4 Geolocation Trends Marketers Need to Be Aware of in 2013

Burgeoning marketing channels (e.g., social media) and increased use of mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets) are changing the face of geotargeting. Marketers need to be aware of these four key geolocation trends for 2013:

  1. International expansion demands accurate post-code targeting. As brands expand internationally, they’ll need the ability to target users down to down to a ZIP or postal code level on a global basis. Location still remains the most important online data parameter; marketers must demand the most reliable, accurate data available to be successful.
  2. Marketers will look to layer geolocation technologies. Websites and apps will use multiple types of geolocation technologies to target users based on location, from desktop to aisle. Factors such as granularity, opting in and latency will be considered, and different technologies will be used at different times or locations on the app or site.
  3. E-commerce and brick-and-mortar will continue to meld together, and user location will be central to it. Commerce is commerce, and your location is the same whether you’re online or offline. Location will be key to determining if a consumer will be directed to buy from your e-commerce site or your local brick-and-mortar store. There may be more cross-branding between real-world stores based on location. For example, the hardware store down the street may advertise on the local restaurant’s website or app. More local businesses will use location-based services either inside their real-world locations (e.g., send a message “Special in Aisle 3”) or to attract consumers to come into their store if they’re in the general vicinity for instant deals (e.g., 40 percent off bagels if you stop by before 3 p.m.).
  4. Real-world data and geolocation will be bundled and offered through one-stop shops. Geolocation data will be supplemented by real-world demographic and psychographic data to create more accurate profiles of consumers, allowing for better targeting. A consortium of location-based data companies will arise to provide one-stop shops for data.

In addition to enhanced targeting applications around users’ geographic locations, marketers should also keep these online data parameters in mind for 2013:

  • Mobile carriers: Being able to instantly target users from different mobile carriers is becoming increasingly important as sites and apps are moving to differentiate themselves by targeting users from various carriers with different messaging and offers.
  • Proxies: As more and more content is streamed (with limitations on geographic scope due to license restrictions), being able to detect whether a user is trying to circumvent your geographic rights management will become increasingly important this year.

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