The Power of Micro-Location Technology

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Photo above by Ryoji Iwata. This piece is sponsored by Gimbal.

When Apple launched iBeacons on the global stage at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in 2013, there was a lot of excitement over how the technology would revolutionize mobile marketing. While a lot of the initial buzz has worn off, the power of targeting micro-locations using beacons when paired with the macro-location information provided by geofence technology solves for a number of challenges marketers face today, which could be the reason behind  expectations that the micro-location technology market is expected to grow at 19.4% CAGR during 2019–2024.

Location technology makes it possible for marketers to target and gain insights about their customers right down to the department or even aisle level. However, the limitations of geofences in malls and multi-level buildings is a challenge for which the market has yet to solve. The industry is far from the hyper-accurate geofencing of the future pitched by some geofence providers.

In reality, the location market has matured beyond push. The value of micro-location technology is now built on hyper-accurate analytics showing where users go in the physical world, allowing advertisers to re-target them with a variety of omnichannel marketing efforts. Here are a few exciting use cases that highlight the power of hyper-accurate location-based marketing technology.

Retail: Retailers were one of the first adopters of location-based technology. At first, it was leveraged for location-based push and to understand where users visit and dwell in-store. With most retailers located in a mall or other indoor locations, micro-location technology is ideal to best understand user behavior. Although this is still a best practice (who wants a marketing message at the wrong place at the wrong time?), this technology is now being used for both passive and active use cases. If you know a user has an affinity for a specific type of product based on their online profile on your app, digital engagements with your brand, and time spent in-store, you can consider sending them an email or mobile ad with product info or promotions specific to that product set. The more deeply retailers understand product affinity and bridging the offline and online gap, the more personalized they can be with their marketing efforts to create a better experience for the customer in-store and online.

Grocery: Location technology brings grocery stores to life in new ways for shoppers. Every shopper has her own unique set of food preferences, so there is a huge opportunity to personalize the grocery shopping experience with micro-location technology. Using this technology, grocery stores are able to provide shoppers with relevant information and offers based on their specific buying preferences. Also, with the growing adoption of curbside pick up, location technology can be used to increase efficiencies and upsell opportunities at grocery stores. Using a mix of micro and macro location technology, grocery stores are able to recognize when a customer is approaching the store and when they ultimately arrive so their groceries can be delivered in a timely manner.

Banking: Micro-location technology provides banks, like Citibank, the opportunity to reimagine the entire banking experience. From cardless entry into ATM lobbies to real-time messaging and rewards, the technology is enhancing the customer experience. TBC Bank uses this technology to elicit customer feedback on their experiences within bank branches. Upon leaving, bank visitors with the bank app received a survey asking them to provide feedback about their experience. Using that information, TBC Bank was able to gather crucial insight and make improvements accordingly.

Hospitality: One hotel company is elevating the guest arrival experience by sending a personalized welcome message with reservation and check-in details when the customer enters the lobby. Information is also sent to the front desk upon arrival so the associates know who they are helping before they get there. The hotel also uses micro-location technology to better understand and serve guests based on their dwell time in different locations around the hotel. This provides the hotel with the information needed to improve efficiencies in staffing and to better understand how their customers are spending their time within their hotels.

Events: Picture this: you’re sitting in the nosebleeds at a baseball game, and you get a ping from your bank, a sponsor of the stadium. They are upgrading you to the second row, right behind home plate. Awesome, right? Better yet, you’re in line for food at a music festival, and you get a ping from one of your favorite retailers inviting you to an exclusive meet and greet with your favorite artist before her set. These are the types of moments that are made possible by location technology. These surprise and delight moments create a greater sense of brand loyalty.

Possibilities Abound

The actionable insights made available using micro-location technology are critical to creating better customer experiences. This location technology empowers marketers to maximize the impact of their mobile strategy by delivering personalized mobile experiences at macro and micro-locations. Leveraging location for passive and active use cases is the way of the future.

By engaging with their app users beyond location-based push, marketers can take their efforts a step further to measure attribution on their omnichannel marketing efforts. Marketers always need to ask the question, “Did this email campaign drive in-store traffic?” Or, let’s send an email or serve a mobile ad specific to a set of our audience that we know visits competitor or partner locations. Using a combination of micro and macro location technology, they can answer that question and better understand if their efforts are effective in driving brand affinity, store traffic, and ultimately sales.

Personalized marketing is a win for all and I’m excited to see how marketers get creative to bring these experiences to life.

To learn more about how you can leverage location-based technology for your business, visit, and set up a demo today.

Tiffany Morin is Head of Client Strategy at Gimbal. Gimbal is a marketing and advertising automation platform powered by physical-world data. Using its own hardware and software, Gimbal enables brands, media agencies, and marketers to reach their audiences with personalized messaging and drive measurable business outcomes. Learn more about what we can do for your business by visiting