Kinetic CMO Liliana Caro: Why Location Marketing Is Much More Than A Retail Play

With data and technology, it’s become a scalable discipline that spans all categories, verticals, and channels, Caro says.

As the lines between channels, marketplaces, and physical and digital spaces continue to blur, context matters far more than device — which means that “location… is the variable that’s defining success,” argues Liliana Caro, Global CMO at Kinetic Worldwide.

In a world of rapidly developments in everything from AI to mixed reality, the constant for marketers is that the conditions present in a consumer’s location impact mindset and behavior — and that “location informed strategies have shown to create relevant connections and increase purchase intent.”

In this vein, Caro talked to GeoMarketing about her top takeaways from CES and NRF as they relate to location, out-of-home, and ever-increasing connectivity.

GeoMarketing: What technology and trends excited you most at CES and NRF? How is contextual marketing evolving so far in 2017? 

Liliana Caro: This year, we were excited to see three big trends that were very much in line with the work we do:

  1. Awakening of senses: Technology is enabling fully immersive, sensorial experiences for brands. With mixed reality — from VR to enhanced sound experiences —  marketers can now merge the physical, digital, and emotional. Smart clothing as well as emotion or sleep-tracking wearables are evolving connected device usage from self-accountability to self-empowerment. These advancements matter as we look for new ways to deliver content that is more personalized and contextual.
  2. Contextual intelligence: From map-powered, self-driving cars to Alexa and Cortana activating more intimate and intuitive interactions across the entire customer journey, Artificial Intelligence is becoming Contextual Intelligence. As AI invades every device, media, and point of sale, it will soon give us the power to follow, connect and activate audiences on the move whenever and wherever it’s most relevant.
  3. Omni-markets: Walmart/Jet is transforming into an Amazon, and Amazon is transforming into a media. Alexa is powering Chinese technology and Chinese funds are backing green, American car manufacturers. There’s a need to redefine marketplaces in today’s global economy. Business opportunities will truly be where there’s the most value exchange between audiences and brands. We’re happy to help our clients connect the dots and map out these new opportunities.

How will these trends impact your work this year? How will you build these connections “wherever it’s most relevant?”

It’s been interesting to see very similar technologies at CES and NRF this year. We see that as a clear sign that digital natives are taking over and that consumers are increasingly (if not permanently) connected. As a result, all industries are undergoing a digital transformation, and so is Kinetic.

There’s a new consumer mindset out there, and it’s based on how much value a brand can bring to you. So our goal is to help our clients connect with their audiences through powerful experiences, as well as providing them with convenience and utility, so they want to act upon the experience itself. That is the new context of marketing. And we understand that, in this context, quickly turning engagement into an action or transaction means for brands to address their audiences at specific locations, when they’re away from home and actively using their mobile devices.

What we call OOH is not just a billboard, but a dynamic, connected ecosystem in which we can leverage all the relevant touchpoints to address and engage with audiences on the move.

How does this commitment to addressing audiences at specific locations impact out-of-home and connectivity?

Everything is blurring: marketplaces, channels, physical and digital spaces, and so on. That is why, today more than ever, it is so important to understand customer journeys holistically and what is the best context for the brands to interact with consumers. Location is the contextual variable that is defining success. Whether you hope to grow exposure or sales, location informed strategies have shown to create relevant connections and increase purchase intent.

What we have been working on at Kinetic is the ability to merge location with other variables and triggers such as behavior, mindset, weather, and cultural events. These inform our planning process to create contextual strategies that help our clients to truly own customer journeys.

Location marketing used to be a retail play. With data and technology, it’s become a scalable and innovative discipline that grown to span all categories, verticals and channels.

I think Kinetic is undergoing an exciting evolution to address this new context in which marketers operate. First, we’ve worked really hard at redefining what OOH is, evolving that misconception that OOH is simply a billboard to viewing OOH as an actionable and accountable route across which brands can leverage integrated solutions. Today, we have a full team entirely dedicated at identifying new opportunities to leverage data and technology to help our clients understand and win audiences on the move, from commuters and moviegoers to business travelers and luxury shoppers.

My role specifically has been to clarify that unique value proposition and diversify our capabilities. And I’m glad to say we’ve bolstered our digital, creative and planning services over the past year, starting 2017 with a robust product offering. Actually, we will soon be announcing our new strategic planning tool, which has been designed to create a true value exchange between brands and their audiences, regardless of physical and digital silos.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.