The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that consumers move through the world and interact with brands and businesses. As the world shifts toward recovery and consumer behavior continue to evolve, customer relationship management (CRM) will become more important and more complicated. Using third party data – particularly location data – can give businesses an edge on the competition when it comes to enriching their existing CRM data. Indeed, many of the world’s top brands are already making smarter business decisions and creating personalized consumer experiences using global POI and real-world visitation data.
Foursquare spoke with Snowflake account executive Savannah English at the annual Snowflake Summit about how to optimize your 360 customer view with location data.
Here is a follow-up Q&A that delves into detail around key ways that companies are putting location data to work to better understand their customers:
As someone who works with customers across industries, what are the location-related trends you’re seeing companies take note of?
We are luckily at the tail end of a time frame that upended how people live, work and move around. Businesses needed – and in many cases, still need – an accurate understanding of customer behavior and movement. Visitation behavior is still changing rapidly and varies widely based on location. Companies across industries are looking to make sense of these rapidly changing patterns, spot opportunities, and make more informed strategic decisions using location data. Here are three ways we’re seeing customers put location data to work already:
1. Using foot traffic data to observe shifts in the return to normal life.
Foot traffic data can inform everything from precise scheduling to supply chain and inventory decisions. This will be particularly important for retail and consumer businesses, who were hit hard during the height of the pandemic, as watching foot traffic trends can help them stay ahead of demand and optimize revenue while being more conservative with working capital when necessary.
2. Examining both POI and foot traffic data to make decisions around brick and mortar placement and geographic expansion.
Many businesses have shut down or relocated. These shifts are driving interest in locations with heavy residential traffic and in commercial locations where COVID has opened up prime real estate and that are better positioned for a rebound. Additionally, services-based businesses – food delivery, on-demand healthcare, solar panel installation – require an in-person workforce and have heavy upfront investment and startup costs when they launch in new markets. As such, these companies are tracking location information to understand consumer behavior and make informed decisions about where to go next or where to invest more.
3. Utilizing 3rd party context to make sense of vast amounts of customer data.
Teams across the enterprise want to have context to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time – and location-aware context enables just that. Many major companies are already embracing the opportunity to co-mingle first party and third party party data sources because of how easy it is now to enrich data,and to bring these syndicated 3rd party data sets into Snowflake for analytics and data science.
Why use location data to enrich your customer data vs. another form of 3rd party data?
Location data – which includes both point-of-interest (POI) and foot traffic data – can help businesses accomplish the following:
- Personalize omnichannel content and advertising based on real-world behavior.
- Model churn risk and re-target customers that are seen visiting competitor locations.
- Grow loyalty programs by creating visitation cohorts to engage those who visit your store, but are not part of the program.
- Build lookalike audiences for customer acquisition by analyzing visitation patterns on all customers.
- Increase value of ad inventory by demonstrating to advertisers an understanding of users’ real world visits through highly specific target audiences.
Why was it so hard to use 3rd party data in CRM enrichment before?
Using third party data at scale used to mean constructing and maintaining dozens of data pipelines. In many cases, enriching data meant shipping your entire CRM database out to a provider, loading it into their environment and having them ship it back to you. This process was extremely costly for both parties, and the turnaround time on processing meant data was refreshed infrequently.
How does Snowflake Data Marketplace make it easier for companies to access and work with location data?
The technology that underlies Snowflake Data Marketplace, Secure Data Sharing, allows companies to receive live, ready-to-query data without any ETL or API, no matter their cloud provider or region. Working within the Snowflake environment eliminates the need for weeks or months of back and forth necessary for vetting and getting set up with 3rd party data or a data service. Now, these processes can be initiated instantly, and our data partners are able to complete trials and testing with prospective customers in a fraction of the time.
What predictions do you see for the future of data enrichment and CRM?
While CRM enrichment and data integrity services have been around for a while, they have been largely constrained within the CRM system and process and reporting that comes with that.
As such, buying data and context has been reactive rather than proactive. As companies begin to see how easy it is to integrate this data in the place where they already do their analysis and already host their first party data and see the data drive results for a broader set of use cases and business objectives, I expect we’ll see a shift towards more openness and experimentation with third party data.
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*Interested in learning more about how to use location data to better understand and serve consumers? Contact Foursquare using the form below. *