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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.