5 Clever Applications of Location-Based Advertising

Placing advertising – billboards, posters, and displays – at key indoor locations has always been a useful marketing tool. But what if the advertisement traveled with your audience, changing as the consumer’s location changed? That’s the idea behind location-based services, which uses the GPS function of mobile phones to deliver targeted advertising to users based on their location. What are some specific ways this type of marketing can be used?

Large Department/Grocery Stores

Sprawling stores like Walmart, Costco, or Target can benefit from location-based indoor advertising by micro-targeting their customers based on aisle or department location. For instance, say Jenny is doing her grocery shopping, and stops in the bakery for a few minutes, perusing the options. This would be a great time to mention a deal or offer a coupon for some sweet treats, giving Jenny an extra incentive to splurge.


Or, Big Box Bookshop could offer customers an interactive in-store map, showing where the customer is and how to get to their favorite genre. This sort of hyper-precise geo-targeting is known as micro-fencing.

In the Neighborhood

Proximity marketing is similar to the micro-targeting mentioned above, but works in a more general way, creating notifications or ads when the consumer is nearby your store, but not yet inside.


One example of this might be a shopping mall which offers a nearby deals system; once opted in, shoppers will start getting deals sent to their phone whenever they are within a certain range of the mall. The idea here is to entice them to take a quick detour to some of their favorite shops.


Alternatively, chain restaurants could offer a notification featuring the closest location to the customer, perhaps popping up right around noon as a reminder to take a break for lunch?

Check-In Rewards

Another alternative to get people in the door of nearby stores is by offering check-in rewards. This is particularly effective when combined with location-based push notifications like the ones mentioned above.


Check-in rewards are deals or freebies offered to customers who “check in” by posting on social media that they are at a particular location. Location-based services can verify that the user was in the right spot at the right time before delivering the reward.


These are just a few of the ways that marketers are using location-based advertising to reach out to customers on the go. As technology progresses, and consumers become more comfortable and familiar with these approaches, advertisers will be able to come up with even more creative and clever applications for location-based services.