What is geolocation?

Geolocation is the process of identifying someone’s location based on his or her access to the Internet, whether through a cell phone, desktop computer, or other type of connected device.

How does geolocation work?

  1. The wifi knows

    When Internet users log onto a wireless network geolocation can pinpoint the location of the user by tracking the wifi signal and location of the router. This is often called HTML5 location.

  2. GPS and geolocation

    Cell towers and satellites are also used to determine geolocation, especially on smartphones that may not be connected to wifi.

  3. Geolocation data

    Marketers use geolocation data to better target marketing and advertising based on product distribution or regional differences among consumers. A company might send a different message about a product to a consumer in Alabama than a consumer in California.

Why geolocation matters

  1. Allows for cultural differences

    Geolocation data allows corporations to refine their marketing and advertising based on cultural or regional differences. An individual living in Alabama might respond differently to a targeted ad than a person living in New York. Geolocation data allows companies to tailor their ads based on geography.

  2. Track consumers

    Geolocation can provide important data to national and international companies who want to track where their consumers are and what products they're buying. It can help hone marketing strategies for regional differences in attitudes and behaviors.

  3. Benefits to small business

    Geolocation offers small businesses such as restaurants and specialty shops the opportunity to market more directly to potential consumers. Apps such as AroundMe that use geolocation to point consumers to local businesses are can be a key driver of foot-traffic business.