Raahil Chopra
Apr 27, 2017

I-Com Global Summit 2017: 'The quality of location data is unreliable'

On day four of the summit, a panel discussion on location based marketing

I-Com Global Summit 2017: 'The quality of location data is unreliable'
Speaking in a panel about location based marketing and how it can be used and measured, Gayle Fuguitt, chief of customer insights and analytics officer, Foursquare USA, discussed the marketers dilemma. 
She said, "There's data available, but it's indigestable. They struggle with precision, and if they achieve that, they don't have the scale."
She stressed on the importance of first party data for advertisers, but also put out a warning that they should only use it if customers opt-in for it and advertisers shouldn't intrude into their privacy.
Fuguitt made some suggestions on how the holy grail of 'precision at scale' can be achieved. "It's important to know who the audience is based on consumer behaviour. Then it's about establishing connections through affinities, values and tastes. That can be achieved by pinpointing the target audience through by PII (personally identifiable information), localised venue and customisation," she said.
She ended her talk by putting down the new narrative for advertisers to follow:
  • Act, don't react.
  • Choose your partners wisely
  • Setup your organisation to assimilate insights.
  • Invest, collaborate
Next up was Mandeep Mason, MD for Factual UK. Stressing on the importance of brands using location-based marketing, he said, "Audiences are mobile now than ever with the evolution of the smartphone. 90 per cent of smartphone users use location-based services. The number one activity of these users is searching for location specific information and there's been a 146 per cent increase in searches with the terms 'near me' year-on-year. Real-world observations enhance understanding."
He then stated that the usage and impact of location-based data is increasing. "64 per cent are using location-based audiences. 82 per cent expect to use it even more next year. There's 5 times more impact on secondary action engagement when location is used to display advertising."  
Mason ended his talk by explaining how location can help close the measurement gap. He said, "Today's marketers can measure how ad campaigns drive in-store visitation and get more insight into the true impact of their ad-spend. This can help them improve performance, help with cross-device measurement and gain insights into the customer journey. 
Also part of the panel was Duncan McCall, CEO and co-founder, PlaceIQ, USA. He spoke about the evolution of location based marketing. McCall said, "It's evolved from proximity marketing to audience building to attribution to advanced advanced analytics."
Alistair Goodman, CEO, Placecast, USA and Jeff Giard, VP – emerging businesses, T-Mobile, USA ended the session.
Goodman had a warning for those using location based data. "The quality of location data is unreliable. 50 per cent of the time, people are not where the data says they are. 25 per cent of the time, places are not where the data says they are. These factors are contributing to advertisers expressing their concern around the quality of location data."
He then listed the causes of location data inaccuracies. "Location data brings in premium revenue in the programmatic ecosystem which incentivises fraudulent behaviour. Operating systems and app level location data varies widely in quality. There are also several configuration and other technical issues between the OS, apps and SDKs. 
He surmised with some tips. "On the micro-level, message to impact the immediate foot traffic ads to encourage a visit closer to the point of decision/purchase. On the regional level, message to stimulate the future foot traffic ads to build engagement and brand consideration. Verify that targeted segments visited desired locations to build an audience and to verify customer segments. And finally, verify store foot traffic for CPV (cost per visit) campaigns."
(The writer is in Portugal at the invitation of the organisers)


Campaign India