An Evening With The LBMA

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The Location-Based Marketing Association held its first Montreal event last night at the offices of Cossette, welcomed by an enthusiastic audience of more than 100 that was comprised largely – judging by the people we talked to – of representatives of young start-ups in the field.

Asif Khan

If you ever wanted to know exactly what Location Based Marketing is, Asif Khan, founder and president of the association, gave an excellent explanation, along with information on trends and global examples. He was followed by a presentation from SweetIQ, a new company launched from what had been GetMeListed, and then a dynamic panel comprised of representatives of established companies and Cossette who all have enough experience in the field to be able to discuss what is happening in the field , especially in Montreal.

“Everything revolves around location: location of phone, home, screen, stores, competitive stores, product, friends, consumption,” said Khan, who sees location as a catalyst for changing the world of marketing.

Among attendees: Diane Lanctôt, CBS Affichage; Michael Arnett, Aurora Dynamic

Khan showed how companies are developing their own ways of using LBM to engage consumers and push sales, citing scavenger hunts, trivia games, search, augmented reality, coupon deals. One particularly interesting example was from Sweden where LBM was used by public transit to win customers and make it easy for the tourists to travel and see the city rather than their spending money on tourist buses, boats and small trains. Another from Asia tied together music, fashion and RFID for Starhub. Among its many facets, appropriate music played in fitting rooms according to the clothes being tried on.

Among the takeaways he said:

  • A place is wherever you are right now;
  • Everything in future will be geo-addressable and have a geo-relationship to everything else;
  • It’s not only about mobile, it’s about the integration of media around places.

“LBM is leading to the reinvention and integration of media,” Khan said.

Some of the SweetIQ team

Michael Mire, co-founder and CEO of SweetIQ, discussed wanting to start quarterly community events in Montreal to help shape marketing. The new company of eight has a ‘small’ goal: to foster community on the world stage and define the 21st century of marketing.

“SweetIQ cuts through the clutter; shows where you are listed and where you should be listed; shows where you are mentioned, and more,”
said Mire. “It lets you control your venues from one integrated platform.”

We noted various bytes from the panel:

  • “LBM isn’t clear yet to a lot of people. It has a bright future but isn’t effective right now for many. It must show scale.”
  • “Mobile forces us to look at products differently. If you aren’t found, you’re out of the grid.”
  • “You need local content, hyperlocal players.”
  • “You might have 1,000 friends for your brand, but do you know where they are and how they are connecting to the brand?”
  • “LBM can be free to get engaged with the customer, but it will cost you to enhance your brand presence.”
  • “Media companies are beginning to bundle. If you buy an ad in one of their media, you might get ads in their other media at no cost.”

And Khan, who sat in on the panel, said, “I see a future where there will be a movement from active sharing of locations to passive. I see a future where an app will push you only when it’s relevant and will disappear when it’s not.”

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