Location intelligence, also known as spatial intelligence, surfaces information insights about a location, including human activities, economical and physical characteristics, and potential opportunities that lead to more productive and accurate decision-making.
In simpler terms, location intelligence puts location data into context to help identify and solve different types of problems. The first known use of location intelligence was by English physician John Snow during London's 1854 cholera outbreak that killed 616 people. By overlaying a map of the area with the location of water pumps, Snow was able to identify the source of the outbreak and debunk theories about the spreading of the disease.
In modern technology, location intelligence is used for a variety of studies—from urban planning, to traffic and logistics, to influencing behavior in public settings. For businesses of all types and sizes, location intelligence is increasingly used to forecast ROI and to help marketers understand and attract customers.
Importance of Location Intelligence by Industry.
Source: Dresner Advisory Services 2018 Location Intelligence Market Study
Once only available to bigger companies with large budgets, location intelligence is now practically within anyone's reach. How to leverage these tools is where things can sometimes get complicated. At Spatially, we use location intelligence to research and determine the best locations to open a storefront (site selection) and for marketing insights and hyper-targeted online advertising.
Location Intelligence for Site Selection
A recent study ran by Spatially for a Miami-based fitness studio helped gather key information for the business to expand into a new location. Through local advertising, Spatially was able to test buyer intent and reception of seven different locations. The tests provided invaluable data on each of the locations, with some receiving over four times the interest of others. To find the best potential areas for future locations:
- Spatially analyzed where their current customers live, developing a demographic profile of those customers
- Spatially mapped the areas of the highest densities of these types of customers across Miami-Dade county;
- Spatially then rated all the business areas in Miami-Dade county by the proximity to large numbers of potential customers, distance from existing locations, drive-time sensitivity and general suitability of an area as a gym location;
- Identified the top seven business areas and used online advertising (Spatially Ads) to test the locations by serving Facebook and Google AdWords ads to people who have been observed to visit the locations of interest.
Location Intelligence for Marketing and Online Advertising
In marketing, location data is valuable to unveil key characteristics of the people who live, work, and interact with a specified area. Spatially is able to provide advertisers with these insights based on four targeting methods:
- Observed data of how people interact with locations through the use of proprietary Active Trade Areas (ATAs);
- Geofencing (a more simplistic approach that is limited to a radius circle on the map);
- Custom demographics and socioeconomic patterns; and,
- Split-testing and current customer data analysis.
Behavior Targeting (Active Trade Area)
Behavioral Targeting merges the physical and digital worlds to help advertisers target consumers based on their offline behaviors. Spatially aggregates and analyzes millions of GPS signals to show businesses a comprehensive view of where their most probable customers spend their time. We then trace them back to their home and work locations and engage them at key points throughout the customer journey.
Geofence Targeting allows advertisers to reach consumers within a specified number of miles by setting a distance radius around a physical location. Geofencing can also be used to target consumers as they visit key points of interest indicative of buyer intent.
Current Customers and Neighbors (list upload)
By uploading a list of current customers, advertisers can not only retarget these customers but also reach their immediate neighbors. Through spatial science, Spatially can identify a new market segment and analyze a business' existing customer base or ideal persona against thousands of potential locations.
Ideal for businesses who have a defined customer persona in mind, Custom Audience Targeting allows marketers to identify demographic, socioeconomic, and psychographic factors that best represent their target audience. Spatially then uses geodemographic segmentation to help find the customers that fit those characteristics.
So, is location intelligence useful for your business? No matter what kind of product or service you provide, our honest answer is always yes, it is. With location intelligence tools, business owners and marketers are capable of better understanding their targeted areas and customers, and eliminating most of the guesswork for measuring and ensuring a business's success.
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