Now that everyone carries a GPS-enabled supercomputer in their pockets, the marketing possibilities are endless. Location-based marketing is the new frontier.
But, as with any new technology at a marketer’s disposal, the value is not in the technology, it’s in what great marketing ideas the technology enables. Location-based marketing won’t work if the goal is just to interrupt more effectively. The big ideas matter more than ever.
I was thinking about how brands use technology when I saw Nestle’s location-based “We Will Find You” promotion in the UK. Nestle placed GPS trackers in six chocolate brands like KitKat and Yorkie. After someone opens a package, a prize team stalks the consumer within 24 hours to deliver a check for £10,000 (hoping that the wrapper isn’t in a landfill by then).
Nestle said, “we are delighted to be first to market with this highly innovative GPS based promotion”.
It’s great that they’re trying something new, but the marketing seems driven more by the technology than the idea. It borrows from Willy Wonka, but the execution is more than a little creepy (encouraged by the swap-team theme of the ad). In their enthusiasm for the technology, I think Nestle is forgetting that their consumers may not be as enthusiastic about Nestle finding them.
As Branding Worth Spreading put it, “There’s money, there’s chocolate, but there is no story behind the promotion. There is no magic. Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory made us dream, while Nestle is simply doing an average promotion using GPS technology that aims to build short term sales, but doesn’t do much for the brand long term … It’s disappointing when brands use technology for technology’s sake. ”
With ubiquitous mobile devices, location-based marketing will only increase. Consumers will be the judges as to whether this is useful, or an intrusion. It’s up to marketers to prove the value of location-based marketing — not just the value to us, but to consumers who’ll choose whether to allow it.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away one signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. I’ll pick one comment. Thanks!)