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article imageQ&A: How location intelligence is empowering businesses Special

By Tim Sandle     Apr 14, 2019 in Business
With the advanced analytics market expected to witness sustainable growth over 2022, more businesses are leveraging location technology as the key differentiator in improving customer experience, driving revenue and increasing operational efficiency.
According to Ran Ben-Yair, CEO and Co-Founder at Ubimo (a location intelligence platform), location technology is empowering businesses to connect digital data to the physical world.
Ben-Yair is an ex-Google product manager and he co-founded the first Israeli start-up acquired by Google. His latest venture Ubimo works with a number of industry leaders, including Clear Channel Outdoor and ZOOM Media, is quickly growing (raised more than $10M in capital) and has some exciting announcements coming down the pike.
To understand how location analytics is bridging the gap between digital and real-world behaviour, how marketers can increase campaign success by concentrating on high frequency shoppers, and how localized insights mean a better return on investment, Digital Journal spoke with Ran Ben-Yair.
Digital Journal: What are the main technology trends in retail?
Ran Ben-Yair: I think one of the most fascinating trends happening in retail is the convergence of the digital and the physical worlds.
This can be seen, for example, in the transformation of physical stores led mainly by the demands of Generation Z, who increasingly prefer shopping in-store versus online. Although eCommerce has been on the rise for 25 years and we have seen many brands close stores these past few years, this generation of digital natives likes to shop in-store. They want to touch, feel, and experience products before making a purchase.
They’re looking for more than just products when they shop — they’re looking for a fully realized shopping experience. Growing up in a digital world, they expect a shopper journey that is immersive and customized to their preference, but they want a third element as well — physical interaction. It’s this connection between the digital and physical that is reshaping retail, and other industries as well.
DJ: What can retail do with location intelligence?
Ben-Yair: Location intelligence is the connecting tissue between the digital and the physical world. It’s the technology that allows you to understand the physical world using digital data. The potential here is endless, but one of the most exciting use cases for me is the ability to connect the physical element to the digital media mix planning. This includes everything from planning and audience targeting to media activation online, out-of-home, and in-store to measurement of engagement and visitation. It allows for a true, end-to-end omni-channel experience.
DJ: How important is location intelligence becoming for retail?
Ben-Yair: In earlier years, the importance was around real-time context for location. Companies used it for moment-based targeting or trigger-based activation, for example, if they wanted to reach an audience specifically while they were at the gym.
However, we have since expanded the potential and capabilities, and today location intelligence allows retailers to get a deeper understanding of behaviors by combining digital data with real-world data. The panel of data we are seeing is close to 50 million active devices. This allows retailers to do much more in terms of understanding behaviors while looking at panel-based solutions that apply to different goals.
Location intelligence is shifting retail’s focus from the digital advertising realm on an immediate level, to the strategic business intelligence realm on a long-term level.
DJ: What else can retailers do with location data?
Ben-Yair: Just looking at location data is not enough. The real value comes when businesses are able to connect their first-party data to other data sets, when grouped together, can offer another level of business intelligence that can shed new light on their audiences, and a new perspective on the end-to-end customer journey.
For us, our main driver is turning data into actionable insights about behaviors and patterns. Many companies have access to a lot of data, so the questions transform from “How much scale?” and “What’s your reach?” to “How can location intelligence solve this specific challenge for my business?”
DJ: Are there any security concerns?
Ben-Yair: Ubimo’s location intelligence is based on aggregated panels. We believe that to truly understand trends and patterns, you need to look at a robust data set of hundreds or thousands of signals, because that will provide you the business intelligence that can drive the business forward. Our data is anonymous, and we don’t have any personal information on the panels we analyze.
DJ: How do consumers feel about this type of technology?
Ben-Yair: More and more, consumers are demanding better digital and physical experiences that connect them with brands. This is clearly evident in Gen Z, as I mentioned before, whose mentality of combining the reality of in-store experiences with the convenience of online shopping is driving a new era of brick-and-mortar shopping.
In order to meet these expectations and thrive, brands and retailers will have to embrace a new set of marketing tools and tactics, and location intelligence is becoming a core component. Retailers who are able to offer these curated experiences while maintaining high privacy standards will see consumers embracing this. It’s all about how much the customer’s voice is being heard, how their needs are being met, and the overall value they get.
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