How to get started with location-based marketing

ind out how to increase customer turnout, create personalized customer engagement, and gain a competitive edge with location-based marketing.

Published on
August 16, 2022


1. What terms you should know

2. Think about your industry

3. Time to take action

4. Privacy

5. Roam's Marketing Campaign Feature

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I’m going to kick this off by painting a scenario for you (I was pretty terrible at art class in school so I'm not sure I’ve earned the right to say that). You’re part of a marketing team and want to run a new campaign to increase customer turnout and loyalty at your stores. As much as gaudy neon signs and “SALE” posters have worked, it’s not enough. With the average human spending 14 hours a day glued to a 3 by 6 inch screen, mobile advertising is your best bet. It sounds dystopian, but I have no time for the whole “we’re being enslaved by technology”, “open your eyes”, “sheeple” thing right now. I’m just saying, when we get a notification, we look at our phones, ok George Orwell? Anyway, you can’t just send random notifications to customers that have your app. That’s called spam, and no, not the cooked canned pork version. Users will likely get annoyed and remove the app or disable notifications. You have to choose your moments. Luckily, location-based marketing can help you choose those moments. It’s a marketing strategy that can change the way you reach customers.

Deadpool as Bob Ross from the Deadpool 2 trailer
I'm still really bad at art.

But we can’t just write a “how to get started” blog without getting the definition of location-based marketing on the table. So we'll get started with that, and add some key words to the mix too.

What terms you should know

Location-based marketing is a marketing strategy that utilizes current and past location data to deliver relevant content and advertising to users. The privacy-compliant data is collected, analyzed, and eventually used by marketers to understand their customer's behavior and interests to create personalized campaigns. Location data like this gives insight into user behavior such as how frequently they visit shopping centers and how many times they enter a certain genre of stores. This might sound invasive from the consumer point of view, but as we’ll explain later, location-based marketing should be on an opt-in basis. This means, unless you as the consumer agree to it, you won’t be bothered by any location specific notifications.


To understand geotargeting and geofencing, you need to know this first. Geolocation is the process of determining a geographical location of a user or device on the web through various data collection points such as an IP address or an internal GPS of a device.


Those familiar with our blogs and website have read a lot about geofencing. That being said, a geofence is a virtual boundary or fence around a real-world geographical area. When a user enters or exits a geofence, it triggers a response that can be used to send alerts in the form of app notifications to their device. Notifications can range from advertisements to promotions that encourage users to visit your store locations.


Geotargeting is an advertising and marketing strategy for delivering different content to users on their devices based on their geolocation. The location data determine what advertising content the user will receive. So, marketers will create campaigns most relevant to the geolocation of their users. By knowing their geolocation they can put a label on the type of user they have. An example would be identifying a group of users that frequently go to coffee shops, including their favorite spots. This group would be labeled as coffee drinkers. Based on that info, a campaign around that user group at those specific locations can be made.

Think about your industry

Location-based marketing isn’t suitable for every use case. It’s industry-dependent. So think about whether it’s right for your business first. For instance, the fast food world loves it. Burger King pulled off a viral location-based marketing campaign back in 2018. They awarded a Whopper for $.01 whenever a customer with their app was within 600 feet of a McDonald’s location. Customers could claim the order and go pick it up at any nearby Burger King store.

Photo by SCREEN POST on Unsplash

Time to take action

Location-based marketing is the culmination of putting geofencing, geolocation, and geotargeting together to deliver content and relevant advertising to your users. It's time for a scenario to help visualize how it can be used.

Let’s go back to those coffee drinkers. You want to use location-based marketing to create a campaign that attracts coffee drinkers away from your competitors that have stores near your own. You draw up a promotion campaign based on the location data you’ve received through geotargeting. Let’s say this is a really good deal for customers that are near one or more of your store locations. I have no clue what kind of 2-for-1-jumbo-combo-50%-off-promo-code-COFFEE deal you’re going to draw up here, but it has to be Burger-King-like-good so that a user considers visiting one of your stores instead of your competitors.

Let’s say you’ve handled that, but now you're faced with this question: How am I going to get this mobile marketing campaign across? Remember, we don’t want to send random spam-like notifications. I know I said timing matters but more importantly, location matters. You can start by setting up geofences at locations of your competitor. That way, when a user enters that geofence, it will trigger a notification of your promotion.

On top of that, keep your geofences small. You don't want to send notifications to users that are too far from your store. They'll likely not bother making the effort to go.

Ok, you've got your geofences sorted, what happens now? Well, upon receiving your promotion, the customer is faced with a choice. They’re thinking:

"I'm closer to this place, but that deal is really good and they aren't too far away".

Will you win everyone over? Realistically of course not, but I can guarantee it will improve your customer turnout. Set up geofences at your own stores and at multiple locations near your stores to boost your turnout. If done right, you'll have a flock of caffeine deprived and excited customers lining up outside your coffee places.  

I know, I’ve basically explained how that Burger King campaign went and replaced it with coffee. I’m trying my best here. Another example of how that works is for clothing brands.

With a geofence, you can have notifications sent whenever a user is within the vicinity of one of your stores. Whether it’s to remind them of your summer sale or simply an announcement of the upcoming Fall/Autumn collection. You’ve now given them the idea to visit your store and or website. An idea they may have never considered when they walked out of their front door that day. The bottom line is, whether it’s a promotion of a new product or a simple advertisement reminding the customer that you exist, sending that notification at the right place and the right time is only possible if you have that location data.


We know location data is a sensitive matter when it comes to privacy for users. Like I said, it can come across as invasive.

Privacy will always matter. Thankfully, the EU has the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ease those nerves. When we talk about location data, we’re purely talking about location. Personal data is never collected and the GDPR makes that clear as a privacy and human rights law component. So remember, location data is collected for convenience and is not invasive.

Roam’s Market Campaign Feature

I couldn’t finish this blog without mentioning this. Interested in getting started with location-based marketing? Consider our marketing campaign feature and Geofence API. With our dashboard you’ll have the opportunity to manage and create market campaigns and personalize your geofences. It can help you unlock the power of location intelligence and location marketing to increase customer loyalty, create personalized customer engagement, and gain a competitive edge.

Curious to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us!