Skyhook Maps Population Density To Match Food Affinities With Marketing Messages

The data is a part of the company’s ‘Context Accelerator’ meant to connect marketers with relevant data to aid in geofencing ads.

For advertisers looking for the “right” kind of audience scale — large enough to warrant the spending, while precise enough to be effective — it helps to know the interests and density of the population you’re targeting, says Skyhook Wireless.

The location data company has attempted to show which types of fast food are most popular in each state of the U.S. measured against its index of fast food locations.

Some of the results of its look at food preferences are pretty obvious: places like New York, New Jersey, and Seattle predominantly prefer coffee shops while the American Southwest is dominated by Mexican/Latin American cuisine.

But being able to quantify those preferences can make tremendous difference when it comes to ad spending and media planning.Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.46.43 AM

The data comes from Skyhook’s “Context Accelerator,” an ad platform that focuses on using first-party data to provide retailers and brands with data about customer desire by location. From a practical standpoint, after looking at what kinds of fast food is most popular in a given area, retailers can then build a more effective geofence, around, for example, coffee shops in New York or taco truck in Arizona.

When approaching this project, Skyhook told us they had three main things they wanted to elucidate.

  1. How population density impacts the presence of food venues in each US city and state
  2. How the presence of different types of restaurants in an area reflects the lifestyle there
  3. Which states over-index against a national average for different food venue types.

“Advertisers can actually look at this a few different ways: while we set out to get a picture of food popularity over the country, it’s interesting to consider whether or not a certain type of food is popular because the availability of it (i.e., Massachusetts has coffee shops as most popular due to the amount of coffee shops per capita), or is there a real regional craving which demands the number of coffee shops available in Massachusetts,” said a Skyhook representative. “Conversely, does this map represent an over-saturation, and identify areas where certain restaurants may be able to capitalize on a need that isn’t being satisfied?”

Some of the insights pulled from the study show some interesting facts about different areas of the country. For example, the ratio of restaurants to people in New York is 725:1 and the rate of fast food locations in the entire country is 1,654:1.

“Before even starting a campaign, advertisers can look at these macro-level, data-based trends to help steer their messaging in the right direction,” the Skyhook spokesperson told Geomarketing. Understanding trends involving customer intent and desire is what Skyhook calls building a “Persona.”

“We build Personas based on the venues users visit, enabling advertisers to optimize their inventory value and deliver relevant content.”

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Daniel Parisi Daniel Parisi @daniel_parisi_

Daniel Parisi is a New York City-based writer and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Daniel specializes in coverage of mobile payments, loyalty programs, and the Internet of Things.