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Benevolent Big Brother: 3 Geo-Marketing Innovations for 2014

by James Brayshaw | February 28, 2014 | No Comments

We all knew this was coming, but I didn’t think it would be so soon. Location Intelligence (LI) technology may know more about my place in space and time than even I do.

Is there a more evident example of this new frontier than Amazon’s plans to leverage its vast volume of customer data to execute “anticipatory shipping”? The internet retailer will soon be able to ship products to local fulfilment centres based on the collective buying history of people who live in the same neighbourhood. This will cut down on delivery times when the customer purchases the product.

And then as Andy Reid wrote about last month, there’s Apple’s plan to use its iBeacon technology to create an augmented retail experience for customers any time they enter a shop.

These advances aren’t just reserved for large companies. This year, LI tools will become available to more businesses as LI platforms become easier to use, from Promoted Tweets to real-time, mobile advertising.

Despite their clear value to customers, these developments may escalate privacy concerns among an already distrustful British consumer base. Only 55 percent of British internet users trust companies with their personal information. Two years ago, that figure was 63 percent.

So how can businesses use LI to convert negative perceptions of their data collection and application habits to deliver customers products and services that are better tailored to their needs?

1. Contextual Geo-Marketing

  • Geo-marketing will expand far beyond zip codes. Instead, we’ll see truly contextual geo-marketing campaigns that make use of social, mobile and local data.
  • Integrating this data allows businesses to target customers by purchase history, tailor campaigns for time of day or weather, along with consumer behaviour and sentiment.

2. Real-Time, Direct Social Interaction will be Possible

  • Organisations will be able to offer opt-in services for loyal customers who want a closer relationship with a brand. If a customer tweets that she’s looking for a good coffee shop in Piccadilly Circus and a shop has the right LI tools, the shop could contact her with a special, real-time offer.
  • This kind of innovation is already happening – McDonald’s UK increased sales by 4 percent by building an app that makes use of local-mobile data.

3. Marketing Campaigns that Pull, Instead of Push

  • The biggest change we’ll see this year is that geo-marketing will pull consumers in with relevant information, rather than push ads onto them via mobile.
  • By targeting consumers through a combination of social, mobile and location data, brands can deliver a personalised and unforgettable experience.

Starting with the Data

Thanks to trailblazers like Amazon and Apple, consumer expectations keep rising. To keep up, companies need to think about how to provide customers with a seamless, personalised experience between platforms.

This is the year that LI technology will become available to both small businesses and large enterprises. With easy-to-use, targeted advertising options from social networks, even an independent shop with four employees will be able to tap into the power of social, mobile and location data working together. If that shop has data on customer social network activity, all the better.

There’s real value in benevolent brands using LI to better the lives of consumers, despite the distrust some harbour toward companies that hold this data.

In 2014, there’s unprecedented potential when it comes to creating contextually relevant geo-marketing campaigns that pull, instead of push. It’s just going to be a matter of integrating the data and making use of it all.

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