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With the rise of IoT and connected devices as companies innovate to drive profitable growth, location data is becoming an increasingly important asset across myriad industries such as retail and logistics, where consumers are reached out to based on location data to create enhanced customer experiences.

Compounded by the pandemic, there has been a widespread interest in harnessing location data as countries fight to contain the spread of the virus through contact tracing. In many countries worldwide, telecom operators have been sharing aggregated location data with the health authorities to help them access the effectiveness of prevailing measures. Countries such as China and South Korea are even using mobile data locations to track the location of quarantined individuals.

Dubbed the backbone of connectivity across industries during this pandemic, the telecommunications industry has been witnessing heightened traffic and has amassed vast location data that can add real value internally and externally in a digitalized world.

Globally, the location-based services market in APAC will experience the highest growth in the coming years. Of which, location-based advertising (LBA) accounts for a large part of this market across all regions.

According to the Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA), the public’s perception of location data now goes beyond selling to include raising public health awareness as governments rely on location data during this pandemic. In Asia-Pacific (APAC) for instance, 79% of surveyed companies viewed location-based services ad targeting data as valuable. Of the location-based technologies, APAC utilized Bluetooth technology the most, followed by beacon technologies, Wi-Fi and GPS.

As e-commerce is beginning to replace more brick-and-mortar, and as we’re recording an increase in smartphone penetration along with a more robust app landscape as businesses embrace digital transformation, the location-based market will continue to note an upward trend.

The popularity of social media by consumers has also contributed to LBS across all industries in recent years. In the retail industry, for instance, geofencing has been a popular marketing strategy to drive customer loyalty through mobile apps. Businesses can present ads, promotions and coupons based on where their consumers are geographically located.

With the rapid digitalization across business verticals, progressive businesses are recognizing the increased value of combining both location and timing to support more advanced marketing strategies and new market opportunities, utilizing real-time location-based marketing to effectively reach out to consumers. According to Research and Market, the global LBA market is expected to reach US$163.5 billion by 2026, representing a CAGR of 18% between 2020 and 2026.

Location-based marketing outperforms traditional marketing methods. In a saturated or highly competitive market, for instance, operators can leverage real-time messaging to upsell or cross-sell products or services, sending promotional messages to subscribers when they are near or enter a specific store. Using geo-targeting, well-timed advertising campaigns not only facilitates enhanced service delivery, but also yields higher conversions, greater success and ultimately, maximum return on investments. This is also one way to drive consumers away from competition to gain a larger market share.

With plans to scale as digital services become more intertwined in our lives than ever before, Uberall recently announced an acquisition of a location marketing company in the US to further scale its businesses.

Driven by the same agenda, Telenor Pakistan announced a partnership with Starcom earlier this month to monetize postpaid and prepaid customers’ data using location-based marketing. Currently, Pakistan does not have a data protection law.

Location-based advertising is effective throughout a consumer’s journey, from purchase, to engagement and retention. Needless to say, location is just one factor, albeit an important one. Augmenting location with human-centric data, such as consumer patterns, comes into play in advanced analytics to tailor personalized services experiences.

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