Location Could Play Big In Holiday Season

Forrester recently reported that Americans will spend $95.5 billion in online shopping, and (based on social media comments) are growing dissatisfied with Black Friday while Cyber Monday gains popularity. The research firm predicts that mobile will drive much of the growth.

Savvy marketers will be looking to leverage mobile location data to drive in store visits and online conversions this holiday season, but how exactly does that work?

One approach, which UberMedia, a cross-screen mobile ad platform, takes is to combine location data with individual interests based on social media signals (who they follow, what they like, etc.) to build audiences for advertisers. UberMedia owns several social media apps and uses their own 1st party data to build audiences.

CMO Michael Hayes says that location data can tell advertisers when consumers are at a physical location, and that social signals can help to tell whether they match the audience profile for a certain product.

But all of this requires clean location data.

Duncan McCall, CEO of PlaceIQ, a location firm, says that between 40% and 60% of the location data that marketers receive is either misreported or fraudulent, and that many location firms treat inaccurate data as a marketing problem, rather than cleaning up the stack.

PlaceIQ layers observed consumer behavior and movement data on top of a first dimensional base map of location data, ingesting somewhere north of 1 trillion data points to build profiles of audiences.

Hayes, speaking about companies like Johnson and Johnson, says that the top 50 advertisers sell things in the physical world, not online. The holiday season also produces the “blockbuster effect” where ¾ of revenue comes from 1% of the products. Marketers will have much to contend with to get noticed in the holiday season, and good location data will be one way to stand out.

Both Hayes and McCall agree that it’s early days for mobile location-based marketing, but both see a bright future.

“Location will be the next KPI,” Hayes says. “I mean, if you were BMW, would you rather measure someone looking at a photo gallery online or seeing the car in an actual store?”

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