There’s no denying location-based marketing is still a fairly nascent practice - according to Adobe’s February Digital Trends 2015 report, just 8% of retailers currently use location-based technologies, compared with 23% of telecoms providers, 18% of financial services, 18% of consumer goods suppliers and 10% of travel and hospitality providers.
However, in terms of location-specific advertising, new research from xAd reports that 80% of marketers are now using location targeting techniques for mobile advertising campaigns, including audience targeting, designed to reach a specific group of people.
This far surpasses the use of proximity targeting, trying to reach people at/or nearby specific businesses and points of interest. And the research states the figure proves marketers are “maturing in their understanding and usage of location, not just to reach people based on where they are, but also to understand a person’s intent and interests”.
“This research heralds the arrival of a new breed of marketers and advertisers around the world who are using the power of location to gain an advantage against the competition,” says Theo Theodorou, Head of EMEA at xAd.
“Knowing the places people visit is the best indicator of consumer intent, and location data takes that one step further by enabling marketers to use those insights to engage people. As ‘location’ evolves as a channel in its own right - to reveal “who” and “what” a person might be interested in to an unrivalled degree - we’ll see these marketers springboard to success with even more joined-up on and offline campaigns.”
While there’s no doubting that location is one of the most vital new frontiers for marketers, beyond advertising, consumers have mixed feelings about being targeted by brands based on their location.
Research from Brainstorm in May found consumer attitudes towards location-based services were still relatively conservative, especially in terms of privacy.
32% say they would only be happy sharing location data via their mobiles if they remained anonymous to brands, while 34% say privacy is a major concern and would mean they’d wish to opt-in to businesses aiming to use location-based tracking with them.
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.