LONDON: Marketers need to think more creatively about how data-led insights that harness location can deliver compelling brand messages and stories, an industry figure has argued.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, the focus of which is mobile creativity, Mark Brennan, head of mobile at Manning Gottlieb OMD, maintains that location has become one of the most powerful pieces of data available, thanks to the ubiquitous smartphone.

There is already a growing practice of combining several datasets to improve targeting, and mobile allows for the incorporation of location data for more contextually relevant ads.

Brennan offered several examples of how he had achieved this at a "hyperlocal scale" for clients, using a variety of approaches.

One involved "negative retargeting", where a retailer sought to engage with British tourists holidaying at home. This entailed the use of silent geo-fencing across 13 destinations one month before the campaign started in order to identify people living within the location.

Then, when the campaign began, they were able to exclude residents and deliver messages to just those 129,000 people identified as tourists and so drive store awareness and footfall.

In another case, straightforward geofencing around the stores of an optician's chain was enhanced by only serving ads at particular times of day when the audience was likely to be most responsive to the invitation to take a spontaneous – and free – eye test.

"Just as the discourse has moved on from Big Data to Smart Data, so should our discussions on location," says Brennan. "Crucially, [marketers] need to look beyond the real-time."

Thus, a person's location and location history can become powerful signifiers that should get marketers considering how best to use this information alongside other data sources.

"Thinking about people as people, rather than moving targets, is the most logical approach," Brennan states.

Data sourced from Admap