A report from ABI Research pegged location-based marketing spend at $43 million in 2011, and the firm predicts it will reach $1.8 billion by 2015 as geosocial elements are integrated into existing marketing platforms and channels.
According to ABI, check-in applications currently dominate the market. Most people associate the geosocial channel with Foursquare, a mobile application that allows people to check in at restaurants, stores and other places when they arrive. For marketers, these methods are ideal because simply encouraging customers to check in can result in further business from their social media followers.
“It’s still early days and there’s no single ‘right’ approach to location-based advertising,” said Neil Strother, practice director for mobile marketing strategies at ABI. “This remains a very fragmented market that is full of experimentation.”
Beyond geosocial platforms, other methods of location-based marketing are likely to take off in the coming years as mobile devices account for an increasing amount of time spent on the web. Brafton reported last month that some expect mobile web access to overtake desktop access by 2015.
As this tipping point approaches, SEO and social media marketing will become more reliant on mobile users to succeed. As such, businesses must tailor their integrated marketing to target both mobile and desktop users.
Based on recent reports, the two most critical elements moving forward are ensuring a website is optimized for mobile web access and tailoring search optimization to succeed with on-the-go and desktop audiences. The latter requires high-quality content and local SEO as mobile searches typically begin with words related to location, such as a neighborhood or town name.