2014 Geolocation Predictions: It’s All About the Context

2014 is shaping up to be another big year for geolocation technology. However, next year, it’s going to be about “contextual” geolocation.

  • Post codes and latitude/longitude data are interesting, but more importantly, instantly knowing where the user is in terms of “place” and deriving contextual information from that (using location as a proxy for their interests) will be key. For example, knowing someone is at a high-end hotel, a Starbucks, a McDonald’s, sports venue, a school or even on an airplane tells you a lot about users and what likely interests them. Using WiFi targeting by IP address, marketers will be able to determine a lot of this information about a user-instantly-with no opt in.
  • Marrying real-time trend information (from Twitter, Facebook, news or weather sites, etc.) with IP geolocation data will give additional instant contextual information about what is really going on in any given area at that point in time. Marketers will be able to use this information to target users as these trends are taking place, delivering messages that are timely and relevant.
  • Marketers will be looking for a one-stop shop for geolocation technologies. There are so many different options that marketers can’t possibly keep up with when to use which geolocation technology at what time in the buying process. They will expect to have a provider that can bring all technologies to the table and be more consultative as to which technology to use at given points and how to best apply them within campaigns.

We certainly expect to see more and more brands rethink and rejigger their digital targeting strategies in 2014, especially as more of them push deeper into the mobile marketplace to reach on-the-go consumers in real time. We’ll look back at these predictions mid-summer to see if we’re on track.

The real catalyst in the push to use more contextual geolocation technology next year may actually be driven by the successes or failures of this year’s holiday shopping season.

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