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How B2B Marketers Can Use Location-Based Marketing at Events

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by: Adam Steinberg (@adams472)
01 June 2012

Much like social media in its earlier days, location-based marketing has been largely ignored by B2B marketers. But it shouldn't be that way.

Whether you're a B2B, B2C or something-in-between marketer, we all sell to people. And 200 million of these people like to check in via Foursquare or Facebook.

So, if you're a B2B marketer, how do you engage customers and attract prospects with location-based marketing?

Consider that at any moment during your average industry event, dozens if not hundreds of attendees will be standing around or walking the floor while scanning their smartphones and tablets. Why not take advantage of all this mobile usage and run a check-in sweepstakes at any trade show or event your company attends?

Here's how it works:

1) Lose the scanner. Instead of asking every attendee the worn-out question, "Can I scan your badge?" invite attendees to check in at your trade show booth via Foursquare or Facebook for a chance to win your giveaway.

2) Create a memorable experience. In addition to getting visits to your trade show booth from people interested in your promotion, you’ll have the opportunity to engage attendees with a unique mobile experience. Imagine getting creative and, for example, providing VIP access to your corporate party to anyone that checks in at your booth. This is infinitely more enjoyable and engaging than having a sales rep scan an attendee’s badge while asking awkward questions about his or her "budget."

3) Watch the buzz grow. By using check-ins, you're also going to create more awareness for your company at the event. Every check-in will be seen by that attendees' colleagues, who will ask them "Saw you checked in — what did you think of that company?"

End result: You've created a memorable experience for attendees that visited you and also created increased buzz for your brand.

At Silverpop, we've implemented check-in sweepstakes at our Agent ROI events across the country. Here's how it works for attendees:

  1. At the event, prominently placed signs alert attendees to the check-in promotion, and event speakers provide reminders.
  2. Participants sign up for the sweepstakes using their Foursquare or Facebook accounts. (During the sign-up process, participants provide permission to email them, enabling us to send targeted email follow-ups to any attendees for whom we didn’t already have a valid email address.)
  3. After signing up, attendees then check in at the Agent ROI event using Foursquare or Facebook. The check-in enters the attendee into a drawing to win a gift card.
  4. At the end of the event, we announce the recipient of our gift card check-in promotion, often creating positive social buzz in the process when the happy winner posts about the experience.
  5. Knowing which attendees have checked in to the Agent ROI event, Silverpop can then invite these attendees to future events in their city.

The sweepstakes have proven a great way to engage with event attendees and increase awareness for our brand with potential customers.

Check-ins can also be used to increase engagement and build goodwill among your existing customer base. For example, we invited clients attending our recent Amplify Customer Conference to check in with us, then delivered prizes such as backstage passes to our Blues Traveler concert to those who had checked in.

Whether you just want to lose the antiquated badge scanners and boost booth traffic a little or get wild with super-creative promotions and even incorporate check-ins into your lead scoring model, there are many opportunities for B2B marketers to use location-based marketing to generate leads, increase engagement and help drive revenue.

What else? What other ways are you seeing B2B marketers use location-based marketing?

Related Resources:
1) Tip Sheet: “7 Steps for Getting Started with Location-Based Marketing
2) Webinar: “How to Run Successful Campaigns with Foursquare and Facebook Places
3) Blog: “Why B2B Marketers Need to Be More Social

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