Navigating the Future of Location-Based Mobile and Media

The following is a guest contributed post by Amy King, Director of Product Marketing at Valassis Digital.

Marketers have long seen the value of location intelligence and data as it helps them get a much deeper understanding of their consumers – how they live, work, shop and travel on a daily basis.  Location-based data gives them a front row seat into their consumers’ everyday lifestyle, giving brands a more accurate view of shopping preferences as well as the products and services they most desire.  As location data has improved, marketers are increasingly using it to target digital advertising, becoming even more effective and efficient with their media and marketing spending.

But marketers are still facing an obstacle to success as inaccurate data can compromise the considerable value and potential of location intelligence.  Some marketers are not aware they are working with faulty data as they sift through inaccurate and fragmented views of consumers.  Fortunately, new innovations have solved this problem and the future of location-based data looks very promising.

In 2018, we will see three important ways that location-based mobile and media will evolve and continue to improve over the next several years:

The accuracy of location data will improve

Marketers leveraging location data may have had some concerns about fraudulent or inaccurate data due to a variety of factors including weak cell phone tower signals, centroid applications, or false IP data.  Many marketing technology providers have not been transparent enough with where their location data comes from and what they do to ensure their data is accurate. As location data use increases, providers must work harder to filter out the bad signals. At Valassis Digital, for example, our data science teams build filters that remove over 40 percent of the 31 billion location data points we see each day to ensure that our clients see and respond to real location signals and can ignore the noise.

In 2018, we will see advanced location data providers continue to evolve to eliminate inaccurate data that prevents marketers from wasting location-targeted impressions on the wrong consumer.

More data sources will contribute to complete the view of consumer location

As brands increasingly view location behavior as vital to truly understanding the complete consumer journey, they will apply more observed real-world data.  To tightly connect the online and offline consumer journeys in a more meaningful way, they will apply location data when determining the right mix of online marketing strategies that will result in more real-world purchases.

By gathering, filtering and connecting more consumer online data with consumer location data – the union of people and place – brands will have a huge advantage as they personalize marketing strategies and offers to the behavior and buying preferences of their consumers.

Location data will enable even better personalization for improved results

Retailers and CPG brands will leverage location intelligence to better understand the relationship between their advertising efforts and the bottom-line impact of making a purchase.

Right now, we are collaborating with a major personal care manufacturer to use location data to find areas where consumers live near the desired retailer and over-indexed for purchasing the product category.  We will soon use the location data while the campaign is in flight to optimize toward consumers living near stores experiencing higher sales lift. And we plan to analyze both store-level sales and foot traffic lift after the campaign to better understand the real impact of the digital ads.

We know this will result in a more effective campaign with more efficient media spend because we recently did this with a major on-the-go rice brand.  After using location and consumer preference data to identify the consumers most likely to purchase in a specific geographic area, the brand realized a 6 percent featured product sales lift, over 4 percent portfolio sales lift and an extra $55,000 in total incremental sales in just two weeks.  We also helped their key national retail chain increase foot traffic by over 4 percent with a total of 64,709 incremental visitors.  The accurate data helped us identify consumers who were ready to buy because they were either past purchasers of pasta or frequent shoppers at the national retail chain or had previously expressed an interest in on-the-go meals, cooking and comfort food.

Moving forward, progressive brands and marketers will increasingly embrace the power of location-based mobile and media strategies to not only better understand and ultimately predict consumer behavior and shopping preferences, but also dramatically increase foot traffic and overall sales, both online and in-store.  Not only will this help them dramatically increase market share and strengthen their brand, it will also help them guarantee a far better shopping experience for their loyal consumers now and in the future.