me than “fan”), I wanted to share with you the apps that make marketers more successful at, well, marketing. Here are what I consider to be 11 must-have apps for marketers so you can really make a dent in your career!

1) Evernote
As a marketer, you are bound to think of your next campaign idea at an unexpected time: right before you go to bed, as you are about to step on the subway, or even when you’re out with friends. So how do you make sure you don’t forget your next lead generation idea? With Evernote, of course!

Evernote is a way to capture your notes while you’re on the go. Not only is there a desktop application, but there is also a mobile application. As soon as you open either device, it will sync and update your notes so that you always have access to your latest information. The ability to constantly have a virtual notepad like this is so important for marketers who have to keep up-to-date on the changing landscape of marketing, and best of all, Evernote can be used on any device!

2) Dropbox
Dropbox is a fantastic tool for collaboration and file sharing; it’s so simple! It becomes a folder on your hard drive where you can upload files and share them with others on your team. You can also download Dropbox apps on your smartphone and iPad so you can have those files on the go — even when you aren’t by your computer. But the best part about Dropbox is that you can keep files that are too large to send via email, and immediately give access to other members of your team. This app can also be used on any device.

3) GoDocs
Have you ever been on the go but needed to access your Google Documents to update something you simply forgot to change before you left the office? GoDocs is not an official Google app, but it still works really well to access your Google Docs. It sorts your documents by the last one that was edited and allows you to see the entire document. You can even upload documents right from your phone. If you’re working on a spreadsheet with multiple tabs, it includes all of the tabs as well. GoDocs also allows for multiple accounts. This is available for iPhone and Android devices.

Trello also gives users the ability to assign other team members to tasks on their list, and give deadlines and priority labels to tasks on your list. You can also have checklists within individual tasks and track your progress on completing those tasks.

Trello is both a website app and a mobile app. So when you are leaving work and want to know what you still need to complete, you can just grab your phone, open the app, and look at what your night or next day has to offer! This app is available on iPhone and Android devices.

5) HootSuite
HootSuite provides a social media dashboard that helps marketers post, monitor, and measure their social media tools. It allows you to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ throughout the day, and even manage multiple accounts. Additionally, it provides analytics that are essential for marketers to be able to report and figure out how to increase their followers, traffic, and clicks. Similar to other apps, HootSuite can be accessed from your smartphone so you can continue to monitor and engage with your followers at any time. This app is available on all desktops.

6) GoToMeeting
Have you ever been on the train with terrible wireless but needed to call into a meeting or webinar? There is now a GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar mobile app that lets you do just that! It allows you to not only hear the presentation, but also see the presenter’s screen. Instead of simply calling into meetings when you are not in the office, you can now see them right from your mobile device! This app is available on iPhone and Android devices.

7) Eventbrite
Many events now use Eventbrite to keep track of their registrations. You can buy tickets on Eventbrite, create backend reports, and track where your attendees are coming from. Eventbrite also has a mobile app that keeps track of the events you have registered for on Eventbrite, so you can easily access any of the information on their Eventbrite page. This will come in handy for people who don’t remember when and where the event is and are already on their way!

Because HubSpot has seen the value in this app, we have created an app for our App Marketplace. It will keep track of who has registered for your event, your ticket sale progress, and import your registrants as leads into your portal so you can continue to have a relationship with them after your event. This is a great way to share some of the content from the event after it’s over and keep in touch with your attendees. This app is available on iPhone and Android devices.

8) Statigram
There are some social media tools, such as Instagram, that do not natively offer reporting. But as a marketer, it’s crucial to have analytics in place to measure your social media marketing performance. Enter Statigram!

Statigram provides analytics for Instagram, a mobile app that was recently acquired by Facebook and more and more frequently being used by brands in marketing campaigns. In addition to fun metrics to see what your most popular photos were and what filters were used the most, it also gives reports on the best time to post new photos, the average lifespan of a photo, which filters are triggering the biggest amounts of likes and traffic, and which followers are the most engaged. This app is available on all desktops.

