Tech Support
Oct 18, 2016

Dear Tech Support: Can location markers drive store traffic?

Answers to your pressing questions on all aspects of digital marketing. In association with Xaxis.

Dear Tech Support: Can location markers drive store traffic?

Dear Tech Support:

I work for a fashion retail chain. How can I make use of location markers to boost footfall in some of our under-performing outlets? 

- Shop Girl

Dear Shop Girl,

There are two key drivers of change, the first is the more scalable yet commonly misunderstood opportunity within mobile location as a signal, and the second around the use of physical beacons which act as the pixels of the physical world. 

Of course both these signals can be leveraged programatically, in fact there is no other way to do this effectively, but understanding location as a new data source rather than a unicorn that is going to transform media overnight is important. Lets start with location, GPS is our primary data source and thanks to the some of the disruptors like the taxi’s companies we have this at scale and more importantly we probably have this switched on all day. Below are four simple steps to get this off the ground:

First become an architect and layout your target “area”, this might be the mall your outlet is at, or as granular as an isle your product is placed at or even drafting a plan to target your competitors location- yes this is possible today!

Second, pay attention to the source of the signal. For instance, if the GPS source is coming from a familiar travel app chances are that they are more accurate, than an app you have never heard off before, the same rules of the desktop world applies to the app world. Look at how dynamic and logical the signals are, if you a user moved from Jakarta to Singapore in an hour, obviously this is inaccurate and more noise than a signal. DMP’s and data scientists have a huge role to play in this step with constant iteration and fine tuning, real time data and algorithms are prerequisites. 

Third, when it comes to execution, the where matters. Walled gardens such as Instagram and Snapchat have great potential to create a seamless experience. Cutting through clutter with viewable and engaging ads is as important as the data itself.

Last but by no means the least, your creative and your message. If you are not able to integrate the location signal into your creative, you could argue that this whole journey is pointless. The last mile of making this interaction with the user dynamic and interactive is perhaps an area where our industry in general needs to up its game. The measurement and attribution opportunities are tremendous, outgoes your click through rates and landings and in comes your cost per store visit or basket values. 

Rohan Philips is vice-president, products and strategy, Xaxis Asia-Pacific

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