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For Location Intelligence Platform Local ID, Contextual Location Is King

The location marketing startup aims to help enterprises target campaigns on the local level by creating a deep understanding of a store’s surrounding environment.

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Alex Nocifera

Fresh off of this summer’s 1.9M seed round, local intelligence platform Local ID has solidified its guiding philosophy: Location isn’t just a piece of the puzzle — it’s the whole picture.

The startup aims to help businesses manage their marketing efforts across locations, and its approach to helping enterprises to “think local” rests solely on the idea that contextual location is the sole driver behind what makes consumers receptive to certain ads at certain times.

“I think a lot of ad networks have invested so much in personalization around the consumer, but our philosophy and our position is going to be heavily around just geography,” said CEO Alex Nocifera. “Location is the driver, and we’re letting that location context navigate to the consumer. I think that’s a philosophical shift in what’s been done in the market today.”

Geomarketing: How does Local ID define “local,” and how does that definition play into the company’s mission of enabling businesses to seamlessly manage their marketing across locations?

Alex Nocifera: I think sort of the core or the root of our mission is helping brands to define local in terms of context, which means understanding what’s going on wherever they have customers. What does context mean? It’s the places that are around you, from competitors, to high schools, to churches, to anywhere that has meaning in terms of what types of people are circulating in and around that geographic area of business.

We’re looking at temporal type data sets, such as weather, events, concerts, community festivals, farmer’s markets — and then, lastly, we’re looking at the people. Demographic, psycho-graphics, social signals. We took all this data and we combined it into a package in a usable manner for a large enterprise brand. [In thinking about local], big businesses’ needs are all rooted in context. Approaching it this way is part of redefining what ‘local’ means.

How does Local ID gather its contextual data? And how does use that data to “redefine local?”

Local ID works with a number of big data providers, from Factual to Neustar. Really, when you think about it, we’re a retail verticalization of big data. We’re taking all this big data and making it usable, making it make sense for retailers.

I think the biggest gap of why retailers haven’t systematized or institutionalized a real methodology of doing local at scale, is that big data hasn’t been packaged in this way for those who think about multi-unit type complexity, the multi-unit problem. If I’ve got stores all over the U.S. and I’m touching all these different diverse geographies from New York City to Wichita, Kansas to Venice Beach, you’re trying to think about all these places simultaneously. It’s sort of a daunting task. You have to listen to a lot of data to get to that answer.

Really what we want to disrupt is the definition of “local.” Local has always been viewed as a sort of small business problem, so people associate “local” with small business. We want to really help enterprises of large scale, and really enable them and activate them to do local at scale by processing all of the right data points.

Local ID raised a $1.9 million seed round earlier this summer. How has Local ID applied that funding, and what are the plans for the near future?

We have taken those funds and, first and most importantly, built a first class team of veterans in the retail technology and retail marketing business development. We built a team of people who really understand the nuances and the sort of complexities of multi-unit dynamics.

Then, we set out on a mission to build a product that enables brands to discover, activate, and institutionalize local initiatives in their organizations. Now we have our first batch cohort of initial early adopters — brands that include Jersey Mike’s and Pinkberry and other big national chains.

We’ve reached out to over 100 brands, some of the biggest brands in the U.S. and smaller brands, and unanimously we’re getting a very excited response. What we’ve really narrowed into is a very usable product, taking this data and making it very actionable and realistically using it.

And that all comes back to thinking about context in a geographic manner. I think a lot of ad networks have invested so much in personalization around the consumer, but I think our philosophy and our position is going to be heavily around just geography; location is the driver, and we’re letting that location context navigate to the consumer. I think that’s a philosophical shift in really what’s been done in the market today.