According to electronic commerce professor Martin Spann, from Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians University (MLU), mobile technology is offering marketers a unique new location-based opportunity that has the potential to be highly lucrative.
He explained that “The smartphone is a location-based service,” and that this “means you can integrate the online world with the offline world.”
Therefore, according to Spann, smartphones and tablets have done a great deal more than simply allowing a consumer to remain engaged in the virtual world while they are on the go within the real world. It also means that marketers and businesses will be able to reach those consumers no matter where they are, regardless of the time of day.
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Companies are starting to see the significant potential benefit to this fact, and have already started to make location-based marketing an increasingly common technique.
Spann has observed this trend and, with Wharton Consumer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) funding, he performed a study on the efficacy of a smartphone app in Germany that provides its users with customized discount coupons, based on their current locations.
What his preliminary findings – released at a recent WCAI conference called Marketing on the Move: Understanding the Impact of Mobile on Consumer Behavior – determined was that even though mobile marketing is still very young, location-based mobile couponing remains is already an effective technique.
Spann’s data indicated that when marketers were able to reach consumers with the right kind of coupon at the right time and when a consumer is in the right place, then it was possible for them to have a direct influence over the behavior of that consumer, increasing the chances that a store location would be visited and that a purchase would be made.