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“Everybody gets the notion of location-based targeting in the sense of, hey, you’re within a mile of a particular store, so we’re going to give you a push notification to try to get you to come in,” says David Bairstow, SVP of product management at Skyhook. “And while it can have its role, this is a pretty coarse approach, and has the risk of spamming.”

Then there’s geospatial insights, the grown-up version of location-based intel which translates location signals and location data into more contextual insights. And these insights can actually help brands and app developers understand their users and engage with them more effectively, he says.

It means essentially looking for when consumers’ devices intersect with things that have context around them — an airport, hotel, restaurant, sports stadium, retail location, and more. As you see people visit those places, you can start to build up a profile of that device, and by proxy, the person holding that device.

“The value of location data distills down to basic marketing principles — know your customer,” Bairstow says.

Using the sports stadium as an example: Traditionally, professional sports franchises actually don’t know that much about the people that are attending their games. A…

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