The evolution of location data use in business and society

November 4, 2022

Whether you’re a commercial real estate firm looking to plan your next site or a supply chain professional looking for more visibility into a specific warehouse, location data can help you make smarter business decisions.

Location data has traveled far beyond its original use in marketing and advertising. Even before the digital age, advertisers based media buys in part due to their location. For example, a nearby coffee shop might have placed an ad alongside the platform of a busy downtown commuter station. Similarly, new housing developments, mattress retailers, and others still use corner sign-spinners to draw people to their sites.  

The advent of smartphones and other mobile devices gave marketers unprecedented insight into consumer behavior in aggregate, at a very granular level. Marketers and advertisers saw the value in location data early on and still leverage it frequently, from mobile ad placements to geotargeting. A 2020 Boston Consulting Group survey found that nearly four in five retailers (78%) using location data leveraged it for geotargeting campaigns. I believe the value-add is easy to see: Location data can help retailers and other organizations connect to consumers who might be interested in their products, most often through social media and search ads.  

New uses for modern location data and intelligence arise all the time, prompted by a specific challenge that can be better understood through insight into consumer behavior. Today, location data has found its way into other industries, including commercial real estate, financial services, and retail, to name just three. 

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