How Brands Like JetBlue Are Using Geo-Data To Understand Their Customers — And Rivals

JetBlue has been testing PlaceIQ's latest analytics offering, LandMark — and the geo-data specialist also opening up its location insights beyond advertising to help power investment firms' trading decisions.

Brands like Jet Blue closely monitor the activity of its loyalty program members — but that kind of analysis can be fairly limited to the way its travelers use its booking services.

The promise of being able to see what other airlines those loyalty customers tend to use as well as what hotels they book opens up a wider range of marketing possibilities. And that promise is embedded in PlaceIQ’s newest analytics offering LandMark.

The product is intended to expand and complement PlaceIQ’s existing tools, such as its Place Visit Rate (PVR), which provides “a real-world KPI” that measures in-store ROI.  As PlaceIQ CEO Duncan McCall describes it, LandMark can help narrow a brand’s focus on customers it can reach more easily, as well as striking deals with related hospitality and on-demand services.

Source: PlaceIQ
Source: PlaceIQ

For example, through a widescreen analysis of visitation data that can be cross-referenced with households (the company notes that all personal information is rendered anonymously, thereby avoiding privacy issues), LandMark can rank hotels that travelers of specific airlines, be it Jet Blue or a rival like Delta Airlines, tend to stay at — thereby sparking discussions about co-marketing programs with brands like Marriott that could be mutually beneficial.

“We’ve always been focused on the idea of how movement and location can be used to make sense of consumer behavior,” McCall says. “There’s an important delineation between using geofencing ads to the idea of understanding visitation, dwell, connecting it to other data.

“Ever since we started six years ago, we’ve been concentrating on this idea of location data being a horizontal enabler of intelligence across business categories,” McCall adds. “We’ve taken this clean data set, this data that we have high confidence of these behaviors and visitation activity, and put it into an in-memory analytics database so users can query specific kinds of location information very quickly.”

The View From Above

In terms of what the data is based on, PlaceIQ uses data from 475 million location points of interest — by comparison, Google Maps notes that it has 100 million places of interest in its database — from 100 million unique consumers via more than 10 billion daily place-based device movements that enables the creation of its location-based audience segments.

With LandMark, PlaceIQ clients like Jet Blue can take a look at activity in areas that are most crucial to their business. For Jet Blue, New York is one of its most important hubs. The LandMark dashboard can list the airlines that people use based on the PlaceIQ data.

“We can show a Jet Blue which of their customers are flying with Delta and where are they going to,” McCall says. “If they’re flying to the Bay Area or Florida, which are places that Jet Blue has a strong presence in, they can serve ads to geo-conquest those flyers. At the same time, we can avoid sending ads to people traveling routes that Jet Blue doesn’t fly, thereby increasing their ad effectiveness.”

In addition, as brands like Starwood Hotels sign deals with on-demand companies like Uber to target marketing to the same customers, tools like LandMark can help make those arrangements among brands much clearer.

Aside from connecting brands and providing broader insights for media planning, LandMark also has PlaceIQ ready to look beyond advertising.

A Financial Plan

In addition to pitching this an data tool for subscription or software licensing to media planners and brands, PlaceIQ also believes it will open the company’s geo-data up to an industry it has yet to crack: financial services.

The ability to analyze and understand real-world foot-traffic, as well as behavioral trends, location can serve as a key indicator for equity analysis, in order to drive investment and trading decisions, McCall says. These firms can use location-powered insights to stay apprised and ahead of market trends, and drive new and unique investment strategies.

“When we first came on the market, some of the first people to aggressively contact us were hedge funds,” McCall says. “They viewed location as a potential new data set. We made a conscious business decision at that time not to focus on financial services clients.

“The level of data that we had then was going to require a significant amount of work in order to have a product that was serviceable for the financial services industry,” McCall continues. “It’s something we’ve been thinking about, but rather than do something before we were ready, we spent the past few years working on developing a data set that has real persistence, quality and depth. With LandMark, now we’re ready with a real offering for the financial industry.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.