Using Location Intelligence as Marketing Pixels for the Real World

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A core tenet of digital advertising is the ability to effectively measure the success of a campaign. To gain insights about their digital campaigns beyond just impressions and clicks, brand marketers place pixels on their websites. Not only do these pixels measure campaign performance and track conversions, but they also provide marketers with invaluable insights about the people visiting their website.

Without pixels, marketing in the digital world would be a guessing game. However, with 90% of all commerce still taking place in the physical world, oftentimes marketers find themselves in the dark, not knowing how their customers are interacting with their brands offline. Enter location intelligence, or as we like to call it, pixels for the real world. 

Take a moment to reflect on the past few weeks. Did you stop at a coffee shop on the way to work? Did you work out on specific days of the week at a nearby gym? Are there restaurants you frequent when you are too lazy to cook at home? In a study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, researchers found that people frequent up to 25 places at any given time period. Similar to marketing pixels placed on websites, the ability to understand physical, real-world behavior such as path-to-purchase, visitation patterns, day-of-week preferences, and daily activities fuels more strategic decision making. 

Location intelligence help marketers: 

  • Understand the Consumer Journey Offline: Marketers often have tools in place to understand consumer behavior online, but they have a blind spot to what is happening in the real world. To gain a full view of the consumer journey, marketers can leverage location intelligence to uncover unique behaviors such as time spent in stores or popular visitation days to specific store locations, by region. These insights can also demonstrate how seasonal patterns impact dwell time and frequency of visits. By analyzing real-world behaviors, marketers gain a better understanding of the consumer journey offline, and when combined with the insights uncovered online, they can make data-driven decisions for the purposes of planning, targeting attribution, and more.  
  • Leverage Location Data to Create Lookalike Models Both On and Offline: Similar to online pixels where lookalike models are created to extend marketing reach, location data can also be used to create lookalike models or to enhance existing online models based on real-world behavior. By analyzing data points such as the types of locations consumers visit and how long they stay at those locations, marketers can create a lookalike audience by observing similar location patterns of prospective customers. Those location data points can then be leveraged to glean additional insights such as websites visited, device ownership, and other behavioral segments that the user is a part of. The marriage of online and offline data enhances data models for a clearer picture of existing customers and potential consumers.
  • Deliver a Better Customer Experience: The customer experience is more important than ever. With the help of location insights, marketers can deliver an experience that is rooted in context, increasing the likelihood of consumer engagement and loyalty. Lawless Research recently found that 86% of marketers increased their customer base and 84% engaged with consumers by leveraging location data. Online pixels provide a better online experience for consumers such as excluding already converted users and showing relevant retargeting creatives. Location intelligence allows for the same type of experience offline, offering flexibility to control how consumers engage with your brand. These results are significant and demonstrate the power of contextually aware customer experiences. 

With location intelligence, marketers are able to bridge the gap between offline and online worlds. Long gone are the days where one size fits all, and as consumers come to expect an increasingly more personalized brand experience, marketers are on the hook to make it so. Much like pixels, location intelligence provides a window into the mind of the consumer and ultimately allows marketers to deliver better customer experiences than ever before. 

Xiao Dong Lin is VP of Strategy at GimbalGimbal 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