Rover, a location-based mobile marketing company, launched a platform this morning that provides marketers with the tools to create and manage location-based advertising campaigns and experiences — with the aim of using data to bolster user engagement.
The platform looks like a dashboard containing a number of apps that encompass the various stages of location-based mobile marketing. Platform users see apps called proximity, messages, experiences, and analytics, among others, each of which corresponds to one of the sets of tasks necessary to shape a successful location marketing strategy.
The platform’s simple layout and comprehensive offerings are its defining characteristics, Rover CEO John Coombs told Street Fight. It is the “first of its kind in terms of bringing all the pieces and component parts required to execute or deliver on location-based campaigns into one dashboard,” he said.
Typically, marketers hoping to capitalize on location data would need to work with various other companies or groups of people to get the job done. A marketer might work with a beacon hardware company to lay out an infrastructure, depend on designers to create mobile experiences, and look to analytics companies to break down the data, Coombs said. Rover’s platform aims to put all those resources in one place.
The Rover process starts with its proximity app. There, marketers can see all the locations in which their campaigns will be operating. The proximity app helps users create geofences and manage locations as well as beacon IDs.
In the hopes of simplifying infrastructural information for marketers, Rover allows them to name each of those locations by navigating within the dashboard.
While replacing latitude and longitude coordinates with marketer-selected location tags is a seemingly simple innovation, Coombs said it’s representative of what Rover tries to do for its customers, and he hopes it will have a big impact on the scalability of the platform.
By “translating technical language into marketing language,” the app helps marketers looking at “hundreds of locations” manage their campaigns, Coombs said. For example, rather than sending certain push notifications to a given range of latitude and longitude coordinates, marketers can send them to locations tagged with geographic terms like “New England.”
Next comes the messaging app. This is the traditional marketer’s territory, where Rover users can craft the messages that will be sent to their customers in four successive steps. Users can design the push notifications that will pop up on customers’ phones, specify the sort of content they want users to see (whether that’s a more typical landing page or an interactive experience), set the guidelines for when and where the notifications will be distributed, and review their choices.
The “experiences” Rover empowers its users to create are the platform’s flashiest component. The experience-building tool is meant to help Rover’s clients transcend traditional advertising messages and use location capabilities to increase consumers’ interest in the publishers with whose campaigns they interact.
“Advertising is not the hard part; the hard part is getting end users to care about location-based content,” Coombs said. “Proximity and location is about more than push notifications and coupons. It’s really about experiences.”
With the platform, marketers tap into the potential of these experiences within a single app. For example, one of Rover’s clients, the Pittsburgh Penguins, is using the platform to build a halftime trivia game designed to maintain users’ engagement when players are off the ice. Experiences like the trivia game look more like a “micro-site or an interactive webpage” than a traditional marketing message, Coombs said, and they can be built without coordinating with developers, app stores, or designers.
Ultimately, Coombs sees the Rover platform as a user-friendly, comprehensive tool chest that provides the company’s clients with the resources to adapt to location marketing challenges and work continually to find the best solutions for their businesses.
“There’s no silver bullet in proximity or location marketing, and you have to go into this assuming that you need to iterate and figure out what works for your brand,” he said. “We’re focused on empowering our customers with the tools to learn from what works and learn from what doesn’t and improve on their location strategy.”
Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s news editor.