Insights: Synup CEO Ashwin Ramesh Talks Location-Based Marketing

Location-based digital profiles help drive success, notes Ashwin Ramesh, CEO and Founder of intent-marketing data and analytics company Synup.

What are the latest advancements in location-based marketing?

One is the rise of a brand’s digital profiles. In just the last couple of years, this channel has skyrocketed. Third-party digital profiles on traditional search, voice search, mobile apps, and social media channels are becoming the primary source of local business discovery and selection. It’s very difficult for brands to manage this on a platform-by-platform basis across the Googles, Facebooks, Yelps and Alexas of the world.

Another big advance is predictive analytics. This marketing AI capability allows marketers to better understand how and where people are finding and choosing their businesses. AI helps automatically suggest the business content most likely to result in customer engagement and acquisition. It suggests changes / additions to a client’s digital profiles (that will have an impact on those actions – say, more reviews, seasonal promos that drive map or other link clicks, phone calls, and foot traffic). 

AI can also help brands better automate the management of customer reviews across platforms by suggesting responses to customer reviews of multiple types, and automating what has historically been a manual process.  

Finally, you have the rapid growth of voice search. Most marketers are watching the ascent of voice search with obvious interest, but few are sure exactly what they should be doing as this brave new world unfolds before their eyes. The good news is that there are very concrete steps that can be taken right now to better position brands for the voice-dominated future.

What business results can a brand marketer expect from this kind of approach?  

Companies across industry verticals should expect to show significant improvements across critical key brand awareness, customer acquisition, and reputation-management results. 

The increasing importance of digital business profiles cannot be overstated; it is one of the most important owned media sources a brand has. It’s critical they actively manage, measure and optimize how these profiles are impacting their ability to reach, engage and convert new and existing customers.

How can location-based digital profiles fit into a marketing strategy with TV?

Consumers want instant, easy access to business content and information that’s relevant to their needs at the moment. And at the moment it oftentimes means while they are watching TV.  Nearly everyone is on their phone or tablet while watching TV. According to Mary Meeker, roughly 88% of Americans use a second device, like a phone or a tablet, while watching TV.  

When people are exposed to interesting TV advertisements for a product or service relevant to them, what’s the first thing they do? They conduct a traditional or voice search on the phone or tablet in their hand. Brands need to be there at that point of discovery, which now largely starts with a digital profile. Platforms like Yelp, Facebook and Google, that host these digital profiles, have evolved into rich sources of brand content and information that consumers use to find, engage with, and choose brands of all types.   

TV advertising, while great for brand awareness building, does little to help brands acquire and retain customers in their local markets. Digital profiles are the key to capturing and converting  that consumer intent. According to Google, 50% of consumers visit a store within a day of a local search. So showing engaging local content to a prospective buyer at the point of discovery—when purchase intent is at its highest—on their phones, tablets or other TV co-viewing devices is critical to the omnichannel media mix.

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