By Puja Pannum
Let’s face it, you can’t truly get to know your audience based on the content they read. Imagine someone reads a football article, for instance. Based on this information, it would be understandable if a brand thought that this person might want to buy some football boots, when in actual fact they have never played a game of football in their life.
This is the problem with online content data – it reveals a thing or two, but doesn’t give you the full picture.
Location data maps the real lives of your audience
In today’s world, much deeper insights into customer habits and interests are being revealed like never before by location data. Of course, location data isn’t just about knowing the real-time whereabouts of your potential customers. It is a data set that measures offline behaviour. So, the real value of location data is in understanding where, and therefore how consumers spend their time. It’s real life intelligence.
Equipped with this enriched knowledge of consumers’ lives, your brand can build a genuinely accurate picture of who your audience is and what they do. This will enable you to target the right ads at the right time to people who can really benefit from your products, increasing the effectiveness of targeted advertising.
What location data adds to the picture
It’s time to part ways with basic audience profiles like “all men who read about fashion.” You can avoid these by taking advantage of the gold mine of information provided by location data platforms, which can help you paint a much more detailed picture of your audience.
Today, this information can even reveal how your audience might be feeling. Think about it – if you know whether someone is on their way to a restaurant or commuting to work on the tube[metro], this will tell you what mood they are likely to be in. The depth of this insight is going to inform you as a brand whether the ad you’re planning to target is the right ad for this person at that particular time.
But don’t get hung up on the short-term, because the value of location data stretches beyond the here and now. By following the breadcrumb trail of location data, you can understand the types of places people have visited in the past. Using this knowledge, you will be in a much stronger position to predict where people are likely to go tomorrow night, on a Saturday or on their lunch break, giving you valuable information to use when targeting ads. For example, the person who played five-aside football on Wednesday is likely to play again next week, meaning they are far more likely to need some new football boots than the person who just watches football in their local shisha café.
How consumers can benefit from location-based marketing
What this shows is that location data helps brands as much as it helps consumers, whom are used to being bombarded with annoying ads that advertise irrelevant products. However, consumers can look forward to a life free of ad-related irritation if brands start using location data to improve targeted advertising.
Imagine I have just walked into a shopping mall to do some window shopping. Suddenly, I receive ads from stores located within the mall. As a window shopper, I haven’t anything specific in mind, so these ads are going to really improve my experience by showing me what’s available in this particular mall. Or if I’ve just woken up on a Saturday and can’t think of what to do, brands can offer me deals on whatever is happening within 3 miles of where I live, whether it’s a brunch for 400 Dhs ($110) or a trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa.
This is the level of convenience that brands can offer to consumers, and achieving this will go a long way towards building a stronger relationship with your audience. But without location data, none of this is possible.
Puja Pannum is the Managing Director of the Middle East office at Blis. Blis is a global martech leader that helps agencies and brands use location data.
Opinions expressed in this piece belongs to the author.