To Overcome Customer Amnesia, Brandify Promotes Concept of “Chief Location Officer”

Location-based marketing has long been misunderstood by brands. In addition, departmental silos within enterprises keep national-local brands from seeing the full location picture. That’s according to Brandify CEO Manish Patel who is promoting the idea of a “chief location officer” or CLO.

The IAB’s recent report on location sought to distinguish between “local,” “location,” “geo-targeting,” “geo-fencing,” and “location-based” marketing. These terms and definitions stand as a kind of metaphor for the confusion that keeps multi-location brands from realizing the promise of location-based marketing and advertising. Many of these brands aren’t getting a complete view of the “local” consumer experience because of siloed data and analytics.

At a recent customer summit and in a release distributed today, Brandify discussed the need for brands to better understand how location-based tactics impact the consumer experience. In introducing the CLO concept, Brandify’s Patel said that the idea came in response to the lack of location understanding he has been seeing in the marketplace from multi-location businesses.

I caught up with Patel to better understand the origins of the CLO concept. He said that in working with these multi-location businesses, it seems like there isn’t any one owner of location and location data, leaving no one to turn to that knows everything about the local consumer experience.

Patel went on to say that this was mostly due to a lack of cohesion between all of the different marketing functions (email, social, search, display, etc.), hence the idea of the CLO. With consumer and local data coming in from all of these channels, a CLO would analyze the data and find a way to develop a more holistic consumer understanding as the basis for taking action.

The social media team sees consumers through the lens of their channel, the email team does the same and so does the SEO team. Brands then develop multiple views of a single consumer. These are generally not combined, creating what Patel calls “customer amnesia.” In order to deliver a more relevant and personalized experience, which surveys report consumers want, Patel emphasized companies need to connect the dots of the customer experience.

With their siloed structures and approach, brands are unknowingly slowing progress and the impact that location-based marketing providers can bring to the table. Marketing providers spend weeks or even months simply interacting with different groups and individuals within organizations in order to better understand the data and where a brand stands in relation to offline sales performance.

It goes without saying that well over 90% of retail purchase are still made in brick and mortar stores. This is the “why” of location-based marketing. However, the continued disconnect between internal divisions and departmental marketing keep brands from understanding their consumers at the “local” level.

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