In the coming 12 months and beyond location based marketing is going to completely revolutionise the way marketers target and analyse consumer behaviours. It's that much of a big deal.Location BasedLocation based essentially means marketing, sales or advertising opportunities that are related to a specific place. As you can imagine this can cover an incredibly broad spectrum of applications. From checking in on Foursquare for an instantaneous retail discount, to location-based mobile advertising (Google’s Mobile AdWords) or requesting the nearest business or service, such as an ATM or restaurant, the possibilities are endless.This is all possible due to the smartphone, with Australian ownership levels having already reached 68% and forecast to hit 92% by 2017. Through location services and the inbuilt GPS these devices provide the ability for the consumer to be tracked wherever they go. Beyond being able to check in to your favourite restaurant and post a picture of your dinner on Instagram, the reality is location based marketing has only really scratched the surface of its potential.Location Based AnalyticsThe next step in the development of location based marketing, as it is with any new tool to reach consumers, is analytics. The challenge in the analytics community is to connect consumers across different data sets in order to have a fuller picture of their behaviour, movements and purchasing habits. An example of this integrated data analysis being used in marketing would be if you connected to an airport wifi, and you receiving a promoted post on Facebook which advertised a discount for the Fly Away Bookstore which you were sitting directly opposite.This is kind of a win-win situation for marketers and consumers. Brands will be able to target consumers more precisely, get a higher conversion rate and increase brand awareness amongst those who matter most. And for consumers it is a step closer to fully contextual advertising and marketing so they are more likely to see content that is of interest.PrivacyA major hurdle for marketers in matching consumers across data sets, and in using location based marketing at all for that matter, is privacy. While the control still remains for the most part in the hands of the user in terms of switching their location services or GPS on and off, there will be inevitably be ongoing concerns about the sheer amount of information that can be gathered by organisations about an individual.The developments that have been made over the past few years in location based marketing through social media are merely the tip of the iceberg. The technology now allows contextual targeting of advertising and marketing messages like never before and it is exciting to see where the most creative brands and minds will apply it going forward.