2016 Predictions: No.1 – The Integration of Location

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With the holiday shopping season in full swing, you may be too busy to think about 2016. But once the dust settles, it will be full speed ahead into the new year.

To give you a head start, we asked industry experts, GeoMarketing.com staff, and Yext executives about their predictions for what businesses should watch for in 2016. We’ll be posting one of their responses every weekday here on the Yext blog. Follow us on Twitter @Yext for new posts, and tweet us your own predictions using the hashtag #Yext2016.


The Integration of Location

Gyi Tsakalakis, AttorneySync@gyitsakalakis

2016 is poised to mark a significant shift in the impact of location-based targeting.

While the coming year will mark a small step for location-based advertising technologies (i.e. usage of beacons, etc), it’s likely to be a giant leap forward in marketers’ thinking relating to integrating location as an intent context across devices and time.

We’ve all been talking about the rise of mobile for several years now. According to Pew Research Center, “nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone.” For many of these people, their mobile device is the entry point to the online world. Likewise, most of us recognized that this would have a significant impact on how we interact with the online world. However, not as many seemed to really appreciate the monumental impact mobile devices would have on consumer journeys. In 2016, in addition to understanding who customers are, marketers must understand the impact of where and when they are.

In the future, the lines separating offline from online worlds will become invisible. Consumers will seamlessly meander between television, websites, search engines, social networks, maps and physical locations. Marketers who learn how their target audience prefers to research, decide and purchase across devices, channels, locations and times will win the day by integrating marketing tactics that reinforce one another.

One of the aspects of this evolution that I find most compelling is using single-touch, location-based actions (i.e. store visits or event attendance) into longer-term nurturing campaigns. For example, using location-based technology (i.e. beacons or next-gen GPS) to build custom audiences in Facebook, AdWords and, eventually, even television. In my humble opinion, this will be one of the most significant opportunities for marketers over the next few years.

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