Locational data offers companies a way of using their customer relationship management (CRM) software in a smarter way, according to mobile phone network EE.
The firm has been using location data to establish that the London suburb of Surbiton is the biggest hotspot in the UK for young people checking out fashion websites and apps via their smartphones, the BBC reports.
It is an example of how the internet can be used by firms to establish the geographical areas in which particular products might be most – or least – popular.
Geographical variations might be obvious in some places; for example, expensive cars might be much more popular in an affluent area and certain locations may have a higher than average number of people from particular ethnic or other minority groups. However, this new source of data means that further information may be available to marketers than was previously the case.
Chief strategy officer at OOH agency Posterscope observed: "Thanks to location data we now understand the relevance and value of a particular advertising position compared with another.
"For instance, commuters at one station may tend to look at financial apps on their phones, whereas people travelling from another station may prefer fashion apps.
"Knowing this helps advertisers ensure their ads are relevant, which saves money and improves effectiveness."
The use of locational data may also mean individuals can be contacted using personalised marketing based on the common preferences of those who live in a particular area.
Of course, not everyone likes being marketed to on the basis of search data and other information they may regard as private, with a recent OpinionLab survey showing eight out of ten people don't want consumers to be tracked using smartphone data.
However, this information could be used in conjunction with CRM software in a way many consumers will welcome, as it could help establish the kind of products people may not be so keen on – and thus avoid the potential irritation to them of marketing goods that they have no interest in.
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