9) Pinerly
Similar to Statigram, Pinerly measures activity on Pinterest. It helps find people who pin pictures that match your interests, helps identify people who have unfollowed you or you may want to unfollow, identifies popular pins that you may want to repin, allows you to schedule pins throughout the day, and provides statistics to show you what you are doing right and wrong. As a marketer, it’s important to be able to schedule pins throughout the day to constantly engage your audience, and then measure the activity around your pins to determine whether or not you are pinning images of interest to your followers. This app is available on all desktops, and if you’re new to Pinterest, download our ebook to learn more about how to leverage Pinterest for business.

10) iReach
PR Newswire has always been the go-to tool for public relations professionals to send out press releases. However, putting a press release on the wire can be very expensive, and not always realistic for small marketing budgets. But HubSpot has an app in its App Marketplace that addresses that problem! For only $179, you can put a press release on the wire to a smaller segment of publications, but still over 1,000 websites including PR Newswire. We have used it in the past for big announcements with great results.

11) Zerys
Blogging and content creation is one of the most important components of inbound marketing, but all too often, it gets pushed to the back burner. The Zerys app provides a solution to this problem! Zerys allows you to post topic and title suggestions that you would like to have written for your blog, and then gets in touch with writers who want to help you write blog posts. You can then accept, request edits, or reject the content. It even helps you think of titles based on the topics you want to write about!

U.S. Mobile Users Love Apps, Especially Facebook

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

If Facebook’s recent internet past is any bellwether, mobile may represent the next major boost to its ad revenue.

For one, U.S. smartphone users are as addicted to Facebook on their phones as they are online. In March, 78 million adults visited Facebook’s app or website on their smartphones, according to ComScore’s first mobile-media rankings. (Facebook reported 488 million active users of its mobile products worldwide in March; ComScore’s estimate is for U.S. smartphones only.)

And U.S. users spend more mobile time on Facebook than on any other property — that’s 12% of all time spent on their phones, for an average of more than seven hours a month (the same goes for online).

Facebook began monetizing its mobile audience only in March, however, rolling out sponsored stories for mobile newsfeeds.

“We do not currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven,” the company reported in recent regulatory filings.

Yet Facebook succeeded handily when it made a similar leap into online ads.

In just a few years, Facebook has become the top U.S. seller of online display ads, besting giants like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Google collects the largest share of U.S. mobile-ad spending, which is expected to hit $2.6 billion this year, according to eMarketer.

U.S. adults’ mobile behavior looks in some ways much like desktop or laptop usage. Just as it is online, Google is No. 1 by visitors on smartphones, where it had 94 million in March.

There are some shifts among the internet giants on phones. Facebook attracts larger U.S. audiences than Microsoft and Yahoo in mobile, while those two still have greater pull online. Amazon also moves up the ranks on phones as the No. 4 most-visited mobile property, including visitors to both mobile web and apps.

Another winner in ComScore’s report is apps themselves: Four in every five minutes spent with mobile media are with apps, even though equal numbers of people visit mobile websites and apps.

Small Businesses Gearing Up for Mobile Marketing, Slowly

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Small businesses that were early adopters of mobile marketing have begun to earn tangible returns on their mobile investments, according to a study by Even so, most small businesses haven’t embraced mobile marketing yet.

Among surveyed owners of small businesses (companies with fewer than 100 employees), fully six in ten (60%) have a Web presence, but few have a mobile Web presence:
• 26% have a mobile-friendly website (the same layout and content as standard site adjusted to suit a smartphone screen).
• 14% have a stand-alone mobile website (content and layout designed specifically for mobile purposes).

Even so, more than two-thirds (69%) of small business owners strongly agree (39%) or agree (30%) that mobile marketing is crucial to their growth over the next five years.

Moreover, among those 14% of small business owners with a mobile presence, 84% say they have generated increases in new business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts.

