Accuracy is paramount when dealing with location-based marketing, due to the fact that if your location starting point is incorrect, then everything that follows will be exponentially flawed. As Paul Thompson (pictured below), VP EMEA, Blis, explains, this is the most common error that marketers fail prey to when working with or using location to build and define audiences.
Just as on the tennis court, accuracy can mean the difference between devastating disappointment and international victory, as Nadal and Federer know all too well after this year’s Australian Open.
In our world, Blis defines accuracy as how close the targeted location is to the actual location, accuracy can precipitate booming business success and generate an abundance of new customers. A variance of just one decimal point in the resolution of GPS data can be the difference between 111km or 11km or 11m.
So, how can advertisers guarantee that they’re hitting a winner every time?
Accuracy & positioning
Hitting an accurate shot in tennis requires a solid contact with the ball and sufficient follow-through – all of which depend on positioning. A tennis player may have a perfect forehand but, if they’re not in the right location, that very same swing could put the ball into the net or outside the backline.
Successful location-based marketing, too, depends on accuracy or, more specifically, knowing exactly where your customers are and where they go. Faulty location data can mislead marketers, causing them to misunderstand their consumers or target the wrong audience altogether. A restaurant chain in Paris, for instance, could be using mistaken data to repeatedly deliver ads to an individual living in London who has no intention of ever visiting France.
How can brands make sure they’re reaping the full benefits of high-quality, accurate location data?
1. Clean up the data that’s in your court
Online activity and real-world travels provide troves of insightful data about consumers, from where they like to shop to what they pass on their morning commute.
But more data isn’t always better data; and a lot of what’s collected and sold today is highly inaccurate. Sometimes, this is due to technical glitches and corrupted data. Other times, it’s a direct result of criminal activity. Either way, brands could be wasting valuable campaign spend as a result.
Brands can avoid the adverse effects by working with partners who take fraud and inaccuracy seriously, vowing to get rid of anything that looks suspicious. Partners not only need to be able to spot bad data and remove it; they should also know how to use multiple data points to mitigate the sample bias.
2. Craft a winning team with multiple data sources
Location data tells us a lot about who we are, revealing where we like to go and what we like to do. But marketing is not a game of singles: pairing location data with other valuable data sources and insights will make it even more powerful.
For instance, location data can enable a luxury hotel brand to identify potential customers: people living in London who travel frequently and stay in high-end accommodation around Europe. Combining that information with multiple data sources can enable that hotel brand to segment their audience further: instead of reaching out to all European travellers, they can deliver ads to those who have high disposable income and who’ve recently been looking online at ski resorts in the Alps.
Layering data sources in this way will boost the power of location insights and increase the effectiveness of ad campaigns.
3. Request a good umpire: third-party validation
Once the ad has been served, based on carefully-filtered data from variety of sources, what more can be done to ensure accuracy?
Brands can continue to put accuracy at the forefront of their efforts by requesting a third-party validator to carefully assess the accuracy of each campaign. Unfortunately, the quality of location verification still lags behind fraud, viewability, and content verification. Nonetheless, third-party validation can help brands hold their business partners accountable and make sure they are reaching out to the right audiences.
As more brands request campaign validation, or choose partners who already work closely with third-party validators, we’ll see the industry clean itself up and move towards greater accuracy.
Accurate location-based marketing
Location reveals much more than the whims, intents, or aspirations of consumers who browse products online. It shows us their realities: the things consumers actually do and the places they really go. Location-based insights, therefore, can enable brands to focus on relevant and hyper-targeted audience segments, delivering ads at the most opportune time and place.
By filtering out inaccurate data, validating campaigns, and pairing location-based insights with other valuable information on consumers, brands will be well positioned to take home the title. And when they win over consumers, they’ll benefit from higher conversation rates and greater ROI.