5 Tools for Targeting Customers Based On Their Historic Locations

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mainst_mapWhere consumers have been is just as important as where they’re going. Being able to track the historical — and in some cases, even future — locations of a consumer makes it possible for retailers and brands to strategically target mobile ads to the places where they know their customers are likely to be. Put simply, targeting visitors based on where they are and where they’ve been in the past increases the relevance of mobile ad campaigns.

The ways that retailers can use pre-visit location tracking are infinite. For example, a department store that sees its customers visiting a competitor across town may launch a new campaign with geo-targeted mobile coupons that get pushed out when customers walk inside the competitor’s store. Or, the department store might target ads to the locations where their customers travel most often. Here are five tools that businesses can use to target customers based on their previous, and future, locations.

1. PlaceIQ: Understand where visitors are going when they’re not at your store.
PlaceIQ offers technology that retailers, brands, and agencies can use to lead “desired” consumers — typically those within certain demographics and geographic boundaries — to targeted destinations. Using the company’s PreVisit product, businesses can see where consumers were before arriving at physical locations (typically, their stores). Another product, PIQ Analytics, gives businesses a deeper understanding of their customers’ behaviors across locations and time. PlaceIQ does this by analyzing those customers’ movements and identifying which competitors a customer in a particular segment is most likely to visit.

2. Urban Airship: Get real-time access to customer behaviors and location profiles.
The better a store understands its customers, the better it becomes at sending the types of targeted messages that drive in-store sales. Urban Airship’s location history feature enables companies to learn about where their customers are now and where they’ve been in the past. Not only can businesses get a better understanding of the context of their customers’ locations, but they can also segment customers based on those locations. Different customer segments may receive targeted push notifications that are relevant based on their unique habits. Retailers can also tie location-based messages to user preferences, app behaviors, and device information.

3. Placed: Identify where customers are spending the bulk of their time.
Businesses can use Placed to identify where their customers are spending time when they’re not in their stores. Using Placed’s competitive intelligence tools, advertisers are able to filter the results of their location insights by audience segment. They can also quantify how frequently online shoppers are visiting their stores, and compare their rates against those of their competitors. Additionally, path to purchase insights show businesses the distance that customers are willing to travel to reach their stores.

4. JiWire: Target consumers based on their location histories.
JiWire uses location histories to create audience profiles, which businesses can use to improve the effectiveness of their mobile advertising campaigns. Advertisers can create unique customer segments based on a combination of demographics—like moms or business travelers, for example—and location history, along with prior engagement, context, time of day, or day of week. They can also qualify their audiences based on competitor locations. JiWire is able to tell a business who its customers are, where they engage, and where they go after visiting the business’ physical location. This allows advertisers to more accurately measure the ROI of their mobile campaigns.

5. MomentFeed: Benchmark traffic against local competitors.
MomentFeed takes a different approach to targeting customers based on their past location histories. Rather than relying on its own technology to track the movement of consumers with smartphones, MomentFeed uses established location-based networks like Foursquare and Instagram. By viewing where else their top customers have checked-in and posted content, businesses are able to benchmark against competitors in their local markets. MomentFeed’s business intelligence tools offer insight into both real-time and historical mobile engagement levels. For example, a coffee shop that notices its customers are frequently checking-in at a particular bookstore may launch a geo-targeted campaign or even form a partnership with the business.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.