Mobile search strategies are lacking
Despite rapid increases in mobile search volumes, 61% of small businesses do not have a mobile search strategy (in order to be found via mobile device).

The biggest hurdle to mobile is limited time and resources
Time and resource limitations (36%) and lack of budget (31%) are the top two hurdles that prevent small businesses from moving forward with mobile.

Moreover, 64% of small business owners are acting as their one-person marketing team—in addition to running other aspects of their business.

However, mobile budgets are on the rise: 64% of small business owners say they plan to spend more on mobile marketing in 2012, 33% plan to spend the same amount, and 3% plan to spend less on mobile marketing in 2012.

The greatest motivation for mobile is providing better service to existing customers

Asked to rank their motivations for investing in mobile marketing, small business owners cite the following top three:
1. Provide better service to existing customers: 38%
2. Attract more local customers: 36%
3. Gain a competitive advantage: 34%

Mobile Drives Global Search Advertising Surge in Q1

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

US marketers overwhelmingly focus mobile ad spending on tablets

Search advertising continued its strong worldwide growth in Q1 2012, according to research from digital marketing solution provider IgnitionOne. The company found that global search ad spending grew 30% year over year, double the growth rate of Q1 2011. The figure was also the highest year-over-year growth rate for search ad spending in any quarter since Q4 2010.

Unsurprisingly, dramatic mobile search ad spending growth continued in the US, with year-over-year growth in Q1 up an astonishing 221%. The ongoing popularity of tablets has clearly captured the attention of advertisers, who spent 67% of the total mobile search ad budget on the devices in Q1.

Travel had a breakout quarter for search advertising, with marketers increasing their global search ad budgets in the sector by 59% year over year in Q1. According to IgnitionOne, the travel search advertising growth rate outpaced that of the retail sector, with travel also seeing increases in both impressions and clickthrough rates.

News was good for the Yahoo!/Bing search partnership, which snagged a 21% market share in Q1, the highest since the two companies brokered their search deal in Q3 2009. The survey found that US search advertising on the engine climbed 46% year over year in Q1. Yahoo!/Bing also shrugged off the normal drop off in search spending that follows the holiday season, instead experiencing a 14% increase in quarter-over-quarter spending. IgnitionOne credited Yahoo!/Bing’s banner quarter to changes in its search engine that resulted in increased competition during ad auctions.

eMarketer estimates search ad spending in the US will reach $19.51 billion this year, up 27% over 2011. Search will garner 49% of all online ad spending in the country and 49% of mobile dollars as well.

Paid Search, Mobile Spending Increase in Q1 2012

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

The U.S. paid search market grew 16 percent YoY in Q1 2012, according to the Adobe Systems Global Digital Advertising Q1 2012 Update. For the same period, IgnitionOne puts total U.S. search spend growth at 30.3 percent in their Global Online Advertising Report. Either way, it’s great news for search marketers, especially those participating in the mobile search space.

Marketers Spending More on Mobile
Adobe’s report has U.S. marketers increasing their mobile ad spend to 8 percent of all search spend, while those in the U.K. allotted 11 percent to mobile in Q1. Tablets alone accounted for 4.25 percent. Adobe predicts mobile and tablet advertising will continue to appeal to advertisers in the short term, given their “disproportionately” low CPCs, compared to desktop PCs.

IgnitionOne put the amount of U.S. paid search spend dedicated to mobile slightly higher, at 12.4 percent. This represents an overall increase in mobile search spend of 221.1 percent over the same quarter last year, though the report warns that this growth rate has slowed since Q4 2011. Clicks on mobile ads increased 246.1 percent YoY.

Yahoo/Bing Increase Market Share, But Kill Their ROI Advantage Over Google
According to IgnitionOne, Yahoo/Bing had their best quarter since Q2 2010, with a 46.4 percent increase in U.S. search advertising spend YoY. For their part, Google saw lower but no less impressive 26.6 percent growth YoY. Compared to Q4 2011 (the holiday season), Bing actually saw total ad spend increase 14.3 percent, while Google’s spend fell 5.4 percent.

