This sounds like the start of a joke, right? And it is, just not a very funny one.
Every day millions of consumers around the world receive messages based on their location, messages from businesses eager to start or deepen a relationship, or to sell something. This concept has been around for a while and most people have experienced this; you get off a plane in a new country and receive some standard messages and maybe a roaming offer for that country. Or you arrive in a shopping mall and get an offer for a store in that mall. Although any business can offer services via this channel, communications service providers (CSPs) are almost always the conduit through which the message was delivered and, because they provide the location information, often select the message.
Unfortunately for CSPs, and unlike the real estate business, there is more to it than location, location, location. To provide a great customer experience with location-based sales via a mobile device, it’s more complex. The following factors should be considered in your strategy:
- Location – geo offers need to make sense in the place that they are received
- Customer context – what is useful and interesting for me, may be entirely different to an offer that is interesting for you
- Time – an offer that is useful for you at 9 am on a Monday morning may not make sense at 9 pm on Saturday night
If the three people in the “joke” described above were on a network with a traditional geo-location marketing solution, they would probably all get the same offer – maybe a generic roaming offer based on the assumption that they are about to get on a plane.
But why should they? Their CSP knows a lot about them and should use that information. It knows the business executive goes to the airport once a month, drops off the network and reappears in Europe. It knows the police officer goes to the airport every weekday, stays there for eight hours and then returns home. And it knows that the senior citizen goes there once a year and reappears in Hawaii. Knowing all this allows the provider to make the right offer – the executive might be offered a recurring European roaming package and the senior citizen a one-off package for voice in Hawaii. The police officer probably shouldn’t get any kind of offer since his behaviour indicates that he works at the airport.
Getting this right, by making the offers appropriate for that customer in that point in time and in that location, will drive up conversion rates and customer satisfaction. In order to do this effectively, you need to tie all of these together with an architecture that supports contextual, geo-location marketing campaigns out of the box.