5 Location Personalization Trends You Can’t Ignore

Loca­tion per­son­al­iza­tion is an excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for brands to reach con­sumers. Here are five trends mar­keters need to know.

Mike Fantis By Mike Fantis from DAC Group. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Tech­no­log­i­cal advances and our hyper­con­nect­ed lifestyles have led con­sumers to expect instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion and per­son­al­iza­tion based on loca­tion at every turn. As a result, here are five loca­tion per­son­al­iza­tion trends mar­keters should­n’t ignore.

1. Content Gets Local & Personal

Think about how many times you’ve told a busi­ness exact­ly what you want and their land­ing page con­tent sim­ply did­n’t match your clear­ly stat­ed intent. For exam­ple, you search for 20-inch Pirelli tyres in Leeds. The search result that you click on then takes you back a brand’s home page. You then have to nav­i­gate anoth­er three clicks to find the Leeds loca­tion in the store loca­tor, the Pirelli brand, and then the 20-inch tyres vari­ant. Only then can you see the pric­ing and choose to book an appoint­ment in store to get the tires fit­ted. This is a deeply frus­trat­ing expe­ri­ence. After all, you told the brand exact­ly what you want­ed! Man­u­al­ly cre­at­ing thou­sands of per­son­al­ized and local­ized con­tent page vari­ants is uneco­nom­i­cal. So don’t do it man­u­al­ly, use some of the tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions that are at hand. Your con­ver­sion rates will also push 30 per­cent.

2. The Consumer Journey Is Getting Shorter

Increas­ing­ly, the com­bi­na­tion of our demand for instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion and smart­phone-enabled loca­tion func­tion­al­i­ty have col­lapsed the con­sumer jour­ney for many brands. For instance, accord­ing to Google, near­ly half of con­sumers try­ing to decide on a restau­rant do their local search with­in an hour of actu­al­ly going to eat. Equal­ly, many short­er cus­tomer jour­neys are a result of a dis­tressed “need it now” moment that could be for lock­smiths, shoe repairs, phar­ma­cies, and so on. For busi­ness­es, this means tak­ing your nation­al brand down to the local lev­el. If a cus­tomer can’t find your prod­uct or shop near­by when they want (or need) it, then they will find it some­where else.

3. Google ‘Near Me’ Autocompletes

Google is encour­ag­ing this faster con­sumer jour­ney by auto­com­plet­ing our search­es in both brand­ed and non-brand­ed cat­e­gories. Google is antic­i­pat­ing that when users enter words such as “accoun­tants,” “banks,” “toy store” or “Viet­namese food,” chances are that they intend to find some­thing near their loca­tion, regard­less of plat­form. As a result, we’ve grown to expect our smart­phones to serve rel­e­vant, local results. “Near me”, “clos­est”, and “near­by” – key­words that bare­ly reg­is­tered just a few years ago – are begin­ning to dom­i­nate the bil­lions of queries every month. In fact, “near me” search­es have near­ly dou­bled in the last year.

4. The Introduction Of Google My Business API

Google ele­vat­ed the impor­tance of loca­tion data man­age­ment with the roll­out of the Google My Busi­ness API to cre­ate and edit loca­tions in Google My Busi­ness. The API auto­mates the man­age­ment of loca­tion data rang­ing from store hours to name, address, and phone infor­ma­tion, mak­ing it eas­i­er for busi­ness­es to man­age their loca­tion data across the search ecosys­tem, from Google Maps to search engine results. Google is telling us that man­ag­ing loca­tion data as a scal­able asset is crit­i­cal for busi­ness­es to be vis­i­ble when peo­ple con­duct those “near me” search­es. Accu­rate loca­tion data shared with major pub­lish­ers, such as Google, is the key to vis­i­bil­i­ty. The Google My Busi­ness API makes it pos­si­ble for busi­ness­es to meet the need that Google has facil­i­tat­ed.

5. The Integration Of Digital & Physical Worlds

Google research shows that 88 per­cent of mobile searchers call or vis­it the busi­ness they have found inside 24 hours. Cor­re­lat­ing these touch­points online to sales in store, often referred to as ROPO, are mak­ing ROI attri­bu­tion even more of a headache for brands. There is no sil­ver bul­let solu­tion, but this hot top­ic for retail­ers is inspir­ing some sig­nif­i­cant moves toward a solu­tion. Foursquare recent­ly unveiled an offline sales attri­bu­tion pro­gram pow­ered by a vol­un­tary, non-incen­tivized pan­el of 1.3 mil­lion Foursquare users who have agreed to leave their loca­tion-shar­ing fea­ture on at all times, mean­ing Foursquare knows every store they vis­it — even if they don’t open the app or the com­pa­ny’s sis­ter app, Swarm. The rel­a­tive­ly big pan­el appears to be a dif­fer­en­tia­tor when it comes to oth­er emerg­ing prod­ucts. Mean­while, the Good­way Group has launched Val­i­date 360. In the case of restau­rant trans­ac­tions, let’s say a user pays for a meal at a restau­rant with his or her cred­it card. This user also logs into her cred­it card account both through her desk­top brows­er and an app on her phone. Her account is now linked with those devices, so when­ev­er she is served an ad on any of those devices, we can link that expo­sure back to a trans­ac­tion.

Mike Fantis

Written by Mike Fantis

VP Managing Partner, DAC Group

Mike has spent over ten years specialising in Digital Advertising Strategy; as a client, a specialist media marketing consultant and within leading large media agencies, including Manning Gottlieb OMD and Latitude. Mike is a well respected authority on ROI driven media strategies from macro to micro levels for transforming consumer engagement. Mike also regularly contributes to some of the industries leading forums and is a renowned advisor and trainer to Econsultancy members on strategy and ROI driven performance. As Managing Partner for DAC Group's UK agency - Make It Rain, Mike develops measured media strategies for brands including easyCar, easyHotel, and CenterParcs whilst ensuring high performance across the company's client portfolio. Mike's wider search marketing experience spans blue-chip brands in major search verticals including Virgin Media, Skype, and Merlin Group.

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