Right Place, Right Time
Consumers became accustomed to money-saving propositions, and were happy to buy more, in return for spending less in the long run. Online vouchers closely followed behind, with special offers that branched out into leisure and entertainment. But it wasn’t just about who could offer the biggest discount – it was how they could offer it. As special offers have evolved, so have the mechanisms by which they are delivered. Mobile has led the charge and has finally meant that consumers are happy to be sold to.
The power of mobile has literally put special offers directly into the hands of the consumer. Those on the hunt for the very best deal have become accustomed that in exchange for a small amount of advertising, serious savings can be made. And all of this has gone one step further with location-based services. Organisations such as Groupon, Living Social, Vouchercloud and Facebook are successfully tapping into the consumer’s insatiable appetite for discounts by providing location-specific offers.
When Groupon launched its mobile app, the company hoped it would change when and how society chooses to eat, shop and play. The application, known as Groupon Now, is remarkably and elegantly simple, yet it's a radical departure from Groupon's current deal-a-day business model. It gives consumers the option to simply choose either: “I'm hungry” or “I'm bored” and in return, a list of time-specific daily deals based on their location will appear.
Not to be left behind, Facebook too is getting into the local deals business, which analysts believe will start to give Groupon a run for its money. Facebook vows to make it easier for consumers to find fun things to do with their friends by connecting them with relevant local businesses.
Vouchercloud has led the way in the UK as the consumer’s first-choice money-saving champion on their mobile. Special offers can be downloaded to a mobile handset, with a code presented at the point of sale in order to qualify for the discount.
Consumers have quickly become accustomed to finding nearby deals; combining them with intelligent satellite navigation technology, however, will add an additional compelling dimension to tailored, location-specific tailored offers.
Today’s mobile satnav apps have the ability to know not just where a consumer is, but where they are going, the route they are taking to get there and their estimated time of arrival. It is therefore possible to provide extremely relevant special offers and ads en-route or at the destination, based on the time of day, or the user preferences.
Relevance is absolutely key with mobile discounts, and as such, satnav can provide an immediate advantage when companies that provide these special offers want to reach specific customers. Mobile satnav allows a level of intelligence to be applied to the offer. Is the consumer away from home? Is it around dinner time? Will they be looking for somewhere to eat out? What about on more frequent journeys? Is it time to get an oil check? Have they been on the road for long enough to need more fuel? Mobile satnav could even begin to suggest ‘value’ routes to consumers, where going just slightly out of their way could pay off for users and advertisers, with a series of money-saving special offers being delivered.
Through our mobile sat nav app CoPilot Live, we are already able to factor-in an array of real-time information, such as traffic flow, to calculate the best way for an individual to get to their destination, based on real-time conditions. The next step is to add relevant ‘hyperlocal’ location-based deals to the equation that will make satnav even more valuable than simply getting someone from A to B. And there’s additional potential pay-off for the consumer, beyond simply accessing great deals. Location-based special offers are one of the most compelling and acceptable forms of advertising, which may soon be able to cover the full cost of the navigation app itself.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of what mobile satnav-based location-relevant advertising can offer.
David Quin is marketing director at ALK technologies