Hyperlocation In the Enterprise: Syncing the Place of Your Data
In the EBC or during public events it’s important to know where your customers are, both physically and digitally. Physically, it’s about knowing their relative location, what they’re doing, and what part or section of the experience they are visiting. Digitally, it’s more about where they are in the customer timeline that you’ve created. Knowing this information — which requires collecting the necessary data and extracting insights — is at the heart of hyperlocation.
Hyperlocation is, essentially, awareness or knowledge about your physical surroundings at a particular location. Adversely, it’s about knowing where someone else may be, including your customers, event attendees, or EBC visitors.
This information is generally gathered through the use of technologies like location services, GPS, iBeaconing or beacons, wayfinding, indoor mapping, and more. There’s a certain mobility factor to it all, that allows for seamless, always-on connections and interactions.
What is it primarily used for? To deliver relevant messaging and engagement based on the whereabouts of your audience. You can also use the collected data and information to pinpoint high conversion behaviors and valuable “triggers” within their journey. If a customer is at point X, then it’s the best time to promote X product or service.
‘Owned’ Space Benefits
A proper hyperlocation strategy will provide many benefits to your owned spaces such as your corporate office, EBC, or even your general area. In retail, hyperlocation can also help you augment brick-and-mortar stores to offer a modern digital experience to local customers.
Some of the ways you can leverage to this tech include:
One of the great things about modern technology is that you can set up remote stations or kiosks anywhere, which facilitate automated connections with nearby customers or visitors. For example, a kiosk designed to display content or deliver a targeted ad could be placed near the entrance of your briefing center. When people walk in, the content is delivered to their mobile through any number of channels such as a mobile app or social feed. Conversely, leveraging IoT, audiences can use their devices to control the kiosk experience when they enter into or near spaces.
These kiosks can also be used to draw in audiences nearby. Outfitted with a display and helpful information — like a digital directory — people will naturally be drawn to it.
Hotspots are delivered through the use of wireless technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. They offer quick, open pockets of internet or network connectivity for a particular purpose. Many businesses offer free Wi-Fi to customers simply to bring them in. Restaurants like McDonald’s, Denny’s, Starbucks, and many others do this just to get customers in the door. It’s also a great place for professionals and those who need an open connection to set up shop for the day.
In the enterprise, it can be used in much the same way with a focus on professional-level support. Have a customer visiting who needs to fill out and send a particularly lengthy questionnaire? Allow them to tap into a local hotspot to use the company network, both for stability and convenience reasons.
They can also be used to deliver information directly to the passerby or those in the surrounding area. This is done using devices called beacons or iBeacons. IoT or the Internet of Things can also play a role, which involves taking offline devices and augmenting them with connected technologies or functionality.
By 2020, the amount of Internet-ready devices (IoT) will reach 50 million, with $19 trillion in total profits and costs savings spread out over the next decade. Naturally, hotspots will become increasingly necessary and important to keeping those devices connected and online.
Outside of the traditional interactions — physical and digital —, there’s also the option to sync content directly to nearby users and devices. At an event and have a panel coming up? Then, you can send out push notifications to potential visitors and attendees. Want to draw someone into a particular station within your EBC or experience? Then, you can send out location-based alerts via a beacon. Furthermore, you can provide relevant content to match up with those interactions. This could include a company blog or news announcement about the activity.
You can also send out contextually, location-based alerts for your regular streams of content.
It’s easy to forget, different types of spaces call for different interactions and forms of engagement. There are much larger spaces or campuses such as Google, Facebook or Apple’s, and there are smaller, modular spaces like an EBC or booth. There are even connected spaces, spread across great distances or multiple locations, such as varying business offices or stores.
Advanced hyperlocation platforms and services can help you organize and stretch your system across all spaces. Syncing up multiple offices spread across a region, for example, could afford you many unprecedented insights. Maybe you can see how many stores or locations a customer visited before finding the help they desired? Maybe you can sync up product and service inventory to help customers find the right location to visit — before traveling all over the place.
It’s this general connection or network support that allows you to have full control over all spaces and locations you own.
‘Borrowed’ Space Benefits
The second aspect of deploying hyperlocation as part of your business initiatives is how it affects your borrowed spaces and how you can leverage it to deliver advanced event experiences. This includes temporary or more open locations like event booths, tradeshow and convention centers, meeting plazas, or rented buildings.
Wayfinding does include the use of signage — which we discuss further down the list — but as a whole, it’s more about how you guide people through a physical environment or location. While doing so, you also have a responsibility to improve their understanding of the space and nearby surroundings. In a retail store, for example, right when you walk in you might see a sign that shows the location of public bathrooms, even if they’re on the other side of the store. You know which direction to travel within the confines of that building.
