This past week, Facebook announced it will provide aid organizations with anonymized location data for users in disaster areas. Powered by their own location data, Facebook will create “Disaster Maps” for organizations like UNICEF so they can understand the geo-behavior of users in affected areas before and after a disaster strikes. This is very powerful, because now organizations can for the first time visualize where people go once they flee a disaster area, helping them streamline their aid efforts and target those areas for relief.
Why is this so important?
Well, if location data can help aid organizations save lives, it can also help transform your business. The power of location data is real, and now is the time to jump on the bandwagon. If you are a brand, then you may or may not have access to business intelligence tools, but do they give you visibility into the offline world? Wouldn’t it be great to understand when consumers are visiting your store, the duration of their visit, how far they travelled, where they went after and what other brands they frequently visit? These type of questions just scrape the surface of what location data can tell a business about their consumers.
Understanding visitation patterns at the user level allows businesses and brands to answer their most pressing questions. If a QSR brand like Subway is looking to determine the efficiency of their staff at specific locations, they can leverage location intelligence to determine the average dwell time of consumers in stores. If the average consumer in store A is spending 8.5 minutes versus 4.5 minutes in store B, then a brand can understand the performance of their staff. These type of insights can help brands internally measure their customer service efforts in order to help boost store efficiency.
Maybe a retail brand like Macy’s is looking to understand regional performance for market share. Location data can help brands quantify market share in terms of visits to store versus competitive locations. Knowing the success of your brand and how well you perform against the competition is vital for creating better business decisions and outcomes. If a brand can visualize these types of trends in real time, they can adjust their business strategies or revenue generation efforts to impact performance.
Financial services like hedge funds are always looking for new ways to measure and predict the success of brands. Well, one way to do that is to analyze the number of consumer visits to a specific brand or store. A daily footfall analysis can give financial services the ability to understand visit trends and analyze how a visit to a store translates into a transaction. Pairing location and sales data can be used to create a proxy for measuring success and creating predictive analytics to forecast revenue in real time - a use case that is only possible with location data.
Bottom line, data is the new oil, but while we look to the future we need to understand that location data is ready to help your business today without having to wait until tomorrow. Consumers insights and data will continue to drive innovation for businesses across the globe. Stay tuned for next time when we analyze new technologies that will amplify the power of location data...