Location based data: So much more than just GPS.

Location based data and technology spells megabucks for those companies best equipped to utilise the technology to their own advantage, as it opens up endless sales and marketing opportunities based on a customer’s location at any one time. In fact, location based technology results in such precise targeting that Litmus reported a huge 68% open rate for location-targeted messaging in comparison to a 22% open rate for their general email.

Each industry will find different opportunities for utilising this technology, so let’s see what it has to offer the marketing, retail, travel and financial industries.

Marketing

If a customer is browsing online for a specific item, for example a new dishwasher, geolocation technology can indicate if they are near a shop stocking that item. Savvy marketers and advertising agencies could then offer that shop the opportunity to send the customer a targeted ad, enticing the customer into the store as soon as they walk within a specific radius of the store. It seems, therefore, that data based on customer location could give rise to a new type of real-time bidding within advertising and marketing agencies. The ability of geo-technology to collect unprecedented amounts of data about customers which can then be used to sell products via tailored rewards, discounts and perks

It seems, therefore, that data based on customer location could give rise to a new type of real-time bidding within advertising and marketing agencies. The ability of geo-technology to collect unprecedented amounts of data about customers which can then be used to sell products via tailored rewards, discounts and perks has catapulted it to the forefront of mobile technology.

Retail

Beacon technology is already being successfully implemented by the retail industry, which we’ve covered in depth in a recent blog. According to Cisco, 47% of us want to receive vouchers on our mobile device when in or near a retail store, which can be used to a retailer’s advantage, provided they remember the importance of allowing customers to opt-in to this type of triggered messaging.

It’s not all a walk-in-the-park for retailers though, as contacting 500 people from your database who live within a certain radius of your shop and sending them an offer for discounted dog food in store (when only half of them might own a dog) is lazy and unlikely to reap the type of rewards one might hope for. Geolocation based data and technology is therefore only valuable when combined with detailed information on purchasing habits and preferences, and utilised by companies who have segmented lists that can deliver relevant offers to the right set of customers.

Geolocation based data and technology is therefore only valuable when combined with detailed information on purchasing habits and preferences, and utilised by companies who have segmented lists that can deliver relevant offers to the right set of customers.

Travel

Taxi apps such as Uber and Hailo utilise geolocation as a fundamental aspect of their business structure, where users press a button on their smartphone, identifying their geographic location and sending a signal to nearby taxis who then come to the customer. Other geolocation apps such as Foursquare are popular as they provide customers with restaurant or venue reviews and recommendations in the area local to the user.

Unfortunately, the travel industry does have to do battle with the costs of data roaming charges which are often a major deterrent to users accessing apps or sharing their location-based data abroad. Instead, the travel industry are currently utilising geo-location technology in a historical sense, using search history and customer preferences to generate data on destinations users have visited previously, or restaurants and hotels they visited whilst there, and generating targeted products based on past behaviour.

Finance

The banking industry have struggled to identify how to make the most of geolocation technology, but there is an exciting role this technology could play in preventing fraud.

Frameworks such as Google Gears are able to determine the physical location of a person or computer performing a transaction, allowing banks to ascertain if unusual requests are being performed. Other potential uses for the banking industry allow the creation of “restricted access regions”, which would mean banking operations could only be performed within approved geographic zones, helping to avoid cases of phishing, fraud and money laundering.

In an age where cyber-security remains of utmost importance, this innovative method of utilising geolocation technology provides an extra degree of security to the 9.6 million of us who use mobile banking apps every day.

A final thought…

It’s clear that geolocation could play a crucial role in a range of industries, and with over 770 million GPS-enabled devices, geolocation data and technology can revolutionise the way in which we communicate and access our customers. Perhaps the old marketing mantra needs to be revised. Nowadays, it needs to be “deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, in the right place!”

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