One thing modern marketers aren’t short of is user data. All the efforts over the past few years to encourage users to hand over their user data – just in time for GDPR to potentially upend those advantages – have paid dividends. It’s been true for a few years now that accurate user data is effectively just table stakes for any marketer worth their salt, and media companies have been espousing the value of their first-party data even more vehemently since issues of fraud have become table talk.
But for marketers in particular, there has been much investment in data and less in a framework that can tie all their data points together in an actionable way. It’s been very possible to use reams of user data to target them with offers and ads in their email inboxes, and even to prevent them from taking actions like cancelling subscriptions, but in terms of actually using it to boost the effectiveness of digital marketing, there’s always been one step missing.
Now it’s looking increasingly like location intelligence data, paired with real-time information about everything from traffic and weather and combined with that existing user data, might be used to deliver on the promise of mobile advertising.
To begin with, it’s important to note that location data has been used successfully for years to improve customer experience in-stores, in transit, and in event spaces. Only this year TFL undertook a scheme to track passengers on the London Underground using its Wi-Fi beacons (despite the technical problems that presents due to the age of the tunnels) and, on July 8, formally announced that the scheme will be more widely rolled out. In addition to learning some fascinating stats about how people choose to get from station to station, the Financial Times’ Martin Coulter points out that such data could allow TFL to price advertising based on area of heaviest footfall, which potentially has huge commercial implications for the organisation.