How online and offline location data give your business a competitive advantage
Location data has been a part of the marketer’s toolbox for many years. It’s enabled companies to offer a brand new customer experience, catered to each individual person based on their actions and habits.
It’s become so entrenched in the way business works that consumers are disappointed when data isn’t serving to enhance their experience. A study found that 60% of them believe it’s important for brands to create relevant and timely content, and 42% are annoyed when content doesn’t relate to their situation.
Location data is creating opportunities for brands to learn about their customers on a whole new level. It goes beyond just where customers traveled during a certain period of time. When combined with offline information, location data can reveal routines, shopping habits, preferences, and a host of other useful information.
In the U.S., mobile location-targeted ads are expected to reach $38 billion by 2022. A vast majority of marketers testify that location-based marketing increases sales, customer bases, and customer engagement.
This data isn’t going anywhere and is only becoming more robust and useful with time. Companies can use it to learn about their customers, create more engaging advertisements, attract customers away from competitors, and track sales.
Let’s take a look at the potential of location data and how you can leverage it to benefit your business.
Types of location data
There are various types of location data that gather different information to accomplish different goals. These methods aren’t foolproof, of course. They all require users to share their location data with an app or have Bluetooth enabled.
Geotargeting attempts to reach someone based on their location. This is often done through IP addresses rather than GPS, which may not be as timely or relevant to users. Many companies use geo-targeting to reach a wide area such as a city or state. This information is often combined with data including demographics and behaviors to make marketing efforts more enticing.
Geofencing determines a person’s real-time location within a defined space using Bluetooth, longitude and latitude, radio frequency, and other methods. Companies can establish a geofence so users receive ads when they enter a specified area.
Geoconquesting serves ads to users visiting competitor locations. This is usually done by setting up a geofence around a competitor so that when users enter the business, they’ll receive an offer or incentive to leave and go somewhere else.
Beacons are hyperfocused location hotspots designed for use in a store or tight space. Using Bluetooth, beacons ping users’ phones to see exactly where they’re walking in real-time. They can then serve users with messages and ads to guide them through the desired store experience.
Benefits of location data
There are plenty of methods for gathering location data, but how do companies use it to their benefit and the benefit of their customers?
Location data can offer businesses tremendous insight into their customers and leads. The easiest information to analyze is that from the people who actually visit the business. Combining their location with their demographics, buying habits, and preferences can give businesses a more robust picture of their customer base and what can motivate them to buy.
Location data can tell companies more than what customers are doing in their business at a certain time. It can also paint a general picture of their past and future movements. What are their routines? When are they more likely to be in certain locations? Organizations can use this information to create campaigns that feel more personal to the end-user and have a greater chance of converting.
Customer service has completely transformed in recent decades – so much so that it’s often referred to now as the “customer experience.” Customers are smart. They know they are giving their data to organizations for a reason, and they expect excellent service in return.
Customers expect businesses to anticipate their needs and provide them with solutions immediately. Location data gives companies the opportunity to engage customers in real-time. Geofencing and beacons allow companies to track customer movements down to the store level, serving up messages, deals, and solutions on the spot as customers are looking at certain products.
Marketers know how difficult it is to track the success of campaigns. Users may see four different ads for business, forget the company name, try to Google it, get distracted, hear a recommendation from a friend two months later, and then come into the store. Attributing sales to specific marketing efforts is not straightforward.
However, location data can help measure marketing success by looking at foot traffic and movement within the store. Linking offline behaviors to online efforts can help businesses build a data-driven strategy for future success.
Combining online and offline data
One of the reasons location data is often overlooked is because it’s looked at one-dimensionally by marketers. Combining online location information with offline customer behaviors can round out a company’s marketing strategy and give it a competitive advantage.
Creating lookalike audiences that resemble the current customer base but haven’t yet visited the business is one way to do that. It works to attract users similar in habits and preferences to current customers within a close enough proximity to actually stop by. It also gives insight into a competitor’s customer base that businesses can use to pull them away.
Consider these examples of combining online and offline location data:
- A snowstorm is coming next week that is expected to close down roads and businesses. Home improvement stores and grocery stores can target local residents with deals on emergency preparedness kits, bottled water, blankets, candles, generators, etc.
- A car dealer can use data about a consumer’s current vehicle ownership, along with data that shows they recently did a search for a new vehicle and geofencing data that shows they recently visited a car dealership, to reach a car buyer with a highly targeted ad at the very moment they are ready to buy a new car.
Location data is often underestimated, but it can be really powerful when combined with other metrics to form a more complete picture of the customer.
The BDEX advantage
BDEX can help your organization get the customer data it needs to succeed. BDEX is the first-ever Data Exchange Platform (DXP) that tracks customers in real-time across multiple platforms to provide the best data possible.
BDEX gathers impartial real-time data from its network of over 50 major data providers. This means businesses can market to customers the moment they start looking, providing answers at the same time customers are asking. The variety of sources gives businesses unique data that none of their competitors are using. Give customers what they want and connect with them in real-time, where they need you. Contact us today to learn more about the BDEX platform and how it can work for your business.