US IAB launches location-based marketing playbook for retailers

To help retailers make the most of location data, the IAB Mobile Location Working Group in the US has put together a location-based marketing playbook. This new report provides guidelines and best practices ranging from how brands can use location data to improve marketing, boost their customer service and ultimately increase ROI.

Blis champions the content put forth, and as recent members of IAB US, we look forward to contributing to their content in the months to come. As a brief digest, we highlight a few of the key takeaways.

Driving home the fundamentals

The report emphasises the basic tenets of location-based marketing: Using past and present consumer data to provide predictive insights to understand consumers better, engage them with relevant, personalised messages and inform future campaign investment. When retailers use location data in this way, they’ll foster meaningful relationships with consumers and help move them further along their journey.

One powerful approach is proximity targeting: delivering messages to consumers based on their distance to a specific location, such as a store location or point of interest. To better understand this concept in action, try this case study on for size. We worked with Sony to increase consideration of Sony devices by targeting audiences seen in proximity to phone shops stocking Sony. We used retargeting to reach audiences once at home connected to Wi-Fi, where we could match up to four times the number of devices per household. As a result of the campaign, phone retailers carrying Sony devices saw a remarkable lift, averaging a 9.9% surge in in-store shoppers.

Get creative and improve attribution with beacons

Just last month, Blis integrated the world’s largest beacon network, merging our powerful location data with beacon technology to help brands improve targeting and attribution. The importance of beacon technology was emphasized in the playbook as application of this technology is key for retailers. How do retailers not just use data to target consumers, but to engage and connect with them? As a result, they’ll be rewarded with happy customers and greater campaign performance.

The IAB demonstrates that location data can also improve attribution. For example, retailers can use insights gained from beacons to analyze in-store visits and shopping patterns to better understand how mobile campaigns relate to sales. This is what we’re doing across the US in stores like CVS, Target, and Walgreens through our partnership with Unacast. Similarly, retailers can harness mobile location insights to track and analyze consumer behavior as they move in and out of stores. Brands can employ these insights to better engage consumers and improve the performance of their digital advertising campaigns. For instance, a retailer could analyze physical devices that pass OOH campaigns to find out how offline campaigns relate to in-store or online sales.

Word of warning

The IAB’s comprehensive guidelines extol the benefits of location-based mobile marketing to improve campaign performance, boost ROI, and fuel customer loyalty. But the latest industry report also urges caution for retailers looking to dive deeper into location-based marketing. Not all data providers are the same. They differ greatly in terms of reach, measurement metrics, and—most significantly—precision.

This is perhaps one of the most important things a retailer should consider when devising and launching their location-based advertising strategy. As we’ve previously discussed, data accuracy is the foundation of any successful location-powered ad campaign. Retailers will need to carefully evaluate their data providers to find the one that suits their needs best and is committed to accurate, high quality data. Blis has put accuracy at the forefront since the early 2000s. Not only does accuracy start with data gathering, but we also filter out imperfect or suspicious data to make sure we’re collecting and using the cleanest data possible. This now also includes data collection through beacons, thanks to our partnership with Unacast.

We believe the IAB’s latest report will help forge a positive path forward for the industry, providing brands, agencies, and tech partners alike with useful tips for seizing the benefits of location-based marketing. By following the IAB’s advice and using location data along the entire customer lifecycle, brands can make sure they are optimizing their campaigns and providing exceptional customer experiences.

For a full copy of the report, please click here.

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