If 2010 was the year of Social Media Marketing (SMM), I'm going to go on a limb and say 2011 and 2012 will be the year of Location-Based Services (LBS) Marketing integrated into your 2010 SMM. If you don't have SMM yet, don't worry, you can still catch up by using the latest tools from your WCM (Web Content Management) provider.
However, nearly none of the WCM providers have tapped LBS Marketing yet. I believe this will change quickly in the 2nd half of 2011 and 2012.
The power of social media is to connect users together talking about personal or business topics of interest. The advantage for Marketers is to create a two-way dialog using Social Media orbiting around the company's product or service. If your users convert by making a purchase online, then the story may stop there and you are okay. You can convert your Social Media ecosystem to actual sales while the user is at their computer or phone.
If you require your users to be at a physical location to purchase something (M&Ms at a 7Eleven or Latte's at a Starbucks), then SMM + LBSM is your answer. The idea is to move that social conversation out to a physical location where your have the opportunity to convert that conversation into a real Point of Sale purchase.
Some of the features I can see out of the intersection of WCM+SMM+LBSM:
- Creation of specials and promotions posted to Foursquare of other LBS's from your WCM system to entice users to try new things, get badges/prizes for smaller purchases that could lead to larger purchases
- Pushing users to a Mobile app for more interactivity from the LBS
- Links from the LBS to your website which is then Geo-location aware that the user is in your store allowing you to personalize the website
- Pull real-time experiences from a retail outlet directly back into your website and online conversations generating buzz around the retail location that drives revenue
- Record and Translate "checkins" into customer loyalty that is manifested as special benefits on your site and your email marketing
- many more that I can't think of right now
I'm not the greatest idea guy, but it's easy for me to see the awesome potential in the convergence of these technologies in the next 24 months as location-based services expand their offerings and learn from each other and WCM vendors attempt to tap in and link their products to these services in order to attract more cutting-edge marketers.
Here are some links I found useful on this topic:
Let me know if you can think of others.