How Small Businesses Can Use Location Data to Fuel Decisions

How Small Businesses Can Use Location Data to Fuel Decisions

Providing SMBs with the tools they need to maximize local marketing initiatives

A recent survey conducted by RIS News and IHL Group found that 58% of retailers in North America were planning on investing in proximity or location-based marketing in 2019.* This is an interesting statistic considering the use of location technology in the past has been largely limited to big brands with large budgets and agency partnerships. 

However, the recent emergence of more cost-effective solutions has prompted rising curiosity from small businesses, such as mom and pop shops, who are also interested in reaping the various benefits this technology has to offer. 

Location technology is a powerful solution that can provide SMBs with highly accurate and valuable insights into their customers’ interests and behaviors, which they can then leverage to fuel the data-driven decision-making process. Furthermore, businesses can use it in conjunction with traditional localized marketing tactics to create a more impactful experience with multiple touchpoints that truly resonate with their audiences.

Using location data for predictive analysis

Location data fuels the predictive analysis process and can substantially improve decision-making. Small businesses can leverage the insights gleaned from location data for important decisions, such as when and where to open a brick-and-mortar store location. Perhaps you’ll find a particular area is rich with your customer/target demographic’s presence, and a local competitor has recently closed (or opened) a store in this same vicinity. This can provide a valuable opportunity and advantage, allowing you to proactively take measures to open your own retail location in the area.

Improving in-store experiences

Small businesses can use the information gained from location data to make better decisions around the in-store experience. With the help of location data, local retailers can map customer journeys and time spent inside the store. This information can help improve layout and enhance the consumer experience through customer service.

Getting more out of your billboard

Small businesses can also leverage location data to maximize their OOH marketing campaigns. This is because localized marketing and location intelligence/targeting work very well together.

With the help of location technology, local retail shops can discover the types of audiences who are being exposed to their OOH ads, learn who converts to a physical location, as well as find and expand audience targeting to consumers across multiple devices.

Local insights drive business intelligence

How far does the average shopper travel to your store? Where do the people near your business live and work? Do they come to your neighborhood or spend their money elsewhere? Highly precise location data can provide you with not just the answers to these questions, but also solutions to your problems. 

For example, serving ads to people who live nearby but don’t shop in your store may be a great way to convert them into more loyal customers by reminding them about the convenience of your location.  Additionally, focusing on people who already spend time around the corner from you is a great way to tap into additional audiences.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the type of the creative and call-to-action is crucial. Fortunately, location-based marketing allows businesses to adopt a granular approach to their strategy. For instance, you could target shoppers with creative ad units with tap-to-map functionality that also integrates turn-by-turn directions to your local store. The possibilities are endless, but the level of precision and accuracy that the technology can facilitate is very dependent on the source of the location data

Maximizing direct mail campaigns

Small businesses can also maximize the effectiveness of their direct mail campaigns with the help of location technology. Location data provides valuable insight into the interests, behaviors, and purchase intentions of your target audience, which can influence and impact decision making regarding when, where, and how to implement creatives.

For example, you could decide to target direct mail recipients and serve them with interactive and engaging digital experiences before, during, and after they receive your direct mailer. Studies have shown that merging these two tactics is highly effective. Research by Merkle found that companies who used one or more digital media in conjunction with direct mail experienced a 118% lift in response rate from their marketing campaigns**.

Furthermore, creating multiple touchpoints along the customer journey increases the likelihood of conversion. With the help of a cost-effective location technology solution, small businesses are better positioned to create a more impactful presence, generate high-quality leads, and convert these leads into long-term, paying customers. 

Local and location go hand in hand

Location-based marketing is quickly becoming essential to businesses for several reasons. For one, data-driven decision making is becoming a standard for businesses looking to remain effective in the modern climate. Furthermore, today’s consumers are unique. They now expect and need immersive, highly targeted, personalized experiences across multiple channels to truly feel a brand’s presence. Location can be used in conjunction with other traditional tactics as a way to facilitate this. 

Location technology also provides businesses with the measurement tactics necessary to understand the effectiveness of their advertising to ensure they’re achieving ROI on their media spend. Gone are the days of “last click” measurement. With location technology, local retailers can move past this outdated approach and adopt conversion-based metrics, which can help them stay current in today’s digital-first business environment.

Access to valuable insights, actionable metrics, transparent reporting, as well as an affordable and scalable solution allow businesses to identify where they can make improvements and new investments to power awareness, consideration, and drive important decision-making. Location intelligence isn’t just for the big guys – it’s for everyone.

*Retailers are Interested in, but Wary of, Location-Based Marketing. eMarketer. April 11, 2019. 
*30 Direct Mail Statistics You Can Use Right Now. Compu-Mail. 2017. Original Source – Merkle.

Liz Weinsten

Director of Marketing at Gimbal
Liz Weinsten

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