Location-Based Automotive Marketing

For the past few years now, we’ve heard that mobile is going to dominate the marketing world.  It makes sense with so many smartphones out there, but has mobile marketing reached its fullest potential?  Not yet, but we’re getting closer.  Advertising on smartphones and tablets has cost marketers over $13 billion last year alone.  Over the course of the next five years, this budget could raise to almost $40 billion. 
Recently, we wrote about “showrooming” at auto dealerships.  This of course has gained popularity with the growth of mobile usage.  So what can auto dealers do to advertise on mobile in their favor?  Location-based marketing is a good way to start, considering GPS is highly involved in the automotive world.  So how does it work?
Location-based marketing allows your company to use GPS technology across GPS navigation devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and GPS car systems like TomTom.  This technology uses latitude and longitude coordinates to target people in a specific area.  From here, communication from business to consumer (or B2B) can be showcased through text messaging, email, or within a mobile location search.  Using geo-fencing and QR codes, we see that in 2013, the top location-based mobile ad categories were retail, restaurants and automotive dealers. 
Until we see more growth, location-based marketing continues to face some challenges.  First of all, Apple prohibits certain apps to ask for a current location.  Of course, Foursquare and mapping apps are allowed to ask, and most users share their location information.  Also, location coordinates are being made up, causing communication to be off by thousands of miles. This happens with the use of “centroids” and “randomized” latitudes/ longitudes, mainly generated by software programs.  Lastly, keep privacy in mind.  I’ve opted in to receive alerts from Foursquare, and I’m starting to regret it when I drive down a busy retail street.  Yes, I’m close to a Starbucks…but NO, I don’t need the Caramel Mocha Pam recommended.  (or do I?)
Now is the time for auto dealerships to claim these ad spaces!  Most likely, your customer is in a car, why not offer service discounts, oil changes, car washes, inspections, etc. when they drive past your dealership?  ​