Top 3 Reasons Why Destinations Should Embrace Location-Based Marketing

Tony Gerstner
Account Supervisor

What destination isn’t looking for new ways to enhance the experience of its visitors and to give them new ways to explore unchartered lands? With the growing use of beacons and geo-fencing technology – the tourism industry has a tool that can transform where and how its visitors navigate and plan their trips. From where they eat to what beach they visit to the ferris wheel they ride.

Both beacon and geo-fencing technologies have a similar goal: to identify a user’s proximity to a particular location and then trigger an action.

This new technology is already being adapted by a variety of brands that offer extremely clever examples of its capabilities:

-  Major League Baseball is using beacons in their ballparks to offer fans the ability to get additional content on their phones.

-  Sephora is using geo-fencing to send notifications to consumers walking by their stores about unused gift cards, coupons, and more.

-  Marriott is using geo-fencing to monitor social media posts from their hotel guests, and then react to those posts. For example, if Marriott learns that guests are on their honeymoon, they will send drinks to their room with a note of congratulations.

While beacons and geo-fencing aren’t right for every brand, they are the perfect tool for the tourism industry. And here are the prime reasons why:

1.  Connect with consumers at the most logical places possible.

Consumers are continuing to spend more time on their mobile phones, over three hours daily of non-call time in 2016, according to eMarketer. And for tourists, the importance of mobile devices, is without question.

Through geo-fencing or beacons, a connection can occur when visitors are nearby a competitor,  your business or even inside your walls. In Memphis for example, Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion has used beacon technology to offer visitors an iPad tour, which includes exclusive videos, photos, audio recordings, and interactive activities. Previously, visitors were required to wear headsets, but with this new technology the museum is seeing increased engagement from their visitors as they receive a more customizable, and enjoyable tour.

2.  The ability to customize a message based on location of the recipient.

For retail shops or attractions like museums, once consumers are inside your location, the guest experience can be enhanced by providing virtual maps, sharing relevant tips and facts in multiple languages, and offering promotions and discounts.  The message can be controlled, and changed, all depending on the location of the end user.

A marketplace in Australia wanted to keep visitors in their mall area, so they setup a treasure hunt through beacon technology. Families were equipped with maps, eyepatches, and the necessary app, and sent on their way to visit and search the businesses in the marketplace. Dependent on location, the visitors would receive different notifications that would all lead to an end goal for the visitors, a prize pack.

1.  Enhance the consumer experience.

This technology enhances the idea of omni-channel communications. When a consumer receives a notification through this technology, you can include a call to action to visit a website, to make a phone call, or visit a social media page, all depending on what you want the action to be.

For lodging establishments, there is a huge opportunity to improve and learn from the consumer experience. Through a notification, hotel guests can be reminded to post a video review of their room, timed 30 minutes after they check in, or ask the guest to write a review of their stay timed 30 minutes after checkout.

From transportation, to accommodations, attractions and restaurant, location-based tech is, and will continue to improve travel experiences. And with the tourism industry saturated with options, this technology can give businesses a competitive edge by allowing them to market to the people most likely to become customers.  

Li Brown