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Location data is helpful for survey-based consumer panels

While most marketers talk about location to deliver relevant ads and messaging, location data can also play a key role in gathering consumer insight by complementing survey-based panels, according to a study by Havas Digital?s Mobext and mobile consumer analytics firm Cadio.

Mobile Marketer?s Rimma Kats interviewed Phuc Truong, managing director of Mobext, Boston, regarding the study. Here is what he said:

What is the key finding of this study?
The key takeaway to the study is that while most marketers talk about location to deliver relevant ads and messaging, location data can also play a key role in gathering consumer insight by complementing survey-based panels. 

If brands set up location panels correctly - obtaining opt-in from customers (and allowing for opt-out) within defined periods of time among other variables - advertisers can benefit is many ways such as:

  1. Increase the value of their marketing panels by having travel patterns, shopping preferences and lifestyle patterns
  2. Strengthen value of existing customers by knowing proximity to stores and when they are likely to shop
  3. Obtain competitive insights - consumer visits to competitive stores and how often
  4. Use location as a media planning tool - armed with travel and work patterns, advertisers can create an optimal mix media mix

What is the most surprising mobile finding and why?
One of the most surprising insights to the study is the Black Friday shopping pattern.

At least within our sample, only 11 percent shopped on Black Friday compared to the 25 percent on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. 

Black Friday is one of the most active shopping days of the year. The fact that our sample chose Sunday is surprising.   
What advice can you give to marketers based on your findings ? please be mobile specific?
Many brands employ the use of survey-based consumer panels.

These have been used for many years and is known as the standard for gaining consumer insights. 

However, now that location technology is available to advertisers, they stand to benefit from having location data to complement their survey panels. 

By overlaying the two data sets (survey and location), brands can have physical location data to gain insights such as store visits, competitive store visits, travel patterns and behavioral shopping preferences. 

Imagine combining this technique with IPTV where consumers view the ad on TV and then with location data, brands will know if they went to the store in the following days.  

As exciting as this is, brands must also carefully plan their location panels and manage their customers expectations. 

Getting the correct mobile opt-in is crucial Allowing consumers to opt-out is equally as important. Defining the time periods of location tracking and how often the device will be pinged is key.

For example, what time periods of the day will it be shut off, etcetera are among the key considerations that brands must consider.

What predictions can you make based on these findings ? please be mobile-specific?
Location-based tactics will become more prevalent in 2010. Geo-fencing ads and messaging, hyper-local ad networks popping up, consumer usage of check-in services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Where will continue to increase. 

Local content and mobile will continue to flourish.  

Our take is that location data will help with market research as well. 

We look forward to working with some clients to help them set up location panels so that they can gain further insight from their customers. 

Done the correct way, this open the door to another level of consumer understanding which can help guide marketing strategy.