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The new marketing frontier: Geo customer insights

For the past few decades, retailers have been collecting data in order to offer better and more personalised service. However, the information that they have been leveraging has rarely benefitted from the additional insights offered by location-based data.

The majority of consumer insights that companies use to influence their marketing and advertising decisions currently come from customers’ buying habits online or in stores, surveys, and observing buyers’ journeys first-hand. Unfortunately, by targeting consumers using this information alone retailers are limiting their options.

Consumer insights gathered this way come from patterns expressed from no more than 30 minutes of a customer’s day, which translates to targeting one’s customers based on a 2.08% understanding of their total behavioural patterns expressed during a 24-hour period. With worldwide advertising spend expected to reach $600 billion this year, it’s worth it to make sure the money spent on advertisements and marketing campaigns is based on more than a 2.08% understanding of one’s consumer.

Every brand wants an improved understanding of its customers. From brick-and-mortar businesses to online-only brands, insight into an audience’s real-world location and behaviour patterns leads to a more nuanced understanding of their demographics, behaviours, preferences and mindsets. These location-based insights fuel a host of marketing benefits as well as inform all-around better business decision-making.

The value of location-based insights

Location data can be found in many places – social media, archived purchase orders, and mobile devices to name a few. Modern consumers expect personalisation, and while most customer segments are often based on demographic attributes and historical behaviour patterns, geographic data is especially useful for businesses looking to engage more closely with their customers.

Location-based insights can be especially valuable for building customer segments, enabling strategies to be more flexible, helpful, quick, and responsive, by providing the knowledge needed to target the right customers with the right information at the right time. From offline attribution to geo-targeting, location data can help companies understand the bigger picture of the customer journey.

As an example, imagine a chocolate brand that wants to stand out from competitors with provocative messaging crafted to appeal to a particular audience mindset. Using location data, the brand segments its audience based on where they buy chocolate and treats, creating groups such as “retail chain shopper”, “grocery store shopper” and “convenience store shopper”. Then it tailors messaging for each segment.

The chocolate brand could then also discover that a high percentage of convenience store shoppers visited a movie theatre soon after their store visit. Using this location-based insight, it can design new, movie-themed product packaging to appeal to these customers.

As this example illustrates, location data creates better customer understanding, which delivers measurable business results. To identify how location data can be most effective to a business, it’s important to understand the location experiences that are most valuable to the consumer – and, by extension, to the company. A visit to a convenience store, for example, doesn’t have the same significance to a consumer as a visit to a wine-tasting festival. Location intelligence provides a toolset that companies can use to fill in the gaps of a consumer’s profile – where valuable location-based experiences are the missing pieces.

Targeting, marketing, and business growth

Brands across channels—from retail to direct-to-consumer—can apply location-based insights to improve customer understanding and, in turn, unlock myriad benefits. For marketers, it has sometimes been difficult to understand the benefits of location data. Especially while trying to get around the technical side of how it works. In the beginning, many companies had inaccurate data sets, but the science behind geointelligence has advanced greatly.

In addition to building more detailed customer segments, geointelligent customer insights allow marketers to created targeted campaigns. Real-time insights allow targeting to occur in the moment, especially on mobile. With the ability to target audiences when they are either geographically close or in the right moment, location can be very effective in driving footfall or driving brand engagement. Marketers can also use location data to ensure that their real-time targeting is effective.

In our hyper-connected digital world, an omnichannel approach helps brands bridge the gap between online and offline consumer behaviour. However, driving an effective multi-touchpoint strategy has its unique challenges – and strategies are only as effective as what we know about our customers. With geointelligence offering a wealth of information, companies can create more strategic and personalised targeting for their products and services, allowing for more efficient ad targeting and budget allocation for marketers.

Location-driven data is tearing up the rulebook in a number of different industries, providing a much better and more accurate understanding of how customers behave. Leveraging these insights, which are based on cold hard evidence, companies can ensure more effective marketing and better business growth.

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