How Many of These 7 Marketing Use Cases for Location-Based Data Are You Using?

How Many of These 7 Marketing Use Cases for Location-Based Data Are You Using?

By Daniel Shayman           


You don’t need to be a location-based business—such as a big-box retailer or a restaurant chain—to take advantage of the insights that location-based data can offer. Marketers in almost every industry can find ways to use it in order to be more strategic.

“With location data, we can understand psychographics or demographics on who saw our movie,” says a VP in the entertainment industry. “That helps us build out profiles. We also share data and strategies with theater chains on what people do before and after they go to the movies.”

One of the most valuable reasons to introduce location-based data into your marketing programs is that it can absolutely be co-mingled/layered on top of the data tactics that you are already using. Using interest-based or demographic-based insights? Now you can have interest-based by location segments or demographic-based by location segments. For example, if you are a home improvement chain targeting DIY consumers or men 40-50, wouldn’t it be better to have segments like DIY consumers within 1 mile of a store or men 40-50 who visit your store 3 or more times/week.

Marketers at location-based businesses already know the power of this dataset. You might be using it for audience targeting, measurement, or even keeping an eye on your competitors—which are all great use cases. However, location data is a critical piece of intelligence that can guide a company’s strategy beyond just the one or two use cases that you might be harnessing it for right now.

There are at least 7 strong marketing use cases that you could be using it to improve your marketing performance. Chances are that your current investment in location-based data is not being maximized if you’re not leveraging it across your marketing programs.

How many of these 7 location-based data use cases are you missing?

The benefits of location-based data for marketers are impressive. According to Factual’s Location-Based Marketing Report, almost 9 in 10 marketers said location-based advertising and marketing resulted in higher sales, followed by growth in their customer base (86%) and higher customer engagement (84%).

location data use cases

While more than 8 in 10 (84%) marketers currently use location data somewhere in their ad campaigns, most of them are generally only use it for a few use cases.

Which of the use cases below are you using? Which ones are you missing?

Location-based data use case #1: Better Understand and Engage Customers. Every marketer knows that the better they understand their customers, the better they can engage with them—which means the better chance they have at capturing their business.

There are so many interesting and insightful nuggets that can be learned by analyzing customer traffic patterns. Are the people coming to your locations also going to gyms more often or to the movies more often? Where do they stop to eat before visiting your retail store? Are they visiting my competitor’s location across the street more this month than last month?

It’s amazing the kinds of customer insights that can be uncovered through this data—insights that might lead you to make better data-driven decisions about the right channels to invest in, how big those investments should be, and what kinds of messaging to use for different segments of your customers.

Location-based data use case #2: Media Planning. Once you learn more about your customer and understand the behaviors of the different types of audiences visiting your locations, you can better plan your marketing mix. Knowing, for example, just how far they drive to get to you and what is a local segment’s average distance away from a location can certainly make a difference.

The AdAge blog post Using location-based insights to understand customers—online and off offers an example of how better out-of-home (OOH) [such as billboards] media can be planned:

“Location-based insights improve your decision-making about where to buy OOH impressions and what creative to run. You can also use it to learn about the people exposed to your OOH media or measure how likely your ad is to be seen by a particular audience segment. Retail, CPG, and auto can then connect OOH ad viewership to store visits and conversions by measuring foot traffic.”

Location-based data use case #3: Audience Targeting. Once you’ve planned your media with location-based insights, you can work with online and mobile publishers to target customers based on their real-time location and location history. Use it to reach people who have visited any location, be it your own brand, a competitor, or selecting by category within a specified timeframe.

In fact, 2 out of 3 (67%) report that they use location data for targeting—the top use case in the survey.

location data use cases

Location-based data use case #4: Message Personalization. Now that you have a solid media plan layered with location-based audience targeting, you can build messaging strategies by segment. Although many marketers segment by demographic breakouts, why not use location-based segments and match messaging accordingly.

Maybe people who are miles away from your store, may need some extra incentive (i.e. promotions, coupons, etc.) to get them to drive to you? Maybe you want to target customers who visit your competitors’ locations with ads that hammer home your market advantage over those individual rivals? Using location-based insights to build better and more relevant ad creative will move the needle better than just blasting out the same messages to everyone.

Location-based data use case #5: Measurement & Attribution. Learning the impact of which parts of your programs worked and which parts didn’t perform—is a crucial part of marketing. It’s the only way to improve things. With location-based data, you can build and monitor location-based segments and see how your local campaigns work to drive those audiences to your physical locations. You can also connect the dots with POS data to see if those visits drove higher sales for you. It’s great if your marketing programs can get foot traffic, but isn’t it better if you can actually see conversion data?

Location-based data use case #6: Marketing Optimization. Once you understand what is and isn’t working with your local marketing campaigns, you can boost the parts of your marketing that are working and prune away underperforming ads and channels. This goes hand-in-hand with measurement, but it should absolutely be called out as an important use case for location-based data.

Location-based data use case #7: Competitor Intelligence. See how all of your segments compare to your local competition—which segments are visiting their locations more or less often than yours. Today, there just aren’t many net-new customers. Success really means winning away customers from your competitors and retaining your existing customers.

The benefits of using location-based data

A recent white paper from Foursquare and Advertising Perceptions, Location Data in a Marketing Lifecycle, surveyed marketers to better understand their sentiment with regards to questions that the dataset can be used to answer.

location data use cases

With location-based data, marketers can:

  • Gain a better understanding of their customers
  • Plan media based on location-based insights
  • Target ads via location-based audience segments
  • Measure what program elements are and aren’t working to drive customer visitation
  • Optimize media based on location-based measurement metrics
  • Build competitive intel on who is visiting their locations
  • Use it for strategic market research, such as where to build the next store

Which of these location-based data use cases are you missing out on?

If any, then why?

Are you getting the most out of your location-based data investment?

Remember, location-based data can be layered on top of your current data strategies. This means you can introduce it to your marketing programs without worry about your current infrastructure. If you already have a really great data practice, adding location-based segmentation will just improve it.

So, there isn’t really any reason not to maximize your existing investment with location-based data and squeeze out as many use cases as possible.

And, of course, the key to unlocking all of these transformative use cases is through segmentation. The very best segmentation is never the off-the-rack segments offered by some vendors. You need your own segmentation to match your unique business and marketing strategy.

simMachines not only processes your raw location-based data but has AI-driven predictive segmentation which uncovers the most meaningful audience clusters for you to focus your programs. Most importantly, with our proprietary explainable AI, your team will understand the elements that went into each segment build so that they can craft the very best media plan and messaging strategy for each audience type.

Reach out to us today to learn how you can take advantage of all of the use cases from your locaiton data investment.

AI Enabled Customer Segmentation Will Transform Marketing