Today, there are many ways to get better location data from potential shoppers. Mobility really drives home that value proposition by following a user from place to place, allowing them to connect with your message and your message to connect with them. Having the location – and using it intelligently – are two very different things however. 2012 is the year where the massive amount of location data that is available at scale will begin to meet up with the correct ways of making that location data a usable asset for marketers.
From the consumer standpoint, they will be able to use the sharing of their location as a currency of sorts, trading “here I am” or “here I will be” for things like points, discounts, exclusive offers, and information.
The real opportunity is not just in pushing offers and ads but in delivering a better experience across the entire engagement. Making service, ordering, replenishment, sharing, and upselling and cross selling opportunities mean more.
Other applications, like maximizing perishable inventory and finding better audiences via their location, are making huge differences for businesses that previously didn’t had such levers to pull.
There are barriers to adoption, however. A great example is getting access to reliable location data to leverage, and being able to tie that to additional information to create truly amazing experiences and subsequent amazing conversions. Mobile carriers have incredible access to a subscriber’s location information and it’s virtually free to them. They have simply not decided what to do with this data, how to use it, or how it could be an asset to their subscribers and potential marketing partners. They have dipped their toes into some partnerships that allow them to see some benefits of monetization, but are still not doing much at scale.
Another issue that remains is the ability to use that location-based data for cross-channel messaging. Many retailers are far from a unified data environment – one that allows actionable, automated decision-making based on multiple factors (location being one of them). If they are close to having a unified dataset, they’re likely working with vendors in the execution space that have built their channel-specific solutions in ways that make integration of advanced elements a daunting, unreliable, or impossible task without significant patching, which creates long-term scalability issues.
Bottom line: If you’re ready to jump into the geo-location pool, make sure you choose a partner that can provide strategic assistance as well as the multichannel technology that supports the right experience at the right moment. Your partner should also support the rich, dynamic content for those experiences and also have a profile-centric data environment that gives you the power to use real-time data together with profile attributes to create a great, targeted mobile experience.