If one area of digital marketing seemed to dominate the landscape of 2011 it was probably location-based marketing. Foursquare inched toward mainstream adoption, Gowalla made enough noise and had enough talent to be acquired by Facebook, Whrrl had the same success with Groupon snapping up their team. Facebook played with Places, but then began to incorporate location more seamlessly rather than making it a stand-alone product.

What happened last year was we learned location matters.

But is location-based marketing too niche? Is it only a retail, brick-and-mortar play? Will Foursquare move beyond a fringe, restaurant feature and into more mainstream consumer’s consciences? While LBS took great strides in 2011, there are still lots of uncertainties and questions to be answered.

I caught up with Aaron Strout, co-author of Location-Based Marketing for Dummies, head of location-based marketing at WCG and one of the all-star roster of speakers at the upcoming Explore Dallas-Fort Worth event on Feb. 17. I asked him lots of those questions so we can look forward in 2012 with location-based marketing appropriately placed in our mindset as strategic digital marketers.

You won’t want to miss the business insights Aaron has to give at Explore Dallas-Fort Worth. He’ll be speaking there, along with an all-star lineup that includes Copyblogger’s Brian Clark, Zena Weist of Edelman Digital, Tom Webster from Edison Research, Nichole Kelly of Full Frontal ROI, DJ Waldow from Waldow Social and more. The event will also feature a number of excellent software providers and companies to help you navigate the waters of digital marketing. They’ll bring their knowledge to share as well as their products. This is a must-attend event, so register now!

The first 100 registrants get the full day’s content, breakfast, lunch (by Wolfgang Puck Catering) and a cocktail reception for just $250! The full price of the event is $400, so save $150 now and reserve your spot.

Explore is a five-city conference event series from Social Media Explorer and presented by Expion and Raven Internet Marketing Tools. Learn more and sign up for email updates for the city nearest you at socialmediaexplorer.com/product/events.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://amzn.to/TopMarketingBlogs Daniel Milstein

    Location based marketing is definitely a big bet for marketers. And with things  like Foursquare taking it off to a great way, a lot depends on how marketers steer through to create that winning strategy. One thing I learned before I became a bestselling author and long before Inc Magazine voted my company as one of the fastest growing companies is digital marketing initiatives need to be taken seriously. This will be great event. 

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    Great psot!

  • http://twitter.com/PositionL Position Logistics

    Very valuable post and interview. We are looking into location based services. I liked the analogy of Sunday coupons. Customers are a little slow to see the vision of what location-based deals can be. But…when you speak their language, the walls are easier to knock down. 

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Jason

    Fabulous interview! The analogy to the Sunday coupon is very on point as we have seen a resurgence in coupons with the Extreme Couponers and also the economy. However, this is limited as was your regular brand advertising? With location based, consumers do not have to wait and see if their brand is offering a coupon, they can go there, check in and get the coupon instantly. It is more of a targeting in the moment where you simply let people know you are here and you are rewarded instead of buying the Sunday paper and going through page by page of the inserts. It lends itself to the convenience, time and also get the people there to spend the money at that moment.

    Aaron, in speaking about the app for Sea World. Quite a nifty app especially for people are not frequent visitors or who feel that the place is just too big and the maps they provide are not easy to navigate. This not only ties in the GPS mapping or the other apps for driving directions, it also starts to help with adaption. There are so many apps  that it is overwhelming to some. An app that you are using at the facility that helps you find where you are going bridges the gap and creates a positive experience with downloading and using the app which would have people look at other apps.

    Great stuff as always and a lot to consider for SMB who are trying to remain competitive in the social space.

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  • Anonymous

    Is there anyway you can make this site easier to read ? Like what is that big orange letter there for ?

  • Anonymous

    and the fonts . BYE !

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      What browser are you viewing the site in? We’ve gotten some nice reaction to our redesign (couple months old) and only one other person had a font issue. The orange letter is a drop cap, harkening back to magazine and newspaper days of old. But if you’re having an issue with the fonts because of a browser thing, we should look into it. Thanks for the feedback.

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