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Location based marketing without smartphones & WAP - Need to get smarter for emerging markets like India

I was just reading an interesting Location-based Marketing(LBM) promotion by Pepsi called Pepsi Loot. It's a great customer marketing example by a leading soft goods marketer like Pepsi. The fun in combining digital marketing with data, distribution reach, loyalty, customer engagement & customer experience is the future.

This is how Pepsi Loot works:

If your are a Pepsi fan, you can now use your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to earn credits toward free music by checking in to Pepsi-serving restaurants with the new app Pepsi Loot.

Using your GPS, the free Pepsi Loot app will display nearby Pepsi “Pop Spots,” or restaurants that serve Pepsi products. Once your device’s GPS shows that you’re at the actual location, you’ll be given the option to check in to the site. For the first check in, you’ll receive one Pepsi Loot credit—enough to download a free song—and one credit for every three check ins after. You’ll see a few of the featured artists in the "Loot" section of the app, along with a YouTube portal to artist videos. However, actually downloading your free tunes requires you to go to the Pepsi Loot Store website from an actual computer (and sign up for an account). The app will offer other exclusive deals at participating restaurants.


It's really smart location based Mobile marketing. But, I do have a few questions for brand marketers to consider:

  • As  brand marketers, when you run an app in an online world, the world is your marketplace, how do I find my Pepsi "Pop Spots" in India? Your marketing promotions need to move beyond  borders!
  • How can Mobile Apps become device neutral? That's when there is going to be mass adoption of such CPG marketing tactics.
  • In a country like India, WAP phones, Internet on Mobile, Smartphones usage is still a long way for adoption. The most adopted VAS is SMS!  How does one use LBM to such an environment is critical for mass reach & usage. We need to see growth of  Mobile Apps for emerging mobile markets like India.