Location-based marketing is spreading beyond smartphones

Discussion
Photo: @tongchai via Twenty20
Jul 09, 2019
Tom Ryan

Marketers are increasingly leveraging location data in four emerging channels: connected speakers, digital out-of-home, advanced TV and automotive, according to a survey from Factual, a location-data firm.

According to the survey of 536 marketers:

  • Forty-nine percent of marketers currently use location data for advanced TV (CTV, OTT, addressable TV) with the percentage rising to 50 percent in the next 12 months;
  • Forty-seven percent currently use location data for digital out-of-home and half plan to use it in the next year;
  • Forty-five percent currently use it for voice-connected speakers, and that number may rise as 53 percent say they are planning to use it;
  • Twenty-eight percent use it in automotive and 36 plan to do so in the next 12 months.

Mobile is the main channel currently seeing use of location data (81 percent) and many emerging channels also utilize mobile devices.

In a report last year on the expansion of digital out-of-home advertising, James McDonald, data editor, WARC, observed: “The combined power of digital out of home and mobile location data can be used to add greater targeting capabilities to a broadcast medium, serving programmatically-traded creative by the hour to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.” 

Source: Factual 2019 Location Based Market Report

Voice assistants offer the potential to not only locate nearby stores selling an item but stock levels and whether related promotions are available on the item.

The Factual survey found 89 percent of marketers seeing increased sales from their use of location data. Primary uses include targeting, audience engagement, campaign strategy, audience insights and segmentation.

Local-based marketing has faced privacy scrutiny, with critics calling out marketers for not using data anonymously.

A poll from The Manifest last October, however, found 57 percent of U.S. smartphone users comfortable with apps tracking their location, largely for “convenience.”

In June, Google made it easier for users to automatically delete their location data while noting that many consumers recognize that tracking location as well as web and app history maximizes the Google experience, including offering personalized recommendations for restaurants or helping browsers pick up where they left off on a previous search. 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which of the emerging marketing channels cited in the article — advanced TV, automotive, connected speakers or digital out-of-home — have the most to gain from the use of location data? Are consumers getting more or less comfortable with the use of location data?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"The day Alexa starts randomly offering products or services I might want to buy is the day she gets unplugged."
"I think there’s a better question to ask, which is: what consumer experiences can be enhanced with any of these technologies?"
"Give me the tools when I ask, but don’t push them at me when I am likely in the middle of doing something else, like driving..."

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13 Comments on "Location-based marketing is spreading beyond smartphones"


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Joel Rubinson
BrainTrust

In general consumers are getting more attuned to privacy protection and their ability to opt out. It is featured in the browsers and soon Chrome (market leader) will make opt outs for cookies easy. However, smartphones are less susceptible. For example, apps use ad IDs. Also, note that location data is not only used for ad serving, it is used for conversion data (e.g. advertise Burger King — did more people actually visit a Burger King?). For conversion data, only mobile is relevant. For advertising placement, I’d say second to mobile would be Digital Out Of Home (DOOH).

Art Suriano
BrainTrust

A mobile phone can tell anyone everything about its user. So there are considerable benefits to location tracking. However, we also run risks. Too much of anything isn’t a good idea and more and more users are deleting what was the “best app” to have after becoming bored with it or finding something else. They are turning off notifications because of the hassle of getting too many. So marketers using location data have got to be sensitive to the user and learn how and when to reach out with a notification, ad, or email. I would expect to see mobile users taking more control of how and when they want marketers to reach out to them. Add today’s over-the-top annoying robocalls, and I see the day when every caller and every marketer will have to pass a screen before the mobile user accepts them. Too much of anything always has consequences.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Tracking consumers is certainly a benefit for marketers looking to increase targeting capabilities, and I’m sure it’s beneficial for shoppers in some situations. But for me? Not so much.

I don’t need nor want to be tracked by companies offering deals. It’s creepy. You have to be vigilant these days, keeping track of which apps know your location and have access to photos and other personal information on your phone. I also wonder how many consumers really understand how some apps invade their privacy. The day Alexa starts randomly offering products or services I might want to buy is the day she gets unplugged.

