Location Data Informs More Than Just Cross-Channel Marketing – It Will Redefine The User Experience

Last week I had the pleasure of being a member of a panel at the Oracle Modern Marketing Experience 2017 event in Las Vegas.  The session ran on Wednesday as part of Oracle’s CMO Summit and fellow panelists included individuals from Accenture, Oracle, and Clorox.  To tell you the truth, it was a tough day given how ill I felt and, no, it wasn’t from partying hard in Vegas. However, the session’s topic – “It’s A Channel-Changing World” was a right up my alley given my experience, so I rallied.

Challenges Facing Marketers Today

The session started touting some of the opportunities and challenges facing marketers.  First –  research shows cross-channel shoppers are more valuable – 30% higher lifetime value.  However, marketers are still struggling to orchestrate cross-channel marketing activities and data remains one of the biggest challenges given the fact that data is so often spread across so many channels.  

But what was so glaring to me was the fact that nothing was mentioned about offline data and its increasing role and impact!  The fact is 92% of all retail transactions are still offline, yet we as marketers have no data or insights on the customer’s journey or path to purchase in the real world.  And more importantly, these physical real-world behaviors can not only inform our orchestration efforts but create distinct and differentiated experiences. 

While it’s true bidstream location providers have been around for 7+ years, their ability to collect location on a user has been restricted to a single point in time with little to no context.  In fact, it hasn’t been until recently that technology which allows persistent location tracking and context (i.e. dwell time) has been combined with scale. This provides marketers with not only signals that matter but essentially give them the keys to the castle in unlocking new and exciting differentiator experiences.  “How so?” the moderator asked.

How Location Data Can Unlock Opportunities

Well for me, location is the signal into the hearts and minds of your consumers.  Yes – location can be in its most basic format used for attribution, confirming a user visited a location after seeing an ad.  But for serious marketers, looking to better understand the entire consumer journey, persistent location unlocks multiple opportunities, including optimization opportunities across all marketing channels, insights into important partnerships, services and value-add, and even niche opportunities, to create truly unique and powerful user and brand experiences.

Let me be specific. Take a hospitality company who has the ability to track its rewards app members’ movements. The knowledge collected from the user’s movements could include the entire journey of that rewards member, from the second they leave the house to the moment they enter into the hotel — including visits to competitors’ hotels.  This can include visit data about airport and airline preferences, transportation/rent-a-car preferences, on and off property visit data including restaurants, sporting events, fitness services, art/cultural event attendance and more.

If analyzed correctly, this data can yield incredibly powerful insights that can fundamentally not only change messaging but revolutionize or create a new and distinct user experience. Here’s how:

New and Powerful User Segments and Insights

Analyzing the frequency of visits to your brand and competitors’ brands can uncover and determine new user segments for cross-channel marketing, including the ability to better identify high value/loyal customers or at-risk reward members based on their actual offline behaviors.

Optimized Cross-Channel Marketing

Understanding off-property behaviors such as fitness center visits, restaurant selections/visits, museum or sporting event visits and more allow the hospitality company to not only customize other digital assets to perform better – for example highlighting the content that better resonates with an individual — but promote and adapt its on-property amenities accordingly.

This could include opening new dining choices based on the data collected from off-property visits, expanding the fitness center, or dialing up the concierge services around particular events, venues.  The data collected can not only inform these changes but prioritize them to improve the overall guest experience.

Strategic Partnerships and Services

By better understanding the customer journey, hospitality brands can strike relevant partnerships to enhance and improve their own rewards programs, including co-marketing and points-based bonuses with airlines, rent-a-car companies and local attractions.

Site Selection and Brand Development

Understanding member movements and behaviors based on their specific activities can uncover new and exciting opportunities and potentially unlock new brands and experiences.  Think of a hospitality brand who has identified a younger, hipper, club-going segment across a dozen or so cities in the U.S.  It’s not inconceivable that the data could not only help with site selection but unleash a whole new brand and experience for this segment of users.

Take Marriott’s relatively new “The Edition” hotels.  A partnership in conjunction with Ian Schrager, each Edition includes a club on a property and the cool, hip services you would expect from an Ian Schrager hotel.  These luxury boutique hotels located in London, NY, Miami Beach, Sanya and Abu Dhab may be just one example of how a hospitality company could potentially use offline data to inform everything from the site selections to the amenities/services, to the partnerships, marketing and branding.

The power of offline data is just being realized by marketers across all vertical markets and functions.  It’s also why Cuebiq recently launched a visit intelligence offering that allows marketers to gain a better understanding of the users visiting their locations as well as their competitors’ locations.  We believe by giving marketers the ability to visualize this data and incorporate it into their own tech stacks, they will be better positioned to leverage this data to do many of the things highlighted above.

If you’d like more information on Cuebiq’s visit intelligence offering click here.

Michael Della Penna

Chief Revenue & Growth Officer, Cuebiq