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How Location Informs True ‘One-To-One’ Marketing — Across Platforms

Personalization through technology has been a hot topic at CES for years. PlaceIQ CEO Duncan McCall explains how and why brands are finally ready to embrace it.

From connected healthcare to customized out-of-home advertising, personalization remained a hot topic at CES this year — and real-time and historical location data is one of the leading factors informing the shift to true one-to-one marketing.

This transformation has been in progress for years, but “brands are now finally really deploying strategies against the realization that keeping pace with shifts in how consumers interact with them — across online and offline channels — necessitates meaningful experiences,” explained Duncan McCall, CEO and co-founder of PlaceIQ. “What we’ve been seeing over the past several months is wider demand for brands that want to access our dataset and location-based audiences directly, to guide holistic business decisions.”

GeoMarketing: In your mind, what are the most significant trends from CES this year? How might they actually impact PlaceIQ’s business in 2018?

Duncan McCall: We met with dozens of brands, channel partners and media agencies at CES, and one of the biggest trends in terms of those conversations was the march towards personalization. Meaning not just arm waving and talking about ‘one to one’ or ‘people based marketing’ but actually executing against it with real budgets — finally!

Brands are now really deploying strategies against the realization that keeping pace with shifts in how consumers interact with them —across online and offline channels — necessitates meaningful experiences. They’re realizing that experiences should be built on an actual understanding of consumer behavior and catered to what matters most to customers. PlaceIQ is helping brands use location data to better understand the customer journey and apply those insights to every element of their marketing strategy — media strategy, activation and measurement— to craft more meaningful campaigns.

Brands are looking for ways to directly access the data for personalization. What we’ve been seeing over the past several months is wider demand for brands that want to access our dataset and location-based audiences directly, to guide holistic business decisions. We just reported a record year for our data business, which saw a 500 percent year-over-year growth due the demand.

‘Cool tech’ abounds at CES, but what do marketers actually need to think about implementing now? Beyond personalization — always important, of course — what technologies are actually driving a shift in how consumers behave? 

It’s still relatively early in the product lifecycle, but voice is a strong contender for a technology to create more meaningful customer experiences, and something that clearly brands. In the case of retail, it is both a new channel (new voice enabled hardware) as well as an omni-channel enabler (voice assistants on existing hardware) that can act as an extension of their brand.

As the voice platforms become more open, one area that would be interesting is branded retail voice ‘apps’ that integrate with brick and mortar locations. This could be an interesting way to provide incentives for customers to order via voice assistant and promote in-store visitation for pickup.

Voice really is here and now: Toyota just announced that it will bring Alexa into its vehicles by the end of the year, and research suggests that 35 percent of consumers have already made a retail purchase by voice

Right. Alexa-powered vehicles could be a huge benefit to brands, especially for QSR and hospitality brands that value connecting with customers that have immediate need-states. The platform would have to be slightly more open than it is now in order for brands to use.

PlaceIQ just reported increased adoption for it’s data business. What’s behind the demand and what does that mean for PlaceIQ in 2018? 

It’s an overnight success 8 years in the making! We started out in the data business, but we were many years too early. So it’s a return to our roots in many ways, and primarily fueled by the fact that clients, brands and agencies now have the budgets and sophistication to utilize our data directly and indirectly (through our channel partners).

One thing that has made our data business so successful is versatility of distribution. We’ve extended the value of our data via partnerships and integrations with companies like Marketing Evolution, 1010data and IRI, to make it extremely easy for brands to tap into for customer insights, for nearly any use case. We’ve also given brands new tools to measure success across channels, which included a joint solution with comScore (PlaceIQ PVR powered by comScore), which provided a solution for accurately measuring lift in real-world visitation resulting from TV, mobile and desktop advertising.

In 2018, we’ll continue to give brands more ways than ever before to access our dataset, for insights, measurement and analytics.