Facebook automotive data indicates broad value of location-based customer insights


Brands and marketers make lots of assumptions about their customers, about who they are, about the distance they’ll travel to buy the product or service and so on. These assumptions are often based on perceptions, hearsay, anecdotal information or survey data.

Location data, like that from Foursquare and others, provides real-world behavioral insights that offer a range of use cases, from audience targeting and attribution to competitive intelligence and internal operations. Data that Foursquare published this morning related to automotive customers shows how location data can provide a broader context around audiences — not just demographic information, but what else they do and like.

Here are some general and brand-specific insights from capturing dealership location visits nationally in the US:

  • Average distance traveled to a dealer lot is 14 miles.
  • July is the slowest month for dealership visits.
  • Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days for dealership visits, with Saturday at 11 a.m. being the peak time.


  • Has an even 50/50 male to female shopper-visitor ratio.
  • Has the highest share of visits for ages 35–44, but its biggest market is 55+.
  • Nissan lot visitors overindex on fried seafood and hibachi.
  • Competitive set: Toyota, Ford, Jeep.


  • People who visit Toyota are also more likely to visit soccer fields and gymnastics gyms, as well as Bank of America locations.
  • Competitive set: : Lexus (parent company), Nissan, Mazda.


  • Has one of the highest 55+ audiences compared to other mass market companies.
  • Chevrolet visitors overindex at Meijer and Home Depot and are more likely to visit hunting supply shops.
  • Competitive set: GMC, Cadillac, Ford.


  • Mercedes visitors are more likely to visit real estate offices, tailor shops and nightlife spots.
  • They are 61 percent more likely to visit a tennis court and surf spots and they travel often (indicated by airline lounge visits).
  • Competitive set: Porsche, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Volkswagen.


  • Cadillac visitors index high for “rustic” and items like corned beef and beer cheese.
  • Competitive set: Chevrolet, GMC, Lexus, KIA, Jeep.

Some of the marketing (traditional and digital media) implications from this data are fairly obvious. For example, Chevy and Toyota might want to do co-marketing with HomeDepot and BofA or do proximity marketing near these locations or their competitors’, among other tactics. There are also staffing implications, if you know peak times on lots.

The other obvious thing is that these behavioral and competitive insights are becoming increasingly important, to say nothing of their attribution capabilities, in making intelligent media planning decisions. That’s why I’ve repeatedly argued that location data is at the center of mobile — indeed all digital marketing — going forward.


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