As the term geolocational starts to become more widespread in the marketing universe, this blog post is focusing on a few key takeaways centered on what geolocational targeting is, how to leverage it at the shopper's point of decide and what the metrics mean for your brands.
The past was a test ground for today's technology
Years ago during my tenure at Nielsen, I had the opportunity to work on the Prism initiative, which for those who weren't aware of Prism, utilized RFID devices on shopping carts across a variety of major grocery and mass retailers. This initiative was going to be a syndicated-data service that tracked shoppers and the effectiveness of in-store advertising and merchandising tactics such as shelf talkers, floor graphics, case stackers and other vehicles tying it all back to POS sales data.
Every couple of feet there would be a sensor detecting if the RFID passed by, thereby tracking where the shopping cart went in the store (pathing), how long it stood in front of a display or shelf (exposure) as well as how fast that cart was going through the store (dwell time). This was before the time of advanced smartphones and this approach even though revolutionary, had its flaws.
If the shopper left the cart and went further into the aisle (better known as the boomerang effect), you were not able to see that behavior, nor if the cart was sitting in the produce section in one location, you were not able to see the traffic pattern of the shopper going from lettuce to strawberries to onions. The thought leadership of tying shopper behavior and analytics such as gross impressions, dwell time and sales together was ahead of its' time. Unfortunately, due to technology and scaleability constraints, the initiative was shelved in late 2009.
Fast forward 7 years and the smartphone
Now fast forward 7 years later, technological advancements have now made this type of shopper knowledge more affordable, scaleable and much more far reaching into shopper behavior. New gizmos such as beacons, GPS locators on your phone, wifi access points and advanced cameras within the store are disrupting the metrics we can uncover along the shoppers path to purchase. These type of geolocational tracking tools are much more sophisticated and analytical than last decade and this is shift in time where marketing teams need to learn more about how to leverage these geolocational tools in analyzing shopper behavior. These type of tools can uncover a wealth of data to leverage in the development of marketing strategies and tactics including where your shoppers spend the most time in store, what displays are most effective in driving sales, as well as the effectiveness of whether your geo-targeted mobile ad triggered the shopper to buy.
Uncovering and leveraging these type of metrics of your shoppers' behavior along their path to purchase can drive higher ROI of your marketing initiatives, drive conversion and household penetration and uncover unknown insights.
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