Device Location Awareness (DLA) is a mobile app messaging service that lets you send location-based mobile app messages. Use Device Location Awareness (DLA) to send relevant, timely, and personalized mobile app messages that are based on a mobile user's location.
The DLA service integrates with Acoustic Campaign. It is divided into two components:
- A geographical user interface that location administrators use to define locations of interest
- A mobile app messaging SDK that developers integrate to make mobile apps aware of location
With DLA, marketers can send location-aware mobile app messages based on mobile users' current and past behavior. For example, when a mobile user enters a location, such as a coffee shop, a message is sent to the mobile device that notifies them of a sale on a brand of coffee. Six months later, the mobile user is messaged again as part of a campaign that targets loyal coffee shop customers.
Location of interest
In Device Location Awareness (DLA), a site is a location of interest.
A site can be a place of business, an area where an event or activity occurs, or a personal location, such as a mobile user's home or place of work. Two types of sites are supported: traditional and personal.
A traditional site is a location defined by a location administrator with an address and latitude/longitude coordinates, such as a department store.
Personal sites are locations that are derived by the Mobile App Messaging SDK and are based on individual mobile users' home and work locations. Before the SDK can start monitoring location patterns for personal sites, the mobile user must configure appropriate permissions on their mobile phone. When you enable personal sites, the Mobile App Messaging SDK monitors mobile device movement patterns, and, after about a week, identifies mobile users' home and work locations. The Mobile App Messaging SDK builds personal sites dynamically so that marketers can quickly target mobile users with mobile app messages without manually setting up an entire site hierarchy.
A traditional site is a location that is defined by a location administrator with an address, latitude, and longitude.
You define traditional sites for locations with known coordinates, such as a department store with an established address.
Location attributes, such as a name or city, are provided for you to use to define the characteristics of a zone. Geofences and beacons allow you to define areas for sites and zones where the presence of mobile devices is detected.
A zone is a location that is associated with a traditional site or parent zone. For example, a site might be a CityCool store and an associated zone might be the parking lot around the store. Another zone might be a department in the store.
A site hierarchy supports multiple layers of zones, child zones, and grandchild zones. A zone cannot be associated with more than one parent.
You can add location attributes to a zone that describe the zone's characteristics. For example, you can use a climate attribute to describe zones in cold climates. Zones inherit location attributes from the site and from parent zones, including the site's latitude and longitude. The following example shows how the Office Supplies zone inherits attributes from the site and a parent zone.
Site: CityCool Store [attributes: lat, long = 33, -111, CityCool_office]
Zone: Floor 1 [attribute: adminContact]
Zone: Office Supplies [attribute: numberOfWhiteboards:5]
Beacon: Beacon in Office Supplies Department
In this example, the Office Supplies zone has the following attributes: [attributes: lat, long = 33, -111, CityCool_office, adminContact, numberOfWhiteboards:5]
Location administrators add geofences to sites and zones to define areas where the presence of mobile devices is detected. Geofences are virtual geographic boundaries around latitude and longitude coordinates. Coordinates are inherited from the site, and the radius is defined in the geofence.
For traditional sites, the latitude and longitude coordinates are configured by the location administrator when the location administrator sets up the site in DLA. For personal sites, latitude and longitude are derived by the Mobile App Messaging SDK.
Location events are triggered when a mobile device interacts with the geofence boundary, such as when a mobile device crosses a geofence. For example, a location event could be triggered when a mobile app user walks through the entrance of a department store.
To determine device location, geofences use the location service of the operating system on the mobile device, which is typically GPS. Thus, geofence technology requires access to satellite GPS systems and restricts the smallest practical geofence radius to 100 meters. Geofence location technology uses global positioning systems, wifi triangulation, and cell tower triangulation, so users must enable location services on their mobile device.
Location administrators add beacons to sites and zones to define areas where the presence of mobile devices are detected. A beacon is a Bluetooth low energy (BLE) device that is physically placed in a location. Each beacon broadcasts an identifier to the area around it using a low-power radio. When a mobile device is near a beacon, the mobile device receives the identifier and detects that the device is near the beacon.
Acoustic Campaign supports iBeacons and Zebra beacons. Zebra beacons are integrated with Device Location Awareness (DLA) by the Acoustic provisioning team.
When you configure an ibeacon in DLA, you specify a Proximity UUID, major number, and minor number that mobile devices use to identify the beacon.
In Device Location Awareness (DLA), a site hierarchy is a traditional site and the zones, beacons, geofences, and custom location attributes that are associated with the site.
Guidelines for setting up a site hierarchy
In Device Location Awareness (DLA), organizations can set up as many site hierarchies as they need. Here are the guidelines for organizing a site hierarchy:
- Only one site is allowed in a site hierarchy.
- Multiple layers of zones and child zones can be associated with a site, but each zone is allowed only one parent.
- Location attributes can be associated with a site and zones.
- Zones inherit location attributes from the site and parent zones.
- Zones inherit the site's longitude and latitude.
- Geofences and beacons must be associated with a site or zone and can be associated with only one location, either a site or zone.
- Location attributes are not associated with geofences or beacons; however, you can add location attributes to a site or zone that contains a geofence or beacon. In this case, geofences inherit the latitude and longitude of the site.
Organize a site hierarchy
Several factors determine how you organize a site hierarchy. These factors include your organization's business requirements and the location identification technology that your organization uses to monitor locations.
Geofences are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. For this reason, organizations typically add geofences to a site hierarchy before they add beacons.
