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Using geolocation to enhance mobile marketing
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Geolocation can help us target consumers based on where they go physically, combined with where they go online, says Puja Pannum.

What’s the best way for a brand to get to know its customers?

Facebook profiles may reveal a thing or two. Knowing their age, gender and profession will also help. But in order to get a truly holistic picture of their customers, brands need to take a look at where they go.

Today, sophisticated location data is revealing insights into customer habits and interests like never before. But geo-location – the process of identifying customers’ locations – doesn’t just mean pinpointing their real-time whereabouts; it also means understanding where – and therefore how – they spend their lives. These new insights are empowering brands to target the right audience with the right ad at the right time.

Data analytics has provided marketers with a treasure trove of information to optimise audience targeting. Until now, this targeting has mostly been based on online browsing histories and basic personal information. But with the ability to collect detailed location data, technology is enabling brands to deliver ads to audience segments more specific than ‘young female professionals’ or ‘all men who’ve searched for furniture online’.

In fact, location data can equip marketers with real-time insights into what customers are doing and how they might be feeling. Knowing whether someone is working in the office or walking to the grocery store is valuable knowledge for marketers; it can mean the difference between interrupting a business presentation with an inappropriate video ad, or sending a practical grocery store coupon to a customer’s mobile phone.

But location targeting relies on more than just real-time location data. Long-term, historical data can be leveraged for highly effective marketing as well. After all, the spaces we inhabit – the neighbourhoods, stores, and streets where we spend our lives – reveal a lot about what we value and enjoy. An advertisement about a new gallery opening would be perfect for a woman who shows her interest in art by visiting museums each weekend.

Combined with basic personal information and browsing histories, location data provides the missing link for hyper-targeted advertising. Here are four ways geo-location can be leveraged to improve a brand’s targeting strategies:

1. Reach the right people

On a basic level, using location to deliver ads to the right people means making sure a Dubai-based retailer isn’t delivering ads indiscriminately to individuals in Europe.

But location data can also help brands segment their audiences further. A high-end retailer that has saturated its market of affluent locals, for instance, can use location data to target professionals in town for business by delivering ads to those staying at the local five-star hotel.

2. Target previously hidden audiences

Targeting audiences based on gender or search history has proven to be effective. A fitness brand, for instance, can use this information to target men who frequently look at fitness clothes and sports equipment online.

But what about the individuals that may be sporty, but don’t browse fitness products online?

Location data can provide access to this invisible market by identifying the sporty types based on where they go, whether it’s the gym, a yoga studio or the local tennis courts.

3. Catch consumers in the right place …

Location data can also help brands target consumers in real time, with ads that make sense for individuals based on where they are in a given moment.

Let’s say an affluent woman who has recently been browsing convertibles online comes within 500 metres of a car dealership. A car brand can send an ad to the woman’s phone, offering a 30 per cent deposit contribution when she comes into the store to book a test drive. Using location data in this way is likely to both increase footfall and sales.

4. … at the right time

Just because a brand has figured out someone’s location, it doesn’t mean any ad will do. Location data can also be used to inform which format would work best.

An individual whose online history shows he’s in the market for a new car probably wouldn’t want to watch a three-minute video ad just because he’s walking by the local car dealership. A simple banner ad might work better in that situation.

But storing that individual’s location data from earlier in the day can help the advertiser later: while the man is leisurely using his laptop at home over wi-fi, a video ad about taking a test-drive at the local dealership would go over well.

Brands have a lot of choice when it comes to targeting audiences. While basic personal information and purchase histories remain important, marketers cannot overlook what is quickly becoming one of the most insightful indicators of an individual’s interests and desires: where they go.

Today, marketing strategies have to see consumers for what they really are: online personas that navigate the web and real-life beings that traverse the physical world. That means leveraging real-time and historical location data to deliver ads tailored to who the person is, where they are and where they’ve been.

Because when it comes to consumer marketing, location targeting is where we’re going.

Puja Pannum is managing director of Blis MENA

To see the original article on Campaign Middle East click here.

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3 Ways Retailers Can Use Mobile for Effective One-to-one...

Today, mobile devices are like mini retail stores we carry around in our pockets: places where consumers can browse merchandise or place orders almost instantly.

But mobile devices also give consumers something they can’t get in stores: personalized marketing. Collecting data like shopping histories and browsing patterns, mmobile devices provide retailers with detailed insight into individual consumers and a means of communicating with them directly.

How can retailers use mobile insights and capabilities to craft effective, one-to-one messaging?

1. Get personal.

Today, consumers want—and expect—ads to speak directly to them. In fact, 74% of customers feel frustrated when their online experiences aren’t personalized.

The easiest way for retailers to personalize content is by harnessing their first-party data. If a customer purchases a dress online, the brand can use what they know about her (her fashion interests, browsing history and email address) to customize subsequent content. For example, the brand can serve an ad via email that suggests a pair of shoes to go along with the new dress.

