January 30, 2014

GPS and Mobile will be Key Strategies for Marketers in 2014

James Giese | UWEBC Communications Director

Three phrases can summarize the strategies marketers should focus on in 2014, according to Todd LaBeau, Vice President of Digital for Lindsay, Stone & Briggs: embrace your place, change the future, and keep it short. 

Todd LaBeau
Todd LaBeau, Lindsay, Stone, & Briggs, discussed recent marketing trends. 
LaBeau spoke about recent trends in marketing strategies at UWEBC’s Web and Multichannel Marketing Peer Group meeting on January 16, 2014.

LaBeau says that global positioning systems (GPS) and mobile are now ubiquitous, and every consumer has a smartphone with these capabilities. As a starting point for 2014, marketers should have already optimized their business for mobile. In addition, they should have already optimized for SEO and paid search.

With mobile, SEO and paid search becoming the expected marketing standards, LaBeau revealed some of the cutting-edge strategies that are gaining attention in 2014:

Embrace Your Place: Because most consumers have a GPS-enabled smartphone, location marketing will be a focus in 2014. Leading companies are taking their customer interactions into the places where consumers are likely to find them. For example, it’s crucial that businesses appear in Google Places so customers have immediate access to directions, ratings, and contact information.

GPS allows customers to easily locate a business, and it allows a marketer to directly interact with customers based on their location and behavioral patterns. Marketers are now using geo-fencing to exploit customer location information.

“Geo-fencing is an enormous opportunity for marketers,” said LaBeau.

Geo-fencing is a software program that uses GPS or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries. Marketers use this geo-fence to identify customers with whom to engage. Using the knowledge of customers’ location, marketers can send customers highly relevant targeted offers. The use of location-specific offers is called geo-targeting. Exploiting GPS technologies adds depth to analytics and gives marketers another layer of customer understanding. Geo-fencing/targeting offers opportunities for a business to interact in real-time with customers.

Change the Future: According to LaBeau, marketers should study their data and use analytics and real-time testing to “change the future.” By change the future, he implies that there are now many opportunities to alter behavior and create new consumer habits.

“Understanding how technology can alter behavior and create habits is key,” said LaBeau.

“Test different ways of segmenting your data to see how people use different content and then change the way they use it,” said LaBeau. Marketers should use predictive modeling to understand behavioral patterns and identify valuable segments. Some of the leading vendors in predictive modeling, personalization, targeting and digital information are Neustar, Infogroup, Acxiom, and Factual.

LaBeau said that the ability to change consumer habits is about penetrating the consumer purchasing funnel. With the numerous inputs in that funnel, it is essential to reach customers in two ways: (1) come up in their search, and (2) break through their personal message shield to change their habits.

Keep It Short: Marketers should deliver short, sharable social content. Users are more likely to share content if they are provided with pictures and posts they can read quickly. According to LaBeau, photo posts get 49% more interactions than non-photo posts, and posts between 100 and 250 characters get 60% more likes, shares, and comments. Short shots, sometimes only three seconds long, have conditioned consumers to only want to pay attention to snippets. Short-form content exploded in 2013, particularly via Vine and Instagram Video.

However, marketers should not think they can sacrifice quality in a short-form message. In fact, the opposite is true. To develop impactful short-form shots, LaBeau recommends starting with the basics.

“Develop a discernible beginning, a middle, and an end,” said LaBeau, ”Focus on the right channels and be short.”

Marketing in 2014 will be about exploiting technologies and data to understand behavioral patterns in the physical and habitual way customers shop or how they interact with online and mobile content. Embracing GPS capabilities, anticipating behavior, and delivering sharable content will allow marketers to interact more directly and effectively with customers.

Member companies can access LaBeau's presentation and other meeting materials here.

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