Imagine this situation – Your customer is on their lunch break wandering around town looking for a slice of pizza. When they happen a few blocks from your pizza shop, a coupon automatically shoots to their smartphone. It offers a lunch deal for today only and if they click on it, it gives them a map from wherever they are to your shop.
It sounds like a science fiction film, but it’s real. Businesses can now do this through the magic of mobile. It’s called ‘location based marketing.’

We Know Where You Are
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed for military operations. It actually shoots a signal to outer space that bounces off satellites and triangulates to tell exactly where someone is. Now we can use this state-of-the-art science fiction technology to offer a slice of pizza at just the right time. Pretty cool, right?
Location based services use GPS, which is a standard feature of smartphones. They connect your customer to your service (or another service) based on where you physically are.
Location Based Apps
The best way to reach your customers through their mobiles is to create apps. An app is an interactive software program that helps them, entertains them, or somehow makes life easier for them. Companies make apps for branding. If you get an awesome app that you use every day and it’s got that company’s logo in it, this builds serious brand awareness. Let’s look at a few ways apps can be used.

Mobile Coupons
You can create a mobile coupon and configure it so that it’s sent when they’re in the vicinity. You do this by designating a certain zone. When they enter the zone, the system automatically sends the message. Interestingly, this original zone system was used to keep track of prisoners and employees. Companies created a zone and when an employee wandered out of it, they knew they were up to something.

Maps and Directions
Most people use their smartphones’ GPS capabilities to find places. With the click of a button, they can get maps and directions telling them exactly where to go. You can create a mobile app that helps them find the places they’re looking for by integrating with sites like Google Maps and Yelp. For example, when they’re looking for a gas station, they click one button and access your app, which shows them all the gas stations in the area as well as prices per gallon.
This doesn’t get you business directly, unless of course you’re a gas station. But it’s something that helps them out. That’s the idea behind apps – they’re programs that make life easier. Whenever they use your app, they see your brand name.

GPS Enhanced Shopping
Another app idea is to help them shop. Lots of people these days use their smartphones when they’re shopping offline. While looking at products in stores, they’ll check online to get a price comparison or more product details. You can create an app that helps them do that. It could be a search function that looks for prices or reviews online.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many things you can do and you’re only limited by your imagination. Location based services offer a whole new way to market to customers directly.
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