Adobe notes that Google’s CPC fell 5 percent over last year, while Yahoo/Bing CPC rates were 18 percent higher YoY.

“As a result, the Bing/Yahoo ROI advantage over Google no longer exists,” says the report. “Note that when Yahoo Japan converted to the Google ad serving platform from Bing/Yahoo, CPC rates dropped significantly. This indicates that Google, on average, charges a lower premium to search advertisers.”
Outlook for Rest of 2012

Marketers are missing out if they’re not targeting mobile, said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne.
“While the growth in mobile ad spend has been an ongoing trend, I am impressed by the level of activity and click-throughs on tablets. This should be a wakeup call for marketers who are not yet leveraging search advertising on these devices,” Barnette said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Adobe predicts U.S. search spend will increase 10 to 15 percent throughout 2012, with tablets and mobile taking up to 20 percent of all search spend by Q4 2012. Marin Software also recently predicted that smart mobile devices will account for a full 25 percent of paid search clicks on Google by the end of 2012.

Adobe also offers a bit of advice to marketers in their report: “In a rational marketplace, the CPC rates on tablets should be identical to desktop CPC rates if the conversion rates are comparable. Furthermore, current trends indicate that tablets may cannibalize smartphone and desktop search spend as investments continue to shift to tablet devices.”

5 Ways to Market Your Brand With Location-Based Networks

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Between the rise in location-based social networks, likeFoursquare, and the mobile market’s meteoric growth, a new marketing avenue has opened up. Location-based marketing is a nascent frontier, and marketers are clamoring to take advantage of it.

Already, about 30% of smartphone owners access social networks via their mobile browser, and that figure will continue to grow, according to an infographic by Microsoft Tag. So, if your marketing plans include location-based networks, below are five ways to get started.

1. Push Notification Integration
One of the big reasons people don’t use location-based apps like Foursquare or SCVNGR is simply because they forget. Integrating push notifications into a location-based app is a great and simple fix.
Marketers often use these notifications to highlight activity, specials, announcements, and to further promote the app as well as the business. Allowing users to alter these notifications is an important way to give your audience some power. That ensures your messaging makes it to their phone without being a burden.

2. Loyalty Programs
Giving rewards to loyal customers for continuing to check in via a location-based networks is a great option. Arby’s marketing team did this on Foursquare by offering special reserved seating to their Foursquare mayors at 30 restaurants and 50% off on purchases. Ideas like these drive competition and increase use, which leads to greater exposure for the business being marketed on these networks.

3. Geofencing
Geofencing has been around for some time, but it’s increasingly becoming incorporated in more location-based networks. For those who aren’t familiar, geofencing is a virtual boundary set around a location, like a store. One way marketers are using geofencing on location-based networks is by sending messages to users who’ve opted in to a particular service.

Lets use Starbucks as an example. If a person crosses a Starbucks geofence, they will receive a message from their location-based app highlighting an offer, coupon, or just a reminder to stop by. This is similar to the idea of a push notification, except it’s only triggered by a person who comes into a geofence around a specific location. This messaging is more relevant to a user and more effective for a company.

4. Mixed Media
Apps like GetGlue and Foursquare both give you the ability to check in and incorporate other media. For instance, GetGlue allows a user to check in and share a favorite book, song or TV show. Optimize your content and forge partnerships with companies like GetGlue as a way to extend your reach among users that are more likely to view your content if recommended by their friends.

5. Better Content
As the king of the location-based space, Foursquare helps set the tone for innovation in this industry. Recently at South by Southwest, Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley spoke about the future of location-based apps and how the company’s focus is shifting from checking in to other features that their audience uses more and that will help the company become more mainstream.

For instance, Foursquare’s “explore” feature is fairly new and allows a user to discover food, nightlife, shops, and more based on broad categories. It aggregates suggestions based on your checkin history as well as information available on the network about a location. This is why any content you add to Foursquare and similar sites should be optimized.