Understanding The Power of Geolocation in Marketing

The following is a guest contributed post by Antonio Tomarchio, CEO of Cuebiq.

Today, more and more app publishers are harnessing the power of location data. Location data alone is valuable, but when analyzing the location patterns of users overtime, app publishers are given real-world insights into geo-behavior, which pairs users’ consumer behaviors and trends with location. Geo-behavior benefits app publishers twofold. First, it allows them to increase users’ app engagement and extend their lifetime with the app. Second, it helps publishers to better serve their advertisers through more customized solutions like geo-targeting, location based campaign optimization and footfall attribution measurement.

How does it work? When analyzing anonymous users’ visitation patterns over time, publishers can identify trends and glean actionable insights into users’ offline behaviors like frequency of store visits, purchase patterns, how long they spend at a location and brand loyalty – marketers’ holy grail to create powerful and relevant connections with their target audiences.

Here are the top five insights publishers gain for their apps from analyzing their users’ geo-behavior:

  1. Make advertising relevant so that it does not negatively impact the in-app experience

Rather than bombarding users with irrelevant and obtrusive advertising, publishers can tap geo-behavior to let advertisers offer better targeted ads based on users’ consumer behavior. Since geo-behavior data allows you to understand your users’ interests, you can serve ads that match those interests, which ultimately improves the user experience instead of negatively disrupting it. Taking this concept a step further, publishers can also strategically promote personalized offers based on users’ offline behavior and visitation patterns. For example, consumers who spend more than five to 10 minutes at Dunkin Donuts every morning are more likely willing to receive an ad from them, giving the user a beneficial experience with your app.

  1. Leverage location data to derive valuable user analytics

Knowing where consumers spend their time can also help improve the app user experience. For example, let’s say you run the New York Times app and noticed several of your users have increasingly visited bookstores in the past month. This would be a good time to suggest book reviews of current New York Times’ Best Sellers. Similarly, if you saw that several of your users visit wine stores once a week you could suggest reviews of popular wineries closest to them, or offer recommended recipes to complement certain wines. Offering personalized content goes beyond the in-app experience and can bring you further CRM enrichment.

  1. Validate your advertising partners’ spend

By harnessing geo-behavior, publishers can up the ante on consumer targeting and audience insights, giving advertisers better ways to reach audiences on their path to purchase. By analyzing consumers’ geo-behavioral characteristics, purchase intent and visit patterns overtime, publishers can help advertisers create audience segments based on consumer behaviors, allowing them to better reach the right users at the right point in time to drive them to a store. For example, GasBuddy, a mobile app that helps consumers find, purchase and save money on gasoline, uses location data to gain insights into its consumers’ offline behavior such as frequency of station visits, fueling patterns, how long they spend at a location and brand loyalty. This information enables GasBuddy to deliver a more relevant user experience, and quantify the impact of GasBuddy advertising campaigns for its brand partners by proving the effectiveness of in-app campaigns through footfall attribution measurement.

  1. Understand users’ interests

By examining users’ footfall patterns over time, app publishers can get a real sense of users’ passions and interests. For example, if a consumer spends at least 90 minutes at a movie theater every week, that’s a good indicator that they’re a movie buff and thus likely to buy movie tickets. Geo-behavioral data can also help find what users prefer. For instance, if a consumer makes more visits to a Dunkin Donuts than a Starbucks each month, they’re most likely a regular Dunkin Donuts patron and would be open to receiving Dunkin Donuts promotions. If you understand what your users are passionate about and what they are not interested in, you can tailor your app experience for each user to drive engagement. This can go from serving customized content and notifications to fit the users’ interests.

  1. Prove advertisers that you are the right hub to reach their target audience

Since geo-behavioral data identifies offline interests and brand affinity, publishers can provide their advertising clients accurate compositions of their users, which brands they’re most loyal to by comparing foot traffic against competitors, and prove that their users are loyal to a certain category and/or brand. For example, say you’d like to attract Starbucks to advertise on your app. You can show the company insights like 70 percent of your app users are coffee lovers and 50 percent already go to Starbucks. Similarly, say that Burger King wants to target McDonald’s consumers, you can show that your app users are fast food lovers and mostly McDonald’s consumers, opening the door of opportunity for Burger King deliver their brand messages at scale to customers within your app.

Employing geo-behavioral data can take app performance to new heights. By bringing real-world insights into consumers’ behaviors and trends front and center, publishers can create better, personalized experiences for their end-users, and simultaneously give ad partners an accurate composition of their target audience.