Data-driven? Sure, everybody wants to be data-driven. But… how?

Marketing is both art and science — and the science is data science. When we understand our customers, we can provide tools and information that become a useful part of their lives, not skippable interruptions.

In this series on data analytics, we offer examples — quick recipes or mini-case studies — of how we can gather and leverage data to create customized, relevant customer experiences.

Hypertargeting Through Geolocation

Geolocation, broadly, is the ability to triangulate where a user and their mobile device are. Depending on the technology involved, that location can be as general as an ocean (Greek sailors were geolocating with stars thousands of years ago), or as specific as a certain aisle of a store (using beacons).

Delivery of personalized, relevant, timely experiences is imperative to developing patient relationships. Being contextually relevant includes knowing and addressing a user as specifically as possible – for instance, with the media channel most appropriate for their age.

But relevance also includes geography. Geolocation makes it possible to time communications based on where a user and their mobile device currently are. This could include sending patients a reminder to take their medication when they’re at home – or even a reminder not to check their medication when they’re at the airport.

If there’s a convention of cardiologists in a certain city, you could offer information about your booth and relevant activities to HCPs who have just arrived at the convention center. If you know the weather a person’s experiencing, you could predict how bad their allergies might be at any given moment and offer up a coupon for an over-the-counter allergy medication. If you know a student is in the dining hall, you could provide a tip on choosing the healthiest lunch option when it might be most helpful. The possibilities are endless.Furthermore, augmented reality can be used in conjunction with geolocation to create all manner of experiences for users. Think about Snapchat filters that work at certain locations – which is possible for any brand or individual to do, for just a few dollars – or Pokémon Go-like images or items that appear on a device when a user and their device get to a specific spot. (For more on AR, see “The Promise of Augmented Reality.”)

If done badly, geolocation can feel intrusive, particularly on topics related to health, which most of us feel private about. So it must be employed with the utmost caution and care. Users will need to opt in to share their data and location – but, given a valuable reason, many will.

There are a range of ways that geolocation can be used to create a marketing experience that can deeply engage, entertain and inform patients, caregivers or healthcare professionals.

Best of all for marketers, though, may be the informative data these experiences provide. We’re accustomed to being able to understand what our customers are doing virtually, thanks to the cookies, tags and logins they allow us to use. Geolocation makes it possible to better understand what they’re doing in the real world as well.

For more in this series, check out: