Retail is a cut-throat business. Low margins, massive competition, fickle consumers. It’s a wonder large retailers make any money at all. They do because retail marketers are notoriously cheap. They don’t pay for anything they don’t have to. Ask any ad agency or mobile marketing firm pitching a retailer these days. Phase 1 = Always Free. I know, I’m married to one of those retail marketers. I bought every dinner during the courtship period. It’s Law #26 in the Book of Dating Retail Employees.
But there is something retail (and other less prudent) marketers ARE spending money on these days. Location.
Now there’s hard evidence that proves it: more and more advertisers are putting hard cash into mobile ads that include location data. Gigaom recently reported on this (shocking) phenomenon, stating that mobile publishers and developers are getting 3.8 times more for ad impressions, that include location data in the last three months.
Wonder why Facebook bought Gowalla? Location. Why location? Location-based advertising targets customers where they are and delivers results. When you combine relevance with location, you get a powerful combination. At the same time, marketers may be cheap, but they are smart. The good ones think through any location-based strategy, the technologies, the consumer impact (I advise a few really big ones, so I know). A very good synopsis on dealing with this elephant in the room can be found on Mobile Marketer: Location-based Advertising without the Fear. This blogger brings up some great questions that you can review with your team as well as some opportunities to leverage location in a non-intrusive way.
The location demand is only going to continue to grow as advertisers see real revenue boosts from location-based ad campaigns. How are you going to use location to ramp up your business? You cannot be more Scrooge-like than a retailer when it comes to marketing spend. Yet even those guys are opening the wallets for location data. Are you missing something?