Using Location-based Marketing for Car Dealerships (And Other Brick and Mortar Businesses)

Traditionally, print advertising has been the primary means that brick and mortar businesses – especially car dealerships – attract new customers. But as smartphones and tablets have surged in popularity over the past few years, more businesses are turning to mobile to reach potential customers. In particular, location-based mobile marketing is on the rise because it allows businesses to connect with their target audience locally. Here are some ways brick and mortar stores are using location-based technology to help increase foot traffic to their businesses.

Geo-fencing campaigns with incentives
You may be wondering what a geo-fence is. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Geo-fencing is basically an invisible perimeter. A business can arrange to send an email or text message offering an exclusive deal to a potential customer when they enter the designated perimeter. Companies have created geo-fencing campaigns everywhere from bus stops close to retail locations, to subway stations and malls where their customers are likely to spend time. Many stores have experienced significant success with creative geo-fencing, but success with a targeted campaign like this depends on how well you know your customers!

QR codes
Chances are you’ve probably seen a QR code previously, whether you know it or not. QR codes are those jumbled-looking bar codes that appeal on everything from posters to product packaging. Potential customers can scan the code to learn more about a product or access a deal. In order to be effective, QR codes need to truly create value for customers, rather than just be placed on a product because they’re the newest trend in marketing. A good example of a QR code campaign that would be valuable is a local car dealership creating a campaign that allows customers to scan to learn more about their current inventory. So let’s say that a customer is looking for cars at a nearby auto dealer. By scanning the barcode they can easily find out which vehicles are on the lot.

SMS campaigns with incentives
Many businesses are also getting creative with text messaging campaigns. A popular way of using SMS campaigns combines direct mail with mobile technology. We’ve all gotten mailers from businesses with a call to action that says something along the lines of, “Text COUPON to 123456 for a free trial.” Restaurants often use SMS campaigns to give customers access to free appetizers. Because honestly, who doesn’t love free food? Retail stores can also employ the direct mailing and mobile strategy in order to give customers access to exclusive coupons and deals.

If you own a brick and mortar business and are interested in exploring mobile marketing to connect with potential customers locally, consider reaching out to a mobile marketing company to start building a campaign. Begin the process by doing some research online, and calling a few different businesses to determine which would be a good fit. Then do some brainstorming to determine which type of mobile campaign you want to develop for your store. Location-based marketing can make an incredible difference for your business if done effectively, so get started today!

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