• September 20, 2016

Here and There: Benefits of Location-Based Tech

Location-based technologies have moved from strategic consideration to impactful tool.

Location-based technologies have moved from being a strategic consideration to an impactful tool. With the billions of smartphone and tablet users who rely on their devices for everything from restaurant selection and bill pay to finding the quickest route inside a venue, the ability to reach customers and prospects in real time based on their physical location has deep implications for marketing and business performance. As proof, consider the fact that by 2019, location-based services revenue is expected to reach $43.3 billion.

At the root of the technology is context-aware mobile services, and as this Hewlett Packard Enterprise white paper explains, context shapes indoor customer experiences: “Contextualization is the name of the game. It enables you to better service your visitors, giving them a more improved experience, which can generate additional revenue.”

As a marketing and brand experience tool, the ability to know where your customers are and respond to them with location-aware offers, directions, or triggers that impact the customer journey is big business. (To that point, apps advertising based on location technologies is poised to reach $44 billion by 2020. One of the hottest Apple apps for 2016 is Checkmark 2, which provides location-based reminders.) To help buoy its enterprise services for location-based technology, in 2015 HPE acquired Aruba Networks. The partnership enables HPE to offer enterprises more robust business intelligence tools and solutions that can do things like track where customers go within a store or venue and determine how long they stay, all so that the brand can then respond with real-time and relevant responses to drive buying behaviors.

The Question of Security

The ability to respond to customers in real time opens the door for questions about security and privacy. For example, if you walk around a city and receive restaurant and retail offers, will this alert cybercriminals to the fact that you’re away from home? Security concerns are the reasons why experts advocate discretion when sharing on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. Sure, you could argue that those who don’t want their whereabouts known shouldn’t participate in location-based technology or enable location services on their devices. But in business, enterprises need to address current and possible security risks to ensure customer data is protected.

All Present and Accounted For

While security will forever be a factor with innovation and technology, when it comes to location-based services, there’s another viewpoint. This article argues that in some cases, such as using certain bank cards or keys, location-based technology closes the circle tighter around us, keeping our data safe because access to it can only occur if we are present with the device necessary to activate access. Starwood Hotels and Resorts already has this type of location-based technology with its keyless hotel room access.

Location-based technologies are a way to reach people in an individualized manner to provide real-time, relevant information. With the Internet of Things, the potential is exponential, making the need to discern where a customer is almost as important as understanding who it is behind the device.

 

Like this story? Read more about the potential of context-aware services.