6 Key Location-Based Data Sources Marketers Need to Consider

By Robin Cronan, 14th July 2015

Mobile devices and location-based technologies are increasing in production volumes, adoption rates and usage. Very soon planet Earth will be home to more smartphone devices than people. Most of us check our smartphones first thing in the morning and last thing at night. These devices are becoming an ever increasingly integral part of our daily lives.

What this means for marketers is that there is an abundance of rich data to access and analyse. It provides opportunities for more specific segmentation and targeting and opens up new avenues to reach those refined audience selections. Marketers are able to exploit radical new payment systems and devise new and innovative tactical plans to meet the changing nature of how people search, research and shop through their mobile devices.

With so much new location-based data available for marketers to analyse it is sometimes difficult to know where to start. Here are some key location-based data sources to consider.

1) UNSTRUCTURED DATA

Unstructured data is growing at a rate of 100:1 vs. structured data. For those unfamiliar with the difference between structured and unstructured data, unstructured data is much harder to analyse and interpret because it is made up of things like text, photos, videos etc. Whereas structured data includes items you can easily categorise and group into columns and rows of a database.

Due to its nature, unstructured data is both amazing and terrifying at the same time. It is amazing because it is so rich and specific and anyone who can analyse and interpret that in a meaningful way will be able to work wonders with their results. However, the prospect of undertaking such complex analysis can overwhelm analysts.

Despite the enormous challenges of gathering and analysing unstructured data, it should not be ignored. Work with it and find a solution that meets your needs.

2) GEO-AWARE APP DATA

1 in 8 adult smartphone owners use a geo-social service to check in to certain locations or share their location with friends, family and colleagues.

Geo-aware apps are on the increase and provide a wealth of data about how people are engaging with certain types of media or communications campaigns, and where they are when they do it.

Tapping into this will enable you to deliver timely messages to customers or prospects specifically targeted at them, their location and the activity they are engaged in.

3) MOBILE AD ENGAGEMENT DATA

Many big retail brands have seen a 20% increase in conversions for campaigns that included location data.

Content is important, but so is context. Adopt location data into your campaigns to frame your content in a meaningful context and you will drive greater conversion rates and return on investment.

4) PHOTOGRAPHIC DATA

It is estimated that over 65% of all photos posted on the internet have a location tagged to them. Locked inside these images are valuable insights for marketing opportunities.

It is a huge challenge to extract this information for analysis, but technologies similar to face-recognition can be tailored to perform a lot of the heavy lifting.

Pulling out the data you require and splicing this with the users location gives you an extremely rich source of location-based data.

5) LOCATION-BASED ADVERTISING

Today 69% of Google searches include a specific location. This means that your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts can provide you with a source of location-based data that can be used to further refine SEO and PPC tactics.

However, this data can also be used to shape broader marketing strategies and other tactical plans.

6) OMNI-CHANNEL MARKETING DATA

40% of shoppers consult three or more channels (often while shopping) before making a purchase. This same stat was less than 10% in 2002. And 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.

Gathering and analysing this data, and linking it to purchases and monetary conversions, will enable you to build up a picture of the customer journey. This can help you identify opportunities to improve the customer journey experience and increase sales across multiple marketing channels.

Of course, getting to grips with all this data and exploiting all these sources is a complex and challenging affair. If you would like to speak to someone about your business challenges you contact us today.

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