A&E exec: Location segmentation provides mobile context and relevancy
July 26, 2013
History Here is an example of an app that uses location to better serve users
An A&E executive who spoke yesterday during a Mobile Marketer webinar said that the company is using mobile and location to reach users in the right context in a relevant way, across all of its mobile products.
During the webinar titled “Key location strategies for mobile targeting, segmentation and privacy protection,” executives from A&E Networks, Xomo Digital and sponsor Urban Airship spoke about leveraging location in mobile marketing. The webinar was moderated by Lauren Johnson, associate reporter for Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.
“I think we're still learning along with the rest of the industry about the best way to [segment],” said Noah Vadnai, vice president of mobile and emerging platforms at A&E Networks, New York.
“For a nationwide broadcaster that has lots of different cities that we want to target, there's lots of interesting things you can do with on-demand programming,” he said. “There’s lots of tools available to us to continue to learn and play with.”
Location, location, location
According to Mr. Vadnai, location segmentation allows marketers to get consumers relevant content at the time that they are interested in it.
After acquiring permission from users, marketers can receive information about a user’s current and past location. This information can then be used to ensure that marketers send the most relevant information possible to consumers.
A&E has worked with location segmentation in many of the company’s programs. One example is History Here, a mobile application that provides historical points of interest to users across the United States based on location.
Users can choose to input a location themselves to find information or to receive push notifications when they are near a specific point of interest.
“With History Here we've used the segmentation capabilities to tag various members of the user base and form them into cohorts or groups that can be targeted when, for example, we add new points of interest,” Mr. Vadnai said. “So if we know that you’re a user that is often in New York City or Seattle, we can message you as we add new points of interest in the hopes that you come back to the app and spend more time with it.”
A&E plans on updating History Here in the near future to let users dive deeper into a city’s history with tours or itineraries.
History Here requires user permission to use location data
Location alone isn’t enough
While location provides marketers with an extremely useful data point, it is best used when paired with other information, such as app behaviors.
“Location combined with other attributes such as users' interest, so not just where that person is now but other things that they do, other behaviors they display in your application, is really how you get a full picture of users,” said Brent Hieggelke, chief marketing officer of Urban Airship, Portland,OR.
Mr. Hieggelke gave the example of how an app could target his own behavior.
The executive often travels to Mount Hood, OR, and if a Mount Hood app automatically sent him a message that said “Welcome to Mount Hood, this is where the visiting center is,” that would not be relevant to Mr. Hieggelke. Instead, he would appreciate a notification that, based on the number of times he has visited Mount Hood, provided him with information about new tracks.
A London Olympics app used location to track the torch
A lot of location-enabled apps are currently allowing users to actively search for information based on location.
According to Ben West, co-founder of Xomo Digital and Intergalactic, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, marketers will start to see a shift from this model towards a model where apps provide relevant, location-based information before a user even requests it.
“Services like push systems will allow us to be more active instead of passive in terms of relevancy,” Mr. West said. “They’re starting to be able to provide you with really timely information as opposed to you going to seek out that information.”
Mr. Hieggelke had someone ask him if they could send an offer to someone who had been in their store in the last six months but not the last six weeks and segment that audience to give them a higher incentive the farther away they are from the store.
It is all about providing relevant, location-based information at the right time. This will lead to more engagement and, ultimately, more conversions and purchases.
“We’re in the very first out of the first inning of the game as it relates to what we’re going to see with location and apps,” Urban Airship’s Mr. Hieggelke said. “We’re going to see really the centricity around how do I better service my customer, how do I deliver more relevancy.”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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