Blog skyhook logo What is Location Intelligence and Location Data?

Aug 20, 2020 12:27:01 PM

What is Location Intelligence and Location Data?

Posted by Isolde Decker-Lucke

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What is Location Intelligence (LI)?
At Skyhook, we define location intelligence as a methodology that marries location data and business data together to help solve a variety of business problems.
What does Location Intelligence provide?
Location intelligence provides granular venue insights as well as foot traffic trends surrounding those venues and the behaviors and demographics of their visitors. These insights are hard to garner from other data sources, as those sources don’t typically derive from accurate foot traffic analysis or real-world actions. Location insights provide the keys to unlocking in-depth understanding of consumers’ behaviors and preferences. It allows users to monitor competitor performance, analyze and inform future retail site selection, learn about customer offline behavior and much more.
How does Location Intelligence help businesses?
Businesses are always looking for innovative ways to gain a competitive advantage, and data-driven insights have long played a role in business decision making. Business leaders are turning to technology to find previously untapped sources of information and are starting to recognize the benefits of location data in gaining that unique differentiation. Location Intelligence and insights have become a key component that supports this decision-making.
With location data, marketing and business development departments can better define their strategy - learning more about their target audiences, what they enjoy doing, where they shop, and more. And it’s not just location data points themselves, but the relationship between them where we've seen businesses get the most value. At Skyhook, we think of these data relationships and their application to solve marketing and business problems as location intelligence (LI).
What is Location Data?
Sometimes referred to as geolocation, location data is simply made up of latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates gathered from positioning connected devices, like mobile phones. In other words, location data is simply information about people and the places they visit.
A requirement for location data is that it is accurate and validated. At Skyhook, we use a hybrid positioning system that locates devices using Wi-Fi, GNSS and Cell signals. This ensures that devices can be located in all environments. This provides two distinct types of location data for marketers and business analysts — device and venue location.
  1. Device Location: The latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of specific devices, representing people in specific locations.
  2. Venue Location: The latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of specific venues, like retail stores, sports stadiums, restaurants and malls.
Without location and venue data, and the ability to analyze the relationship between the two, location intelligence would not exist.
What can Location Intelligence Achieve?
Location intelligence marries location data and business data together to help solve a variety of business problems.  This comes in a variety of forms:
1. Ability to measure foot traffic
Location intelligence can help retailers and event coordinators better understand how people move around certain physical locations. This allows them to extract meaningful insights into the people who are there and what they are doing. 
Aside from events, this type of location intelligence can be applied in many different ways, from monitoring store performance to measuring campaign effectiveness. For retail marketers looking to expand their locations, to business teams who are looking to better understand how customers move in and around a store, foot traffic analysis with location intelligence is a must. 
2. More detailed market insights 
You can gain a deeper understanding of your customers and prospects based on their patterns of movement and habits. Understanding where they go on an average day, or even during special events, can help provide the context you need to engage with them effectively through more personalized marketing campaigns. Having this additional context about their behaviors helps you understand who they are as customers, prospects, and people. These types of market insights can translate into advertising campaigns and strategic business decisions to maximize ROI and improve customer engagement.
3. Gain competitor insights from geo-conquesting
Usually known as geo-conquesting, location intelligence gives businesses the power to geofence competitor locations to get a better understanding of their customer foot traffic patterns, buying preferences and loyalty — with the intention of winning over those customers in the long run.
If you monitor a group of devices that visit competitor locations, then you can strategically send them promotions to try to win them over to your business — or if you find that your business is losing traction in a specific region, then you can better understand which surrounding stores are impacting your performance.
Geo-conquesting, as a method for gathering location intelligence, can ultimately help retailers make better business decisions and analysts identify smarter investments.
4. Improved conversion with dynamic UX
You have the ability to drive customer engagement by delivering personalized and location-specific content based on their everyday interests and behaviors. Knowing who they are as people, as opposed to just as customers, can add a level of personalization that results in increased engagement and event conversion.
5. More accurate customer targeting
Location intelligence also makes it easier to increase consumer engagement by reaching people with content that’s most relevant to their surroundings, interests and behaviors. Rather than advertising to users through search engines or social media, location data provides a way for businesses to reach people in real-world locations in real time.
One way a business can target potential customers using location awareness is based on geofencing. When an app user enters and triggers a geofence, half a mile in a circumference around the store for example, the app can automatically share promotions offered at the store. This is a simple way for businesses to incentivize customers to come into the store, when they are already close to the store location. This is just one example of the many ways businesses can use location intelligence to improve targeting and engage customers through location-enabled interfaces.  
6. Solve the online to offline attribution gap
It’s difficult for advertisers to connect digital advertisements to in-store visits. Location intelligence gives businesses the ability to translate ad campaigns into real-world behaviors. For advertisers trying to understand how their online advertising spend translates into in-store customers, location intelligence provides the answer and can tie the two together.
Who can benefit from location intelligence?
The applications of location intelligence across multiple industries will continue to grow over the next few years. Some of the most common applications can be found in:
  1. Financial Services
  2. Airlines
  3. Hotels
  4. Restaurants
  5. Sports Teams
  6. Transportation
  7. Retail
  8. Real Estate
  9. Consulting Firms
  10. Government
  11. Healthcare
  12. Higher Education
  13. Insurance
  14. Communications & Telecommunications
  15. Media
  16. Education
Getting Started with Location Intelligence
We're confident that location intelligence will continue to play a major role in business development and advertising performance, so it’s no surprise that you may be thinking about leveraging location data to improve your bottom line.
To learn more about applying location intelligence to marketing, business development or market research, visit our Geospatial Insights page