Location, location, location

By Joanna Elliott, Account Executive

 

You know when you wake up in the morning and immediately get the urge to find out the precise location of all your friends? No, nor do I. Nevertheless, Snapchat’s recent addition of ‘Snap Map’ enables you to keep a real-time track on the location of your Snapchat contacts. Snapchat’s sister company, Bitmoji, is incorporated into the feature, which uses the cartoon avatar to represent users at their location.

Hotspots where a lot of Snapchat activity is present are displayed with a glowing circle and global live events can be viewed from the perspective of the app’s users as their snaps are collated into a story from that location, Reading Festival for example. The technology uses your phone usage and speed of travel in combination with your location to place the Bitmoji version of you in the most accurate position possible. This includes being in a car if you are moving fast, or depicting you as asleep in bed if you are stationary for an extended period. Smart, right?

Users do, however, have the option to place themselves in Ghost Mode, invisible to their friends, though still able to keep track of them. The increasingly intrusive data that is readily available to internet users is a cause for concern for some, yet from a strategic PR perspective, the sharing of information such as locations can prove extremely insightful and help businesses grow.

Working for a technology PR agency, it is always interesting to consider how such innovative technology can be advantageous to both our clients and us. Location-based technology and the sharing of this data is bringing about a whole world of opportunities for marketers with the introduction of ‘geomarketing’.

Geomarketing incorporates location intelligence within a marketing effort to help ensure a message reaches a targeted market at a specific time. A strand of this is geotargeting, which is simply delivering content to users, generally via mobile phones, based on their current location or previous locations they have visited.

This form of marketing is already common within social media sites, predominantly Twitter and Facebook, who allow businesses to very specifically target their ideal customer based on location, demographic, age, gender, interests, connections, etc. Paid geomarketing on social media platforms can be most effective for small businesses as they can optimise their campaigns by targeting those most likely to visit.

An example of a potential geomarketing campaign could be for a retailer to send a discount voucher to consumers’ phones as they walk past one of their stores. This would increase interest in the brand, as well as traffic in the store.

While privacy concerns remain valid and should be considered, use of geomarketing could pave the way for future innovative marketing campaigns. In the meantime, you can have fun spying on your friends while they are on holiday.