LISNR and Earshot, both Serra Capital II portfolio companies, are making headlines as they prove that location based mobile marketing is heating up. Each company has a unique approach to the age old problem of helping brands reach their customers at the right place at the right time.
As the name implies, location-based marketing focuses on marketing to consumers of a particular geographic area through their mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) A new door is being opened for brands to connect in relevant, contextual ways with consumers to win their trust. Conversations on social media showcase the authenticity and personalization of a brand and lead to lifelong customers and new forms of earned media we haven’t seen before.
According to the Pew Institute, 74% of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location. Use of a geolocation feature is more than a nice-to-have option on a smartphone or tablet — its use has become a routine part of a consumer’s daily life.
LISNR’s new app that debuted on August 25 on iOS and Android uses an “ultrasonic smart tone” to generate content recommendations based on audio activity picked up by any nearby speaker such as a phone, TV, car stereo, sporting event, music venue, supermarket or movie theater. For an example, you’re listening to a Drake song on the radio. LISNR may serve you an article from content partner Complex about the Toronto rapper or one of his affiliated acts, as well an ad from the company’s early brand partners like Mondelez, AT&T and Budweiser.
Similarly, Earshot monitors the social web for clues that help local marketers. Their technology combines real-time location data, profile details of the user, and filters in the post itself to inform clients which posts to engage to optimize chances of conversion depending on the goals of the client. For example, a client can use Earshot to manage and filter out tweets that are the most relevant to them and respond accordingly.
Location based marketing is one of the next great frontiers in marketing. As such, both companies have also received attention from the press. LISNR has recently been featured on Forbes, Billboard, and AVNetwork. Earshot has been featured on CNBC and Techcrunch.