Location based marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years. Similar to the concept of segmenting by geography, but far more exact, location based marketing relies on mobile technology to report exactly where a customer is (in front of a specific store, or even in a particular section of a store). Using that information, marketers can deliver a highly targeted message at just the right time.
Generally, location based marketing has been understood as an exciting possibility for retailers (for example, giving them the opportunity to deliver a coupon to a customer the moment they walk into a store). But there is growing interest in using it in the world of healthcare. Indeed, location based marketing made many healthcare 2017 “to-watch” lists. What are some of the ways it could be used?
The opportunities are particularly high for hospitals, who are more consumer-driven. Patients who visit a hospital could receive information about services. There are also possibilities to target the health conscious with appropriate messaging at locations like gyms or farmers markets.
For public health practitioners, the uses may be less obvious, but shouldn’t be discounted. Location based marketing offers the ability to target people more accurately based on preferences or specific needs. Organizations providing public health services could see many possibilities in this. For example, targeting someone shopping at a maternity store with information about prenatal care, targeting someone shopping in a local grocery store with messages about nearby free healthy cooking classes, or targeting someone visiting a rural community center will messages about rural clinics or care options.
Location based marketing isn’t without complications (privacy concerns being key), but as the practice becomes more prevalent and more consumers demand marketing messages relevant to them, public health professionals should be ready to act on the possibilities.