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article imageInterview: Data with a location component is increasing in value Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 29, 2018 in Business
Modern marketers rely on data to better understand consumers and leverage insights, and as beacons, smartphones and connected devices become more prevalent. This means data with a location component is increasing in value. Santiago Giraldo explains more.
The company CARTO has outlined the key ways that marketers can leverage insights provided by location intelligence to enhance campaign outcomes. This includes determining where and with whom marketing advancements should be made, plus identifying consumer patterns through data visualization to inform future decisions. CARTO is a locations analytics company.
To understand more CARTO’s Santiago Giraldo provides a deeper into some of the untapped benefits location data can bring to to business marketers.
Digital Journal: How important is it for modern marketers to understand consumers?
Santiago Giraldo: The avalanche of data powered by the connected consumer has far-reaching implications on marketers. The clearest evidence of this is that (according to a number of different studies), digital advertising spend has grown dramatically in recent years, while overall advertising spend has remained flat. This is because increasing granularity afforded by digital segmentation makes advertising much more cost effective.
A marketer will spend more money for less impressions if those impressions are highly targeted toward their buyers. This is all reliant on data that was not available or aggregatable 10 years ago. If marketers don’t take advantage of this new information, and mis-target potential buyers, they run the risk of damaging relationships and losing business to other companies taking care to truly understand customer preference.
DJ: How important is location data becoming for marketers?
Giraldo: Location data is the newest dimension for marketers and it’s critical for two primary reasons. First, consumers expect advertising that is at least location-aware, and not ignorant of someone’s current or typical location. To put this into context, a consumer who lives and works in one area in Seattle wants information and offers relevant to their neighborhood, not parts of town where they are unlikely to visit, for example.
Geo-centric ads that miss the mark or aren’t targeted enough create negative brand equity. Second, it’s a competitive advantage for marketers who know how best to leverage the location data for better segmentation and/or tailored messages. The location-data-laggards can easily be left behind.
DJ: How is location data best gathered?
Giraldo: Location data can and should be gathered across as many channels and devices as possible - almost all data has a location element to it these days. Mobile devices transmit via GPS, and while the information is anonymized, the aggregation of this anonymous data creates great value for many use cases. Apps tied to personal information tie transactions together with personal profiles and preferences and location history. Sensorized devices - from bikeshares to un-glamorous trash bins - all collect and transmit valuable data. Chances are most organizations already have location data, they just need to apply it to the right use cases for their business.
DJ: Which technologies are best for predictive analysis and data visualization?
Giraldo: Any technology that combines spatial data with iterative analysis, without the need for highly specialized training. This means standalone software applications, but also embedded location intelligence into apps and websites that people may not even realize they are doing predictive analysis. In order to make the most of location intelligence, more people and departments need access to location data and tools to analyze it.
That’s why our goal at CARTO is to help anyone - from a spatial data scientist, to a business analyst, to an everyday citizen - to analyze spatial data, optimize business activities, and better predict future outcomes.
DJ: How can studying data visualization help companies?
Giraldo: The most progressive marketers are using data visualization together with their location data to optimize business process, infer the hidden drivers of performance, and predict future outcomes. Visualization is a natural complement, and there are many use cases across industries, from better site selection, to risk assessment, sales territory management, and a wide range of property investment optimizations.
DJ: How can predictive analysis be used in location-based marketing campaigns?
Giraldo: Geo-Marketing uses predictive analysis and spatial data to get better results from marketing campaigns. In some cases, this means better targeting of consumers by understanding which characteristics (including location-centric characteristics) make for the best potential customers. For example, knowing that customers who buy certain combinations of products at specific stores are the most likely to respond to a time-sensitive promotion can help improve the return on the campaign.
Marketers can also draw insights about consumer behavior to better plan where to place physical advertising. This might mean learning where clusters of people commute or pass from one highly profitable location into an under-monetized location, and prioritizing out-of-home ad spend in that specific area.
DJ: How can a campaign be judged a success?
Giraldo: For many companies, success looks like new customer acquisition; for established companies, though, campaigns are measured in retention/stickiness, upsell, or add-on product purchases.
DJ: How can privacy concerns be best addressed?
Giraldo: Pending regulations, such as GDPR, are a big step in the right direction. While many companies use anonymous or pseudonymous data to deliver analyses, this story is leading people to look more closely at how, when and why personal data is harnessed for business interests to begin with, and mandating that companies follow a standard process for how they collect and handle personal data.
However, while regulations create transparency and safeguards for individuals, they do not prevent bad actors from looking for ways to exploit data. As a society we all need to follow best practices, but we also need data collectors, such as the social networks, to be more vigilant at identifying and thwarting these groups bad actors.
DJ: How will marketing strategies evolve over the next few years?
Giraldo: The use of location data to improve marketing campaigns will become mainstream. In some industries, it is already happening, but in many mainstream industries, the location-first entries will disrupt sectors. The biggest evolution for many marketers will be combining the right 3rd-party data streams with their own data about customers to paint a more complete picture of the consumer. This might mean transaction data from payment or credit card companies, or foot traffic data, real-time consumer sentiment, traffic data, and more.
More about Data, geolocation, Location, Analytics
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