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How marketers can reach new audiences with location data
Gil Larsen
Gil Larsen
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lsa2019

The average adult spent three hours and 35 minutes a day on their mobile device in 2018, and those numbers won’t be dropping this year. That time is spent shopping, texting, catching up on news, and catching up with friends, among other diversions. And every minute of that time represents an opportunity for a marketer to engage intelligently and meaningfully with a prospective customer.

Gen Z is the first generation that’s even close to ‘mobile native,’ as many of these young people have had smartphones since they were 12 years old. And while most adults spend over three hours a day on their mobiles, teens spend three hours a day or more just watching video on their mobiles! Marketers should be aware that these teens are 10-20 percent more likely to make purchases online than older generations, and they represent $44 billion in spending power – so they’ve become the latest target for many brands. In comparison, the coveted Millennial audience spends as much or more time on their mobiles, and will have buying power of nearly $1.5 trillion by 2020.

So, how can marketers reach and engage these mobile consumers? It’s not easy, so marketers have to think creatively and put their data to work for them. Consumers have more product options than ever – and more ways than ever to buy those products. That gives them an unprecedented level of power and control. How can brands rise above the noise to win and keep future and current customers across the generations?

Reaching across the generations with location data

Location data is a critical tool for marketers to have in their arsenals. In addition to leveraging real-time location data, using it as a proxy for behavior is a powerful way to learn more about customers. By understanding where they go and when, marketers can create relevant, useful messaging that resonates, no matter who the customer or what their age.

Gen Z customers, despite their young age, actually do make purchases. While Google reports that they prefer bigger, trusted brand names, they also have a taste for things that are cool and unique. That means there are opportunities for smaller brands to make their mark. These younger Americans spend the lion’s share of their mobile hours on video (unlimited data plans, anyone?) but also text, use social networks and game a lot. That means that if your Tropical Smoothie Café runs targeted video ads to users of the Starbucks app, those 17 year-olds may just choose a custom smoothie over a Frappucino on their next mall outing. Similarly, a Gen Z teen spotted at a Fossil store could be persuaded to buy a one-of-a-kind watch at an online retailer if shown just the right ad on Instagram at just the right time.

Personalization is a great strategy to engage Millennial mobile users. Understanding when customers visit your store, where they’re coming from, and why they come back can deliver incredibly valuable insights. Based on what marketers learn, messages can be tailored to shoppers about how your store, product or service can impact their commute, their family dinners, their “me” time, or whatever problem your brand solves. One billboard company took this to an entirely new level by selecting a billboard near a runway at LAX. With perfectly timed messages, they invited passengers on longer flights to a book a workout online for a high-end gym near the airport to help them sweat through their jetlag.

Next-level data insights

Of course, strategies like these can be used to engage customers from any generation, particularly as our appetite for digital grows. And, as more consumers adopt digital, more data becomes available for marketers to derive important insights. These insights can not only be applied to marketing campaigns and audience targeting, but also for broader business intelligence that can have major impacts on the bottom line.

A Russian grocer recently expanded its footprint by 50 stores per week, selecting its new sites based on insights pulled from location data. The company looks at the number people near a proposed site, as well as nearby competitor stores, among other factors. By heatmapping the key data points, they’re able to tell whether a location will be successful (and even project revenue), whether they can obtain a liquor license for that store, even what the optimal layout for the store should be. Their results have been incredibly accurate, and the business is on track to achieve their goal of opening 2500 successful stores this year. As a principal of the business noted, “It’s important that we can believe in the result of our revenue forecasts for new sites. We have seen accuracy of 90-95 percent from this forecast.”

As our access to and usage of data grows and matures, we’ll find many more ways to safely apply location data to benefit businesses. Blis is 100 percent committed to providing the highest quality location data and using it responsibly to deliver positive business outcomes.

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Gil Larsen

Gil Larsen

VP, Americas | Blis Gil is an Advertising sales / business development executive with 20 years of experience in building strategic media and marketing partnerships with brands. He is responsible for engineering a successful go-to-market strategy and driving Blis’ ad sales revenue in the U.S.