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Lessons learned from McDonald?s location-based mobile marketing

BOSTON ? An executive at DMA:2011 said location-based services not only engage consumers, but also help advertisers such as McDonald?s and Gilt Groupe better target them with offers.

During the ?How to Best Utilize Location-Based Media for Businesses? session, panelists discussed the current role check-ins and location-based services play in the mobile industry. The panel was moderated by Webster Lewin, senior vice president of digital innovation and strategy at MSLGroup Americas.

?Some campaigns that we have run, we?re seeing tremendous click-throughs,? said Scott Margolis, vice president of business development and general manager of mobile at HopStop, New York. ?We?re getting the right ad to the right user and all the dots are connected.?

According to Mr. Margolis, HopStop can do a tremendous amount of targeting.

The company worked on several targeting campaigns recently, including one with McDonald?s.

?In Manhattan, we took every single McDonald?s location they had ? and there are a lot ? and whenever someone would search within a block or two radius, they would be served an ad that tells them to come in and get $1 off at that particular location,? Mr. Margolis said.

?It was very successful,? he said. ?Another example is Gilt Group who doesn?t have a physical presence.

?Users who were going to Madison Ave or SoHo where served the ad and it was a great opportunity to promote the Gilt Groupe deal to the user.?

It is important to have a clear and concise message, per Mr. Margolis.

?What we can offer advertisers is unique,? Mr. Margolis said. ?At the end of the day, they?re trying to get a message to their users.

?It?s not just about location, but providing behavioral aspects,? he said.

The executive said that the HopStop service is very conducive to mobile.

?We started on the Web, but we?ve seen a tremendous shift,? Mr. Margolis said. ?Last year, 5 percent of users came from mobile, this year it?s more than 40 percent.

?This is all incremental,? he said. ?Because of the success we?ve seen, we?re in the process of launching a BlackBerry app.

?People use our service every single day and infusing content and deals makes that experience not just attractive for marketers, but useful for our users as well.?

Check me in
According to Hussain Ismail, director of social media at Live Nation, Beverly Hills, CA, location-based services and applications such as foursquare help the company not only interact with users during a concert, but also before and after the event.

?Everything we do is based on events,? Mr. Ismall said. ?More and more we see people use their mobile devices during an event.

?At Live Nation, we?re seeing almost 300,000 check-ins to date,? he said. ?There?s a bragging element to check-ins.

?We?re definitely seeing tremendous growth.

Mr. Ismail said the company?s main goal centers around the fan experience.

Via location-based services, Live Nation offers venue tips, in-venue discounts, future ticket information and free stuff.

?We work with artists and venues to build good brand experiences,? Mr. Ismail said. ?We?re just trying to figure out what works and what doesn?t.

?With our iPhone app, users can see what they can do before a show, during a show and after the show,? he said. ?It?s about what we can do to make concerts more fun.?   

Final Take
Hussain Ismail, director of social media, Live Nation