Michael La Kier
BrainTrust

Increasingly consumers are paying more attention to their data footprint and their “data rights.” They’re waking up to the realization that it’s a valuable resource. This means they’re starting to ask more questions about how it’s collected, who has access to it, and how it’s used. Inevitably and unsurprisingly, governments are not only starting to pay more attention but acting on what they perceive to be industry issues and abuses.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

I’m on the “less” side of this discussion – I think we’ll see fewer benefits (unless you like ads) and more intrusiveness and more hacks that will make us all more cautious.

Bob Andersen
Guest

Consumers may be more willing to allow Google to know their location as they better understand the related benefits and these luxuries become necessities. E.g. I can ask my smart speaker what time a store opens and it provides the time for the nearest location. GPS can help me find the quickest route. While at the store, I may get a ping with a special promotional offer. The tradeoff is privacy vs. the benefits. It’s a personal choice, but it’s looks like it may tilt toward the benefits.

Sterling Hawkins
BrainTrust

I think there’s a better question to ask, which is: what consumer experiences can be enhanced with any of these technologies? Approaching our business from a “technology first” standpoint is a mistake. Technology is not the end goal. It is only there to support/enhance great consumer experiences.

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

I’m on your team on this one. We are getting inundated with location pop-ups that do nothing for us. Not a store that I shop nor an item I am looking for. Give me the tools when I ask, but don’t push them at me when I am likely in the middle of doing something else, like driving, maybe. For my 2 cents.

David Naumann
BrainTrust
David Naumann
Vice President, Retail Marketing, enVista
14 days 5 hours ago

Automotive and connected speakers are prime “vehicles” for location-based advertising and promotions. With automobile geolocation data, retailers and restaurants can offer special promotions when consumers are in close proximity.

The key will be to avoid annoying consumers. There is a fine balance between influence and intrusion. While consumers are becoming more willing to opt in to location data from trusted brands, when it becomes obtrusive they will quickly change their preferences. The offers must add value or convenience or they will be ignored or, in the worst-case scenario, deteriorate brand perception.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

All channels are good depending on the product or service the company is selling the consumer. The bigger issue is privacy. The consumer should be comfortable with the concept of location data and how it is used. Give consumers a choice to opt in or out. Make the marketing messages so relevant they want to opt in and stay in. (In full disclosure, I’m one of the people who wouldn’t mind if “they” put a chip in my neck.)

Mark Heckman
BrainTrust

As the article expresses, mobile and digital out-of-home are the most prevalent venues for location-based communications and are the essence of connecting to the shopper at the appropriate time to increase the chance of closing the sale.

For example, if the retailer knows that a high percentage of its shoppers make the decision to buy on their way from work, mobile messaging, timed correctly and delivered to the customer in transit makes sense for both buyer and seller. If the retailer communicates information that is relevant to the buyer, there is value.

In terms of privacy, many who sign up for shopping apps, have the implicit expectation that they will receive targeted messaging via mobile or out of home technology that will add value and/or hasten the purchase process. The key has always been to be totally transparent about the intention to track the shopper, providing the benefits of that tracking, and offer an easy opt-out.

Ralph Jacobson
BrainTrust

Based upon the survey that found 89 percent of marketers are seeing increased sales from their use of location data, I’d say any and all channels have much to gain. And, as it becomes more ubiquitous, shoppers are getting more comfortable with its usage.

Kenneth Leung
BrainTrust

Automotive is probably where I see location based service to be the most relevant. By definition it is a moving target and the driver is constantly scanning for information. I use Waze and even though I have never clicked on the ads that pop up when the car is stopped, I have use voice searches to locate categories such as gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets. That is where the area of location-based advertising and context would help. I don’t necessarily want the closest location that requires backtracking from my route, adding info and promotion during searches I think makes the best value proposition for the advertiser and consumer.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"The day Alexa starts randomly offering products or services I might want to buy is the day she gets unplugged."
"I think there’s a better question to ask, which is: what consumer experiences can be enhanced with any of these technologies?"
"Give me the tools when I ask, but don’t push them at me when I am likely in the middle of doing something else, like driving..."

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