10 May / Geocaching: An Out-of-the-Box Strategy for Local Businesses?
While geocaching used to be a simple hobby of gathering coordinates, heading into the wilderness and finding a treasure, it has now become a new marketing strategy.
Geocaching is a new idea in the past few years that has caught like wildfire with populations all over the United States. While it’s antique in its “treasure hunt” style, this hobby uses high-tech devices to bring itself up to the present day. Geocaching involves a handheld GPS unit that participants use to plug in coordinates, in order to find a ‘cache.’ A cache can be a shoebox or any type of canister with a variety of trinkets inside, as well as a logbook for visitors. These various caches are placed all over the world and are typically located near historical locations or national landmarks.
While Geocaching is used for recreational purposes, it can also be used as a marketing tool. The benefits can draw visitors to a rural destination without having to spend a lot of money or time on research. A geocache is simply made by entering a location’s zip code then hiding it in the coordinates you’ve designated for it. Placing items with a local company’s logo into these caches has helped local businesses thrive.
Sounds difficult? If you own a smartphone, you’re halfway there! Smartphones are equipped with a GPS and with the new application called DreamWalk, you can participate in a geocaching competition with your friends. This new application has commercialized geocaching by giving the user access to a list of treasure hunts closest to them by simply opening up the program and entering their location. While anyone can visit a cache, sometimes a treasure may be only available to the first visitor while some can be collected over and over. Imagine visiting a cache and receiving a coupon for a free item or a discount at the advertised store! The competition and excitement over what you’ll find has infected many.
Using a GPS-enabled device and programs like DreamWalk to advertise can quickly create brand awareness and a new type of interest in a product or service. While there are many ways to advertise, geocaching is an out-of-the-box strategy and will only become more popular as time goes on.