For example, to monitor a store, its parking lot, and the neighborhood around the parking lot, a location administrator might set up the store as a site and the parking lot and neighborhood around the store as zones. In this example, the location administrator adds geofences with different radii to the site and to the zones.
Beacons are physical devices that are manually installed by a person at a location. Because they require manual installation, beacons are usually added to a site hierarchy after geofences are added.
In the earlier example, a store manager might want to monitor departments in the store. Typically, an organization ships a box of beacons to a manager at a site and asks the manager to install the beacons and then report the beacon locations to the organization. The location information includes the beacon's minor and the name of the person who is responsible for each beacon.
The organization's location administrator uses this information to add beacons to the site hierarchy. In this example, the administrator might perform the following steps:
- Edits the site hierarchy from the earlier example by adding zones for each department where a beacon is installed. For example, if beacons are physically installed in the men's department and women's department at the store, the location administrator adds a men's department zone and a women's department zone to the site in DLA.
- Adds beacons to the zones in DLA. For example, the location administrator adds beacons to the men's department zone and the women's department zone. Next, the administrator configures the beacons in DLA to match the beacons that are physically located in the men's department and women's department.
Example of a site hierarchy
In this example, you are a marketer who wants to send a message to customers who are driving by a CityCool store with a clearance center. You want to send a different message when someone enters the parking lot of the CityCool store.
To achieve this configuration, your location administrator defines CityCool Store as a site with the custom location attribute Clearance Center:true and adds two zones to the site: a parking lot zone with a Distance:near custom location attribute and a neighborhood zone with a Distance:far custom location attribute.
Next, the location administrator adds a geofence to each zone: one with a radius of 200 m for the parking lot zone and one with a radius of 500 m for the neighborhood zone. In this case, the child zones and associated geofences inherit the longitude and latitude of the parent site as well as the Clearance Center:true attribute.
In Acoustic Campaign, you can configure a program that sends a message when a mobile device detects entries into any zone that contains both the Clearance Center:true location attribute and the Distance:near location attribute. Similarly, when a mobile user enters a zone with both the Clearance Center:true and Distance:far location attributes, you can trigger a second program to send a different message.
Figure 1 shows the site hierarchy that is described in this example. It's a typical site hierarchy where geofences are associated with outdoor zones and beacons are associated with zones that define specific points of interest. For example, a location administrator might use beacons for a traveling food truck and departments in the store.
Figure 1: Site hierarchy
Personal sites are locations that are derived by the Mobile App Messaging SDK and are based on individual mobile users' home and work locations.
When you enable personal sites in Device Location Awareness (DLA), the Mobile App Messaging SDK monitors mobile device movement patterns, and after about a week, identifies mobile users' home and work locations. Before the SDK can start monitoring location patterns for personal sites, the mobile user must configure appropriate permissions on their mobile phone. Location coordinates are not known by the location administrator.
The Mobile App Messaging SDK builds personal sites dynamically so that marketers can quickly target mobile users with mobile app messages without manually setting up an entire site hierarchy. To get started, the location administrator can check the Home or Work checkbox on the sites map page or sites list page and configure the corresponding geofences. Geofences define areas around personal sites where the presence of mobile devices is detected. Personal sites do not support zones, custom location attributes, or beacons. To disable personal sites, the location administrator can clear the Home or Work checkbox.
Personal sites allow marketers to contact mobile users at home and at work with the right mobile app message at the right time and place. Consider the following scenarios where customer engagement is enhanced by using personal sites:
- When the mobile user leaves home in the morning, you send a discount offer for a pastry at a nearby coffee shop. The customer is most likely to buy coffee in the morning when the customer leaves home.
- Two hours after the customer leaves work, you send a notice about a sale at an online shopping site. The customer is most likely to shop online during their free time.
- When the customer returns home after work, send a reminder to pay a bill. The customer is most likely to pay bills at home after work.
Information about the user's actual home and work locations remains on the user's device and is not shared with Acoustic Campaign. Marketers and location administrators never know the actual address of the user's home and work locations.
Marketers must use caution when designing campaigns around home and work. Telling the user that you know the user is at home or work might be interpreted as invasive. Users who feel this way are likely to uninstall your app. It is suggested that you do not let your users know that your campaign is triggered based on home or work personalized locations. Avoid the words
home entirely in messages.
Good morning! Get going with 10% off coffee at CityCool Coffee House.
This message sounds less intrusive than something like,
Now that you've left home, get going with 10% off coffee at CityCool Coffeehouse.
It was a long day. Reserve a table at CityCool Restaurant for dinner tonight!, rather than,
You were at work for 6 hours. Reserve a table at CityCool Restaurant for dinner tonight!
A location event occurs when a mobile app user interacts with a geofence or beacon. When triggered, location events are sent to the mobile app messaging server. The events are then converted into universal behaviors and sent to the Acoustic Campaign servers.
Three types of location events are supported for geofences and beacons:
- The Location - Enter event
- The Location - Exit event
- The Location - Dwell event
Exit and dwell events are disabled, by default. You can have location events enabled one at a time and only after each subsequent event has obtained explicit approval. For details, contact Acoustic support. Also, be aware that programs and the query builder display all location events, regardless if events are enabled or disabled.
Location Universal Behavior events for personal sites are available when you add geofence universal behaviors to queries and programs. For personal home sites, add a geofence event with
is equal to
site - Home. For personal work sites, add a geofence event with
is equal to
site - Work.