Location technology and information is a disruptive force in the broader enterprise IT market. The reasons are two-fold. First, location-aware applications are perceived to be free. For example, mobile apps are expected to integrate with maps and allow users to navigate from point “A” to “B” or to other points of interest. Second, location-based data is perceived to be free as well. Google Earth has raised the awareness of the availability of geographic information, such as satellite imagery.
In addition, the use of mobile apps is generating a massive amount of location-based data. Social networking and enterprise apps are tagging transactions, like tweets, with geographic references such as a latitude and longitude. What’s possible now is the ability to extract the inherent content and context of social media data to reveal proximity relationships not previously seen with more mainstream business intelligence applications. But, to make sense of the volumes of data, location technology can distill information more effectively because of the spatial context. When expressed visually through applications that employ location analytics, this “where” factor becomes the “wow” factor.
Let’s look at an example: Twitter has become a popular customer relationship management tool for retailers. The social media giant generates large volumes of customer-related sentiment data about brands, but also provides rich insights about how local stores interact with the customers that have visited. Using location-based social brand analytics based on customer-store interactions and social network analysis, national retailers can connect their social brand to a physical store to improve local retail store engagement.
The intent, then, is that by improving engagement, retailers can drives more sales and build customer loyalty. This engagement, due to the ability of mobile apps to continually maintain near real-time interactions, presents a new opportunity … and a challenge. Retailers now need to process data, get the right information and more quickly engage the customer, appropriately and with relevant content as close to the point of sale as possible. Location intelligence is providing the solution to that need.
But, social networking is just one of many technologies that are part of the communications mix. In-store sensors and beacons present another opportunity for retailers. Now, it’s not only possible to understand customer preferences in close proximity to stores, but “inside” stores too, much closer to the point of sale. It’s still early for this technology, but it adds to the data mix of real-time information.
However, capturing the customer demands immediate interaction. Gone are the days of mass marketing. Today, it’s personal. The retailer that reacts more quickly with the right information at the time the customer needs it, wins.
Location technology supports target marketing, site selection, demographic analysis and the ability to assimilate myriad data sources to pinpoint opportunities. Businesses are also finding unique applications for determining franchise territories and to make logistics more efficient. The need to quickly process, analyze and distribute location-based information to decision-makers is what SAP, HP and Pitney Bowes are working on. We’re supplying the processing speed, location analytics and computing power that offers our clients a wider window of opportunity than ever before.
For more information, join Pitney Bowes at Dreamforce 2015, September 15-18, in San Francisco. Book an appointment here, or stop by our booth #W828 during the course of the event for networking and knowledge sharing.