Location Intelligence 101: Data Sources



The world produces 2.5 quintillions of data every day. Together with digital businesses and apps, along with IoT, an huge amount of location data will be produced. There’s no question that location intelligence will see exponential growth over the next couple of years. This will create a whole new connected ecosystem that will power personalization of everything. In the long term, marketers will be able to develop location-based engagement applications that customers trust and use.

It is important for marketers to note the difference in using location data in terms of collection, activation and measurement.

Rich Location data is mostly provided by applications. Why?

  1. User experience - When permission is given to obtain the user's location, the data is always stored at the app level. You only need to set the permission level once and the benefits are retained by the app and carried over in-between usage sessions.

    Whereas for Mobile web, permission needs to be given on each and every time a user visits a certain site, making it an awkward user experience on mobile.

  2. Unique identifier - in apps remain constant from session to session and is used to build location insights of users over time which give marketers the capabilities to audience profiling.


All location data are sourced from the inbuilt location services system in smartphones that track your movements. The system will locate the device at any given time using a variety of sources and each varies in accuracy and scale. In regardless of sources used, location data is always returned as latitudinal and longitudinal (lat/long) coordinates.


Location data is collected in many ways:


Beacon - As users enable Bluetooth on their devices, this small hardware will transmit Bluetooth signals over short distances which provide highly accurate location data.

Beacon is usually used for in-store analytics, attribution and push notification because it can only communicate accurately with only a limited distance of 1 metre; less or more.

Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) - With an in-built GPS receiver that can connect to 3-4 satellites in every smartphone today, we can gain location data through Trilateration- this process measures the intersection point between the satellites.

GPS is used for segmentation, targeting and attribution in which the data gained will be extremely accurate within 10 metres. However, GPS will be a reliable source of location data only with a clear line of sight of satellites.

Wifi - Up to 10-metre distance proximity, Wifi is able to provide accurate location data. Most physical locations of Wifi routers have been mapped by most companies to enhance the location accuracy that is gathered by Location Services system of Smartphone.

Carrier Cell Tower - Three or more cell towers will pick up a phone signal and triangulation is used to determine a location based on the distance between the towers. The accuracy of cell towers varies depending on the distance between each tower but the coverage in the city area is wider.

IP Address - Location data gain from IP address is largely inaccurate beyond the country level, hence it must not be used for targeting, segmentation or attribution. Users connection can be routed via a central IP server that is miles away from the current location of the user. Even though the scale of data that can be collected with IP address is very high, the location accuracy of the data itself is low.


Make the best out of location data

Coordinates need to be mapped to an actual place to make the raw location data meaningful. It is vital for marketers to ensure the place data is regularly updated as it plays a big part in determining the quality of the location data.

Artificial Intelligence is integrated to make sense of the massive sets of data. These location data will only become meaningful if it is utilised with the best practices; proximity targeting, location-based audiences, and location dynamic creative optimisation.



Proximity Targeting

Proximity targeting involves the delivery of ads based on a user’s immediate location which allows brands to elicit immediate actions from audiences with more timely and personalised messaging. For example, a brand can use location targeting to boost sales during the time-belt hour to invite the consumer within a short distance to visit the nearby stores with their timely deals made from 6-8 pm.

Location-Based Audiences

Analysing and understanding the movement and historical patterns of the audiences will give a rich consumer insight such as their preferences and interest. Once the location-based audience is developed, the audience segment can be targeted regardless of where the user or device is at the time of the ad impression. This enables marketers to reach the end-user with multiple messages.

For example, a customer that is seen at a car showroom for several times in a month will receive ads that will lead them down the purchase funnel.

Location Dynamic Creative Optimisation

For a personalised campaign, brands can leverage the user’s immediate location data in ad creative to allow location-aware experiences; tailoring the messaging to the context of the users. Creatives that include contextual based personalisation perform 11% better than standard creatives, according to Celtra Creative Insights Report

For example, a fast-food brand can display a menus ad based on the time and location of the audiences; lunch deals will be displayed during lunch hour along with the details of the nearest fast food store. This will enhance customer experiences to be more personalised and localised.



Besides ads targeting, location data is now also used for measuring the effectiveness of marketing strategy and its impact on store visitation rates. Location data also allows marketers to gap down the online and offline world which ensure clarity of the customer journey.

In addition, Mobile+Data+OOH is a great formula to execute a successful campaign. Mobile devices are a perfect tool that complements the usage of location data. Marketers can expose their campaign message through a creative in-app in mobile devices. When users download an application and a creative is displayed, the device ID of the user is captured and it can then be matched against device IDs seen in the target stores. This will help in narrowing down the unique audiences list.


Grab the opportunity!

The adoption of location data has been booming in recent years as more marketers realise the opportunity that location data provides and how it improves their OOH campaign. Location data helps indicates the consumer context and has greater consumer insights, providing for verification and accuracy of their marketing strategy.


Moving Walls operates Moving Audiences - an AI-powered location intelligence platform; which is a combination of business intelligence and location data to derive valuable consumer insights. It is a geographical journey of your customer, that can be translated into behavioural insights for better business decisions.


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