Three seemingly unrelated topics that have more in common than you realise! Let’s get under the hood of digital marketing and geolocation.
You reach for your workday pick-me-up, whether coffee, tea, or something else, and it’s not there. You’ve finished it. So you spend your lunch break heading out for fresh supplies. If you are anything like me, you’ll check Google Maps for an open and nearby café. You see the first result on your mobile, pick up a nice cappuccino and cupcake to boost your spirits, and merrily return to your job. That’s innovative marketing.
Who makes the choices you think you make?
Who or what was behind your decision to visit that café? Was it you or something else? It wasn’t Google – although you used the search engine, they played a predominantly passive role in this scenario.
It was the café. Using Geotags, they positioned their pin and address on your localisation app as the first result. We all know how important it is to rank high on Google. Nowadays, Geotags and local SEO are two of the most powerful tools to bring clients back to stores, coffee shops, pubs, and any other establishment that depends on foot traffic to thrive.
Geolocation marketing: an unconventional method.
Your cappuccino supplier doesn’t even need to be the closest one. Nor the cheapest or the better reviewed, although that would affect your decision. So, how did they earn that coveted first spot on your search? By creating an efficient mix of tags, ad budget and intelligent data analysis, any business can virtually bypass traditional relevant factors on a mobile search, such as physical proximity.
That doesn’t mean you can throw a heap of money towards Google and hijack any searches people make, even tangentially related to your company anywhere in the world, and have it revert to your company on the outskirts of Dublin. Proximity to where the queries are being made in Google is still relevant, and no amount of money in the world will make a café in London pop up if the person looking for a hot tea is in the middle of St. Stephen’s Green.
The ups and downs of smartphones.
Ok, put your coffee down and consider how Google has such power. For the right price, companies can purchase prime spots in an app that, in theory, should be focused on simplifying your navigation around places. Google Maps can only do that because users allow them to. From the moment you turn on your phone, multiple companies are tracking your every move. It may sound paranoid, but it’s true.
You can check your entire Google history with simple clicks on their website. You can track your every move around town with an Android phone. Oh, and don’t think for a second that Apple doesn’t do something similar. Now, this does have its advantages. With surveillance comes practically all conveniences of modern life. Thanks to that, you could get that cappuccino on time for the next meeting. Dating apps only work because they know where you are. LinkedIn can more effectively show you suitable jobs according to where you are. It all relates to geotagging and tracking.
If nobody is anonymous, does anonymity matter?
We often view privacy and data tracking issues from an individual point of view. It can be haunting to think Google, Apple, and other companies have so much information about our habits, preferences, and choices. But before you consider giving up your smartphone, let me discuss a counterpoint. These companies didn’t steal anything; they obtained any power through fair means by us.
When you sign up for a Google account or connect to the Apple Store for the first time, they present us with ‘Terms and Conditions’ in which they clearly state what data they are gathering and why. Most people sign over permission without reading, meaning there could never be enough data analysts to track us all. However, knowing how, when, where, and why companies sell your data is good practice; we only join a vast shared pool. No one is paying attention to you, probably, so enjoy your coffee with a clear mind.
Don’t fear geolocation marketing.
You went for a coffee and are now considering privacy and geolocation marketing. Things sure can take a turn for the weird sometimes. But as a digital marketer, knowing where technology is going is good. By learning how companies are selling prime spots to the highest bid on trivial things such as your Google Maps ‘creamiest cappuccino near me’ queries, you can make the conscientious decision to avoid the first result.
Maybe you can give a chance to that independent café that doesn’t depend on geotagging next time? Alternatively, if you own a business and want to increase foot traffic on your spot, now you know one more tool for your company.
How can geolocation benefit your business?
Would you like potential clients or current clients to be able to find you on a whim? Get in touch, and we’ll ensure your business is where it should be. Together we can help make your project a success.