5 Comments

Summary:

LocalResponse — a marketing platform that allows advertisers to send out targeted tweets to consumers based on where consumers have checked in or where they say they are on social networks — has found that its targeting work is paying off with significant engagement from consumers.

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A couple of months ago, I wrote about LocalResponse, a real-time social advertising platform that allows local retailers and national brands to send out targeted tweets to consumers, based on where they’ve checked in or where they say they are on social networks. The service has found that its targeting work is paying off with significant engagement from consumers, who are responding to relevant, timely offers and discounts at impressive rates.

LocalResponse shared some results from three of its recent campaigns, showing how consumers have reacted to the outreach tool.

  • An automobile manufacturer targeted consumers who checked in on Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla and many other services at and nearby events hosted by this company. By timing the tweets to the actual events and hitting only people nearby, the manufacturer was able to get a 22-percent click-through rate and a 10-percent increase in followers over a three-day campaign, with 58 percent converting to the mobile website.
  • A consumer packaged-goods company looking to promote holiday dishes made with their products sent in-store coupons and recipes to people checking in at major supermarkets and people tweeting about the company. The tweets got a 15-percent click-through rate, and more than half redeemed the coupon.
  • A fashion retailer looking to drive traffic at a new location and build word of mouth targeted people checking in at the grand opening as well as people nearby with an offer to win a $2,000 shopping spree. The offer got a 40 percent redemption rate and impressions and click-through rates doubled, thanks to viral sharing on Twitter.

When I first wrote about LocalResponse, I said the company needed to ensure that it was relevant to users, provided real value and didn’t overwhelm them with offers. Otherwise, it could come off as being stalkerish or just ineffective. But the fact that it’s seeing such high click-through rates (banner ads usually have click-through rates of about 0.1 percent) and engagement suggests that it is working, or at least appealing to people in a way that is useful to them.

I think this shows that when consumers are offered something contextual in a relevant way, it can produce positive results. That’s the power of mobile: Where I am changes everything. An offer that finds me when I’m in the right mood or hits me when I’m in a place to take advantage of it can be a lot more effective than some broader mobile ad. That’s where the big battle is these days, in providing local deals that are relevant to mobile users. Foursquare’s recent partnerships with LivingSocial and others highlights how competitive it’s getting in the market for local offers.

There are some who might find this a little invasive, but I think attitudes are changing and that this kind of outreach can work well if done with the right amount of restraint. LocalResponse said it won’t send more than one message per day from its collection of advertisers and no more than one offer per week from any one brand or business.

It’s still early, and LocalResponse may be enjoying a pop from the novelty of its campaigns. But I think it’s got a smart product that leverages social channels well and makes sense in our increasingly mobile and social world.

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  1. Amrita Mathur Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Great results! Kudos to Local Response for getting traction early.

    However, i am still concerned/ curious about how the “stalkerish” features will be perceived over time.

    I think folks that check-in to places are aware of its pulic nature and hopefully almost expect some targetted promos etc… but i wonder if there is a user persona out there that will see the glass as half empty. I wonder if Local Response is seeing/ hearing anything of the sort?

    I ask because there are other little startups cropping up that can be stalkerish even without monitoring public “check-ins”. And if there is a backlash to promos based on check-ins, then I wonder if there will be bigger backlash based on targetting with data that is not perceived to have been broadcasted. (Going to be a scary world.)

    1. Amrita – to answer your question, we (at LocalResponse) definitely crossed the bridge on that concern early on. We did brought in focus groups, did surveys, and even tried out some ‘less targeted’ campaigns. In doing so, we got a very strong sense of what is appropriate in this channel, and set up some best practices. We do rate limiting, frequency capping, and of course, a super simple and permanent opt out.

      You can read more about it the super-boring whitepaper I wrote, below :)
      http://bit.ly/LocalResponseWhitepaper

  2. we have taken a a different tack.

    first off -lets be clear – mobile vs internet display response is chalk and cheese. Mobile engagement (without local even) is far greater. Add in a text or push notification re-marketing loop and you have a game changer. then layer on a local piece and so on.

    But we see something else down the road. We see the end of push.

    We see pull. The notion of push was created in a world where the recipient did not have control, and the invasion of ones personal space was unavoidable. every medium in the last 100 years has done this. But technology has changed everything and is allowing people to take back their personal space and who invades it. Just because you know where i am, and i check in – does not mean i want to be pushed to.

    Why cant i gesture my interest to a service – this event then triggers a marketing / bidding process with local merchants. I’ve told the service i’m in play – tell me what you’ve got.

    Its not appropriate to assume that marketing starts with push. why should it be? all you are doing is taking an archaic form of marketing and overlaying it with some new tech – you are dragging web 1.0 in to the new world.

    We are betting that this will all end up where the consumer starts a process (checks ins are not gestures of interest so they dont count) and local merchants can then market to them.

    1. It is good to have a different idea from what most of the others are doing. However,I would not go as far as to herald the end of push.

      Your vision that consumers express their interest to merchants and thereby initiate the process would not work for all cases. First, you do realise that the consumers would have to be interested in the first place, and that is often not the case.

      Not mentioning new businesses trying to gain awareness, there are many instances where businesses have to actively reach out to the crowd. Consumers may not know better and these merchants would have to inform them or they lose out on potential business. Bringing it slightly out of this context, the technology industry is a good example of this, since they very often have to learn about new, innovative products. In the case of the campaigns mentioned in the article, if they had not done something active to engage the audience, they would not have attained the word-of-mouth effect they did.

      In about every industry, there would be strong competition, and in order to gain an edge and be heard, you simply cannot wait on your laurels for the customers to approach you.

      That said, push marketing is not everything, of course. Undoubtedly, if you have an excellent product/service, that will do much of the talking (or marketing) for you, and help you pull customers. But more often than not, you do have to get noticed and heard of. Push marketing will not end anytime soon. And that’s not because we are blindly sticking to some “archaic form of marketing”, centuries-old or not.

      Keep up the work on your vision of pull marketing, though.D

    2. It is good to have a different idea from what most of the others are doing. However,I would not go as far as to herald the end of push.

      Your vision that consumers express their interest to merchants and thereby initiate the process would not work for all cases. First, you do realise that the consumers would have to be interested in the first place, and that is often not the case.

      Not mentioning new businesses trying to gain awareness, there are many instances where businesses have to actively reach out to the crowd. Consumers may not know better and these merchants would have to inform them or they lose out on potential business. Bringing it slightly out of this context, the technology industry is a good example of this, since they very often have to learn about new, innovative products. In the case of the campaigns mentioned in the article, if they had not done something active to engage the audience, they would not have attained the word-of-mouth effect they did.

      In about every industry, there would be strong competition, and in order to gain an edge and be heard, you simply cannot wait on your laurels for the customers to approach you.

      That said, push marketing is not everything, of course. Undoubtedly, if you have an excellent product/service, that will do much of the talking (or marketing) for you, and help you pull customers. But more often than not, you do have to get noticed and heard of. Push marketing will not end anytime soon. And that’s not because we are blindly sticking to some “archaic form of marketing”, centuries-old or not.

      Keep up the work on your vision of pull marketing, though.

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