The 10 Commandments of Location Intelligence Marketing

The explosion of mobile usage paired with the technical evolution of smartphones has brought the rise of location intelligence. Today, location intelligence brings contextual information and personalized experiences to many sectors including travel, mobility, retail, and healthcare.

Behind the scenes, marketers are using this new tool to tackle many of the challenges related to discovering, engaging, and activating mobile users at the right time and place. But the amount of data can be overwhelming, making it difficult to understand when to use what information. Even the most experienced marketer can lose sight of the basic principles that guide successful use of location intelligence tools.

Based on our 11 years of experience helping mobile apps leverage the context of their users, we offer the following 10 commandments that every marketer working with location intelligence should keep top of mind to drive a successful marketing strategy.

Privacy/Transparency

Do not treat user data as a commodity. User data has been described as the “new oil” that will drive the economy of tomorrow. Rather than treating personal data as a commodity, marketers should treat user consent and personal data as a precious resource.

Be transparent. Successful marketers must demonstrate to their users the real value of the product and how it is going to improve their daily life. Show clearly and honestly how you use and process data, where data is stored, and how it will add value for users.

Analyze

Add more depth to your analytics. Location intelligence is an essential asset to understanding your users’ needs and defines the value you bring to them. Marketers need to add location intelligence to their app analytics to look beyond the brash and the superficial. Beyond the simple click, location intelligence is an opportunity to understand the precise needs of your mobile users.

Discover new markets without losing sight of existing ones. Marketers are always on the lookout for new markets. But while they conquer new markets, their primary market can evolve unbeknownst to them. Location intelligence solutions allow marketers to discover new opportunities while keeping a close eye on existing markets and how the user needs within them might be changing.

Segment

Go beyond the demographic traits. Marketers need to understand the habits and behavior of their users to provide them with better experiences and engagement. Attributes like age, gender, and profession are interesting, but a user’s neighborhood, typical hangout spots, sports and hobbies, and daily commute provide a much clearer picture of what their needs are and how the mobile app can fulfill them.

Engage

Context is crucial. Given that Americans use fewer than 10 apps per day, it is certain that mobile apps have to stand out to ensure user engagement and retention. For that, context is key. Why? Consider an app that understands exactly when and where it is being used and reactivates dormant users in a specific, strategic context. The user is likely to go to the app again rather than forgetting it or eventually deleting it.

Stop spamming. Mobile apps send a huge number of notifications and ads in order to catch users’ attention. But each time users receive content or information they don’t want or need, they perceive it as spam, and rightly so! Unfortunately, in doing so, mobile apps will drive users to turn off their notifications, which blocks an entire engagement channel that could have offered great value. Marketers should use location intelligence to better link their content with key user contexts in which there is a need for that content. In doing so, mobile engagement can provide real value for the end user.

Customize for different segments. The days of mass marketing with identical content for all users is over. Segmenting a customer database is fundamental for developing successful marketing campaigns. Marketers have to categorize their customers into different segments and adapt their content to each one of them, such as college students, senior managers working in big companies, and entrepreneurs starting their businesses. With this information, marketers should add location-based contextual information, such as places visited and frequency of visit, to determine the right message to deliver. For example, our research shows that people are more likely to engage with their mobile apps at home.

Nurture your existing user base. Companies pour most of their marketing efforts and money into new customer acquisition. Since mobile apps retain only 8% of acquired users after one month, nurturing existing customer bases is a key target for mobile apps to build a strong user base. Marketers need to identify their ‘VIP’ customers and then determine through location intelligence what keeps them coming back. Offering this dialogue and feedback will help spark users’ attention and keep the app top-of-mind.

Reactivate dormant users. Reactivation campaigns are crucial to remind users of the app’s services and value. For dormant users, companies can use different triggers: email, notifications, and referrals from family or friends. Our new survey shows that email remains the most successful reactivation trigger. Beyond that, it seems there is a difference when it comes to users profiles; email and social media posts have a high success rate in reactivating female users, but referrals and billboards have a higher success rate among male users. Young users are more likely than those in older age groups to return to an app after a reactivation campaign.

Since mobile users are increasingly attuned to privacy policies and understand mobile apps should treat personal data with care and purpose, the mobile market is under great scrutiny. Now more than ever, then, the most robust privacy measures will be a competitive differentiator. Location-based mobile marketers should leverage transparency, analytics, segmenting, and the cutting-edge engagement tactics above to set themselves apart.

When Laetitia Gazel Anthoine raised $11M for Connecthings, it ranked as the #2 fundraising amount among French companies founded by women. Laetitia founded Connecthings in 2007 with the vision and intuition that smartphones would connect the physical world with the digital world. Prior to founding Connecthings, Laetitia was a project director for Orange, the European Mobile Operator, where she managed the implementation of the first mobile internet gateway and the first music streaming service. She earned a Master of Engineering degree in Computer Sciences from CentraleSupelec University. 

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