The same can be done with hyperlocation services, even digitally via mobile. Many like to refer to it as “spatial problem solving” where you’re essentially building a pathway or flow patterns.
Event Traffic Flow
When you have lots of people congregated in a single, confined space traffic tends to build up. Even when you’re talking about foot traffic, things can get hectic and confusing. In conventional settings, we use signage and property design to influence the flow of traffic.
Through hyperlocation, you can take this a step further by implementing digital signage and mobile support. Imagine a digital content sign that updates every hour on the hour to show meeting times, room and location details, or even estimated travel times for visitors.
The same can be achieved through a mobile event app, which delivers the information directly to user devices on-the-fly. At any time, executive X can open his phone and see the varying conference or meeting halls he needs to be in, and at what time.
Activations and Promotions
Want to grab the attention of those EBC or event visitors and bring them up to speed on a current sale, promotion, or personalized offer? A proper hyperlocation system can handle all of this too, leaving you and your local team hands-free, at least in regards to handing out flyers or pushing digital content anyway.
We already mentioned digital signage in the traffic flow section, so the same pretty much applies here. Modern, dynamic signage can be used to portray updated information, accurately and in real-time. This can be delivered through conventional signage — with a slight upgrade — or mobile apps, or even email and social feeds. The beauty of modern technology is that platforms are constantly evolving and conventional signage is no different.
Afraid your customers are going to move through the event center and forget to visit your booth? Have a remote kiosk or station set up at another portion of the property and want to make sure everyone visits it too?
Thanks to beacons, geofencing tech, and mobile, you can delivery proximity alerts based on the current location of your users. If they step within a particular boundary geographically — this is called geo-fencing — you can send out the necessary alerts. The best part is that it can be handled autonomously with little to no user support. Send out push notifications, text alerts, or even place an automated phone call right when your users reach a certain point or pass a boundary.
The third aspect of deploying hyperlocation as part of your business initiatives is how it affects your customers or visitors. You can use this both at home — within your organization office or hub — and away, at major events or conferences. To this end, you can truly developer events that wow, or at least comparable experiences.
For starters, it offers everyone that visits the affected location — new or returning — a better sense of the location, surroundings, and current positioning. Think of it as a more involved and interactive form of a modern directory or property map.
Often, via a mobile app, users can see where they are in relation to the entire property, where they may need to go, and important touchpoints or stations along the way. You can use this to your advantage to direct them through a particular pathway or route. Want them to stop at a particular kiosk or station before reaching their meeting room? No problem.
Many hyperlocation features are delivered via a mobile app or portable experience, and why wouldn’t they be? It makes sense considering your customers and visitors are going to be on the move quite a bit. Whether attending an event or visiting a specific section of your executive briefing center, they can remain in the know at all times thanks to mobile and that’s a definite boon. You can even use mobile features to your advantage to this end, like sending push alerts, email and text message notifications, and more.
Ease of Use
By design, hyperlocation systems are meant to be stress-free, automated and highly compatible. That is, no matter what device your users are on — be it iPhone, Android or an undefined tablet — the sync and connection feature just works.
Within the vicinity of a beacon or kiosk, the data is synced to nearby devices in the way that you specify. If you want them to see a push notification for new blog content, so be it. If you want to deliver promotions, ads or media, that works too.
In addition, to the awareness gained about a particular location, customers can also see their relation to other users, influencers, and important company reps nearby. Let’s say someone walks into your EBC and is looking for a particular contact. The hyperlocation service and companion app will allow them to find said contact’s office, regular hangout spots, or even their current location — if real-time location data is enabled.
In this way, they remain hyper-aware about the surrounding community too.
Whether a customer already has the related app installed on their device and is ready to go, or prefers to tap into a web-application interface via a browser, you must be able to deliver always-on real-time access to them. Hyperlocation is designed specifically for this, offering real-time support in many ways. You can see real-time updates for location and geodata, you can real-time updates about a property or region, and you can also see real-time updates for nearby beacons, kiosks and points of interest.
Smarter, Contextual Experiences
The idea of modern, personalized experiences is that they can adapt — in real-time — to meet the needs of users. In the example above, the service would be able to accurately detect what contact the person wanted to meet with and where to find them. This can be done in several ways. Polls and user surveys can extract info to identify a proper contact. The hyperlocation and geo services tell them where to go and find the said contact. Finally, the service itself can track and monitor everything about that particular user as events play out providing you — the business — with a trove of helpful, accurate information.
Hyperlocation is really about networking or building connections within a more confined space, whether that be temporary like an event center or more permanent like your EBC. Increased accuracy, especially within business environments, can mean better outcomes for you and your teams. When a person visit a property looking for something, you can both prepare them by offering real-time insights on their surroundings while also directing them — even subconsciously on their part — to the destination of your choosing.