The mantra for servicing the needs of today’s generation of customer is ubiquity. The customer is indeed getting more and more mobile. Businesses need to customize their offering to suit this new age requirements. The customers need your offering and you need to reach out to them when they need it, where they need it and in the form they need it. This is where Location Based Services (popularly called LBS in short) are typically changing the nature of the services rendered through technology during mobility.
LocationBased Servicesare typically information intermediary that creates value by providing services, accessible with mobile devices like smart phones, web-enabled basic phones, PDAs, Notepads and Palmtops through the services of a telecom network provider. Typically these services utilize the ability to make use of the geographical positioning data of the mobile device to render the service offering. These services are getting immensely popular as a tool for services marketing for B2C focused businesses.
For example, you are at prime location within a city and you are travelling. Suppose you are not very familiar with the city and its layout, which is likely to be the case, if you are in any of the industries which requires frequent travelling (e.g. Consulting, IT, Business Development). In fact, give the growth in the service sector in current times, this essentially encompass the majority market of potential consumers. You, a potential consumer, suddenly feel the need of servicing your car or filling up your gas tank. Also you are hungry and some snack would be highly relished. With a system like LBS enabled on your mobile device, you can be guided to the closest place at the time of your need to the junction that can service your needs in the best possible way. It may be a Gas Station with a food joint. Thus you may be also cross-sold products or services while you are servicing your own need. This is rather a move towards need based marketing from the impulse based marketing.
This is why solutions developed over a framework using Location Based Services have a very high potential for cross-selling and upselling new offerings and lower the cost of new customer acquisition drastically. It essentially is need driven marketing rather than impulse driven marketing. Intimation of location specific services may be offered to potential customers, and conversion of leads to sales may be extremely high, in certain administrations. For instance, near a roadway, if a joint is available that provides refreshments, and the travellers are intimated of the same during a journey about the same, this may rake in huge benefits.
Further, even if conversion of a potential customer does not happen, information regarding services which are delivered over mobile commerce channels using Location Based Services have a much higher recall and offering awareness, which create tremendous network value through the cascading and spiralling reach into a potential customer’s social network. Imagine, you friend knowing about a service when he or she is with you on a trip. This is again where indirectly Location Based Services create value for firms.
About Arpan Kar: Dr. Arpan Kar (PhD) is a faculty of the globally renowned Indian Institute of Management. He has rich experience in research, training and consulting in e-business, e-commerce, digital marketing, technology marketing and technology enabled supply chain administration. He was prior connected with IBM Research and Cognizant Business Consulting besides handling advisory projects for multiple Fortune 500 MNCs. He is the Editor of Business Fundas and also writes for Technorati.