For the past year and a half, I have been writing about data, and data trends, and where I thought this whole trip down Alices rabbit hole would go. For every new shiny thing that was introduced, I was still convinced marketing will become more transactional and location based as technology evolves. Marketers have always been obsessed with closing “the last meter” and used this excuse regularly for why beacons and other location-based technology were not ready for prime time. But that has all changed now as location data is becoming more precise with each new iteration. Knowing that in advance it is easy to see where the logical progression heads for marketing. By combing POS systems with beacons (as each handheld device can essentially become a beacon) and arming brick and mortar staff in retail, automotive and other businesses with these devices, consumers walking by or into the store can then be marketed to in real time using location-based and third party data along with first party data.

If you have been keeping up with the news lately you already know Facebook and Google have given out millions of free beacons to local businesses all over the US just for the asking. Facebook says its to tie it to their businesses profile page so that users can access the pages as they visit the stores. Google has been silent on what they plan to do, but you can bet they are collecting the data. More recent discussions have revolved around states using RFID in license plates and turning them into billboards while cars are stopped in traffic, to deliver customized content to the drivers who may be viewing them.This has other implications as well, such as the ability to provide this data to local businesses to help them market to people within their vicinity. An example might be a Starbucks ad appearing on the plate on the car in front of you as you stop at a light less than a block away from the nearest drive through. A car dealer or car rental ad showing up on the plate in front of the Uber you are taking. There is also the ability to send coupons or offers to your mobile device to entice you to visit a location as well.

The POS systems –  also offer a whole host of opportunity to market to consumers while they are in or near brick and mortar stores. The ability to “upsell” consumers while they wait in line to check out based on previous purchases or online browsing is enormous.  There are a million other applications to this as well. Sears did a pilot where the staff was given cues as to what to discuss with visitors while they were in-store based on browsing history and previous purchases to help them upsell customers they were assisting. The new debate now becomes is this too creepy and how far should retailers and marketers push this ability?

The only things standing in the way –  of this are infrastructure and the ability to get, process and deliver the data in real time in a meaningful fashion. While there are some who are leading in this already (Marriott and Disney come to mind) this will soon be the norm as opposed to the current state of marketing. One only has to look as far as the IoT market and the growth it is seeing this past year to realize how much opportunity this holds for marketers and brands

Planning now and finding the right data providers and technology partners will make the process easier to grow into as the market evolves. As with all technology advances, it will also likely reduce your costs in the long term as demand grows and market consolidation happens.

Looking for help with data? – Datastream Group, Inc. has over 400 million data records providing data for of companies who use the data for everything from e-mail campaigns, display campaigns, programmatic, mobile programmatic, as well as for TV and radio live transfer leads. Datastream provides consumer online and offline information for use in any number of different types of marketing campaigns. OneDB is derived from self-reported consumer data and compiled data.

Datastream’s OneDB records are all opted in, and consumers can be targeted offline by postal and telemarketing efforts, and online by keyword, interest, and intent. Audiences can be targeted by intent to purchase categories, IP Address (B2B & B2C), and by a device (desktop, tablet, and smartphone). Data can be licensed for append purposes, marketing purposes, and hygiene & verification uses. Datastream will also enhance and enrich a company’s existing records through their OneDB platform.

Datastream has a competitive edge licensing their data because there is a large appetite in the current market for a marriage of digital identities to households. The Consumer Master File is built from active online consumer and business audiences and can be traced back to a postal address. You can also find our data on platforms like LiveRamp datastore, Lotame, BDex and others. For custom requests contact us to build audiences for you using keyword and or location data. We specialize in that. (bryan@datastreamgroup.com)