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Let’s say a CPG brand wants to reach out to a previous customer who hasn’t been seen in store lately. The marketers can use their knowledge of the consumer’s daily commute to deliver the ad just before he leaves work, suggesting he stop by on his way home. They may even offer him a discount on the product he previously purchased.

2. Market to individuals, not devices.

Once retailer marketers have identified their ideal audiences on mobile, they shouldn’t see phones as the only means of communication. Consumers own an average of 3.6 connected devices, so retailers should communicate with consumers across the devices they use, including tablets, laptops, desktops and addressable TV.

However, if a retailer sees a user reading political news on the tablet all day but watching cartoons in the evening, it might not be the same same person. With families and partners sharing devices at home, marketers need to make sure they are constructing nuanced consumer profiles across devices in order to reach out to individuals, not just devices.

3. Don’t be creepy.

Personalized, cross-device marketing is on the rise in part because consumers are increasingly willing to disclose their data to retailers. After all, purchase histories and location data are essential for useful or interesting ads.

But how retailers use that data is key. Consumers want to feel understood, but they don’t want to feel like ads are invasive or drawing on data that’s simply too personal and private. Marketers need to make sure they aren’t crossing any personal boundaries or making consumers feel uncomfortable.

If marketers want to turn heads or, more importantly, turn consumers into buyers, they’ll need to do more than blast out generic ads to the masses. When retailers personalize ads with these three tips, they’ll see huge improvements in campaign performance.

But how, exactly, do they measure these improvements? Find out next week when we assess the best metrics for retailers.

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This applies to retailer struggles today as marketing executives need to decide what they should measure and how. Do they care about impressions, views or click-through rates? And once they figure that out, how can they make sure their ad dollars are really working? The Partnership predicts that ad fraud will cost brands over $16 billion this year alone, while Infectious Media suggests that over half of all digital ads aren’t seen at all.

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With the explicit goal of bringing visitors into physical store locations, CPV is a metric for retailers wanting to increase foot traffic—and pay only for successful conversions. While there are many ways to boost in-store visits, today’s leading location data solutions use predictive location modeling. With Blis Futures, we choose to charge on a CPV-basis because we are completely confident in this approach.

2) Greater In-store Sales

Driving consumers into brick-and-mortar locations may also encourage consumers to buy more than they anticipated. It gives retailers the opportunity to upsell consumers so they need to make sure they clearly advertise their promotional pricing, point-of-purchase displays and loyalty programs. Once you have a potential customer in the store, you can push tailored messaging in real-time and create personalized promotions. As anyone that has ever been into a Target retail location can attest – you may go in for one specific item but end up unable to leave the store for less than $100! So only paying when a consumer sees an ad and then visits a physical location reaps multiples rewards for a marketer.

3) Branding Opportunities

When retailers buy ads on a cost-per-visit basis, they don’t pay if the consumer sees the ad but doesn’t come into the store. That means the retailer also benefits from ad views and branding. In fact, a consumer may see the ad and make a purchase online rather than in-store, but the marketer still pays nothing for that conversion. At Blis, we are willing to take that risk and allow marketers “free” branding messages. Our confidence in the technology behind our CPV metric allows us to think of marketers first.

4) Risk-free Investing

CPV transfers the risk from buyer to partner, so retailers don’t have to worry about wasted ad spend: They’re making a completely risk-free investment. With free branding and zero downside, retailers have nothing to lose.

When Blis became one of the first tech partners to offer the CPV model earlier this year, we sent a critical message to both retailers and the wider industry: We’re ushering in a new era of transparency and accountability in advertising.

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You’re on your way to work when you pass a billboard featuring Nike’s newest running shoe. That reminds you: you just signed up for a half marathon, so you’ll need some new gear. You start googling top-of-the-line running shoes on your phone. You forget about the race until days later when looking at Facebook on your laptop, and there they are: the same shoes that caught your eye. Still, you won’t purchase them until you try them on. So what a pleasant surprise when, on your walk home, a banner ad appears across your phone: “You’re 3 minutes from a Nike store,” it says. Why not stop by?

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These questions reflect the challenges every marketer is currently facing when it comes to attribution. Today, a typical path to purchase is no longer a straight line to the point of sale. It looks more like a latticework of ads both online and offline, on our devices or in our neighborhoods.

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So once brands have uncovered all these clues into what’s driving conversions and how, what do they do with it all?

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Brands don’t strive for accurate attribution just for the sake of it. They want to know what’s causing conversions so they can do more of it—and cut out what might not be working at all.

An energy drink brand, for example, can use data about foot traffic and sales to make sure the next iteration of their campaign performs even better. Let’s say the brand discovers that people are 50 percent more likely to go into a store that stocks the energy drink when they receive an ad within 200 feet of the retailer. Rather than targeting everyone within 500 feet of the retailer, the brand can eliminate waste by just reaching out to those within a much smaller radius.

What if advertisers discover that no matter what distance, more people seem to be purchasing the energy drink from Walgreens than CVS? Perhaps next time, they can put a greater share of their ad budget into targeting those near Walgreens.

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