The Role of Location Technology in Optimizing Ads

August 8, 2021

Location is one of the most critical aspects of marketing. A whopping 59.5% of the world’s total population (4.66 billion) are active internet users. This means that businesses need highly targeted, location-based advertising and marketing. The modern consumer is a smart and sophisticated buyer. It isn’t that they don’t want to receive ads—they would only like to receive relevant and valuable ones.

In the past, marketers considered location in terms of print ads or billboard placements. They decided which consumers to target based on magazine or newspaper titles, billboard locations, and other physical factors. Today, there is data commercialization—marketers use analytics, spatial visualization, and predictive models to inform their decisions about where to put ads.

Most businesses online use location data to personalize their marketing efforts and create positive customer experiences. GIS, short for Geographical Information System, allows marketers to link demographics with purchasing or spending characteristics, which means more accurate data.

How Do Businesses Use GIS in Marketing?

GIS presents a variety of potential applications. From market research to execution and evaluation, marketers can use location-based data throughout the entire life cycle of a campaign. For example, they can use GIS to segment customers by location and target them with digital advertisements and push notifications. GIS also enables personalized recommendations for consumers—you can get prompts for “near me” lifestyle options like restaurants, fitness centers, health clinics, and much more.

Combining GIS with marketing lets businesses engage in data sharing with both consumers and other companies. With a clearly outlined data use and protection policy, a business can gather insights on consumer behavior and provide this to other companies. Another way to use location-based data is by integrating it into the company’s marketing process instead of running an individualistic campaign around it. Amazon, for example, has an algorithm that suggests items a user might like based on their browsing activity.

What Is the Future of GIS in Marketing?

Business owners and marketers can expect GIS to become even more deeply linked with marketing. People are becoming increasingly reliant on mobile phones for everything, so mobile GIS and spatial data visualization will become an integral part of more marketing campaigns. 

However, it can be challenging for organizations to find people well-versed in data and GIS. This situation presents a significant hurdle for companies that want to leverage GIS in marketing.

Another thing to consider is the trend of embedding GIS application functionalities in other software and the use of spatial data in marketing. Since GIS analytics involves a substantial amount of data, the possibility of data sharing and selling spatial data is something that marketers and businesses must consider. This issue is especially critical for GIS analytics because of the complexity of using spatial data in marketing. The need to deal with large amounts of information will invariably create situations where you have inaccuracy or ambiguity with data.


Geographical information systems are becoming more and more crucial in marketing and business development. GIS is poised to play a significant role in how organizations gather and process spatial data. In the end, all businesses want is to have accurate and actionable data that can help them create optimized ads.

Ellipsis Drive helps organizations collaborate better, maximize interoperability, and manage and deliver geodata. Our GIS solutions enable more efficient data commercialization for businesses and of all sizes. Contact us today for inquiries!

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