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How to Leverage Mobile for Customer Engagement: Part 2: Location Based Services

Many business could take advantage (or better advantage) of Location Based Services (LBS) by understanding how location is or is not relevant to a customer in the context of the nature of the business with the customer. Some businesses just aren’t that suited for direct use of a person’s location in a way that adds obvious value, others should be leveraging it to the max but may not understand how or why.

To start, a brief review (in my words) of some of the facets of LBS and then we’ll delve into how and when these can apply to some business examples.

Wikipedia defines Location Based Services (LBS) as:

an information or entertainment service, accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile device

I would say that’s actually a fairly narrow view of LBS. I will define a LBS as:

any service or activity that utilizes the geographical position of a person to generate or alter the service’s interactions with that person

The massive benefit of leveraging a mobile device with LBS is that the device itself can (usually) contribute the location of the person without the person having to do so manually. When you remove a manual step from a process, generally the usage of that process increases — such is the case with location discoverability and LBS.

When a service uses a person’s location, there’s a decision to be made about the scope of the person’s location that is relevant. Think about if I called you on the phone right now and asked you: “Where are you?”. What would you answer? Would you say ‘home’ or ‘work’ or ‘in my car’ or ‘Ottawa, Canada, North America’ (where I happen to be right now)? When you’re thinking about leveraging LBS for your business, you need to think about what scope of an answer you need from a person to add the value to your service/business to meet your primary goals and what kind of answer you would like from a person to add accessory value or meet secondary goals.

Read the rest of this post at…

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