As advertising is essential to the profitability and sustainability of any business, location-based advertising (LBA) allows companies to target a niche demographic quickly and effectively. Although the immediacy of location-based advertising can be beneficial to companies, it can also pose a few problems as well. Through the use of mobile advertising, marketers are able to reach consumers based in certain locations, which can also be an invasion of consumers’ privacy. Due to the personal usage of mobile devices such as contact numbers, images and personal messages, consumers who receive advertisements through their phones may feel it is a bit intrusive and violates their personal space. Thus, the location-based advertising may turn customers away and have an adverse effect on the company’s marketing strategy.
Moreover, due to the growing number of online scams and false advertising, many consumers are skeptical of companies obtaining their private information. With the onset of the internet, many illegitimate companies and hackers have access to a lot of individuals’ private information. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter make personal information easily accessible and vulnerable to illegal activity. Thus, consumers may be apprehensive of providing information to companies even if they are popular brands such as Panera Bread, due to identity theft and other fraudulent activity.
Another potential risk in adopting location-based advertising is the issue of oversaturation of information. Too much information on a regular basis may be irritating and annoying to consumers over a period of time. Thus, viewing the same content and images on their mobile devices will begin to bore them and change their perceptions of the company. Invading a consumers’ privacy and clogging their mobile devices with loads of information can have a negative effect on the new advertising method. Ultimately, when consumers are irritated, they will opt out of the location-based advertising tool, which will cause the company to lose target consumers and future sales.
Thus, in an effort to prevent any illegal activity, Panera Bread should ensure consumers that their information is secure. Thus, issuing a statement informing consumers of the purpose of the ads and ensuring them that their private information will be protected will allow them to feel more at ease with the advertising tool on their mobile devices. Also, letting the consumers know that they are valuable to the company and their interests and needs are a top priority will help make the transition to location-based advertising easier as well. Ultimately, Panera Bread should be proactive in communicating with customers the benefits of the new technology and make sure that they are comfortable with sharing their information in order to take advantage of the mobile service.
Also, to avoid annoying customers with a constant stream of information to their mobile devices, Panera Bread should be creative in their advertising approach and cautious of how often the information is disseminated to consumers. Innovative images, catchy phrases, taglines and the interactive features will appeal to many consumers. This will persuade them to click on the link and take advantage of special promotions or discounts. Also, monitoring the time frames in which consumers in a specific location receive the message will be beneficial as well because many consumers would probably refer to receive non-personal messages during business hours in their particular location. Essentially, Panera Bread should implement these tactics to the location-based advertising tool to avoid potential risks, enhance brand image, attract new consumers and increase profitability within the company.