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BizReport : Advertising archives : July 27, 2015

Brands: Why you need to improve on location

In real estate experts tell us, "location, location, location". One expert says a similar mantra - one of location data - could be used with online marketing. Brands need to up their location game, says one expert, if they want to win at customer engagement.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What does location data tell us about consumer behavior?

Drew Breuning, Vice President of Strategy, PlaceIQ: One interesting application [for location data] is building rules-based audiences that vary by market. For example, we worked with a large retail brand to correlate the frequency of shoppers using location-based data. We were able to view how far away an individual lives to the brand's store, compared to how far away they lived from a competitor's store in order to determine customer loyalty. We found that the distance was completely varied from town to town, which allowed us to create rules unique to specific locations that drilled down to a single audience. This insight helped the brand better target consumers based on patterns identified in that specific location.

Kristina: What can location data tell us about the purchase funnel/customer journey?

Drew: What makes location data different is that it's a true means of understanding consumer behavior. It's not just a mechanism, it's a language used to describe and define what the consumer journey looks like. By observing the movements of millions of individuals who opt-in to share their location data to gain insight into where they live, shop, work and eat, we've created a new language that defines the consumer journey, which is critical to serving today's connected customer. With this data, brands have the information they need to message to consumers in their language and measure their tactics in order to tailor each initiative based on its response/success. With this visibility into the "bigger picture" brands can provide customers with the personalized, seamless experiences that they demand. (+ROI of being able to measure how advertising is affecting the journey)

Kristina: How can brands better use location to engage shoppers?

It's now time for marketers to usher in an entirely new way to analyze these mountains of data and map whole communities, drawing intelligence from similarities amongst individuals to make assumptions that result in more targeted marketing and advertising. No one lives in a vacuum so understanding the interactions between people and how it affects them is a really critical piece of the puzzle. When you start to have this granularity and nuance, that's when the real conversations will begin. For example, if you know your neighbor shops at Target, are you more likely to shop there? If you drive past the same six stores everyday what is the variance for you to veer off from these stores and how do the people in your life affect that? Mapping to this community effect is the next step for brands to engage with consumers.

Kristina: How can brands better engage this kind of community?

Drew: There are brand marketers and representatives at different levels and they are the experts in these types of communities, which is all qualitative. For example, a liquor brand representative in Atlanta should understand the entire Atlanta liquor market, including going into all of the bars, observing what's on tap, distributing "swag," organizing local events, sponsoring local sports teams, and all of these very high-touch local interactions is important data to collect. However, is this knowledge distributed to the executives who are making important company decisions to influence strategy? More often than not, the answer is no, which is a huge miss for brands. All of these local market nuances are huge opportunities to create more efficiency, however the challenge is taking all of these nuances and creating a single way of understanding them so that brands don't drown in the data. This is why partnering with a data expert becomes important. With new population data readily available, brands can work with experts to understand the community in quantitative terms. Now, brands can create regional data models that include community data that are just as efficient as those used for national campaigns.

More from Drew and PlaceIQ later this week, including his top 3 tips to engage a strong location data strategy.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, ecommerce, location data, location targeting, PlaceIQ

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